Pigeons… I know a lot of people who don’t like them, who refer to them as flying rats, and who think that these birds deserve to die… I can kind of see where these folks are coming from and it’s not really something that sits well with me and it’s not something that brings me much comfort when I accidentally mow one down with the car. Just to clarify – my mowing down people body count sits at zero. My pigeon murder tally is at 3 now. The last 2 were within a couple of days of each other. Both times I’d furiously tried to avoid the collision but pigeons seem to have kamikaze tendencies and the harder you try to swerve, the more intent they are at throwing themselves literally under the bus…
The last kill came whilst still feeling terrible about the previous slaughter. I’d heard the sickening thud but didn’t see where the body went. Pulling into the carpark, my passenger got in shotgun, clocking my face, he asked me what had happened.
Oh… It happened again, I hit another pigeon… I don’t know where the body went…
He shook his head at me, a half smile as he looked me right in the eyes – Let me guess, you think it’s stuck on the front of your car? You want me to go look? OK, let me go check… Nah! There’s a lot of bird shit but no dead pigeon. He laughed at me in a kind way and shook his head at me again – Karen you’re a wimpy killer…
I’m a wimp? Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you and that squirrel.
I remembered well the squirrel day, remembered being called a remorseless bastard… Remembered my big guy shotgun passenger with his hands clasping his face, screaming so loudly and suddenly that I reflex screamed back…
Squirrel! You killed a squirrel!
I didn’t kill a squirrel! I saw it! It’s fine!
You did kill the squirrel! And you’re not even sorry!
No, I’m not sorry because I didn’t hit it!
What? You didn’t hit it?
No… It’s over there… Look… Alive and doing squirrely things…
You sure it’s the same one?
Oh ffs! I didn’t kill the squirrel!
Ah… Imagine, I was going to take the day off work, ring in with trauma! Karen killed a squirrel, she wasn’t even sorry, she has no remorse! In fact she go back and run it over twice and then she make me wear the dead body as a hat! Of course I can’t come into work today!
Seriously, you think that’ll wash? You think your manager will believe that? You think people will believe that I made you wear a still warm road kill hat…
Of course! Every one knows you are bastard with no remorse 😂
You know what? You tell that story and I’m just going to grin and nod and say yup! That’s exactly what happened! In fact add in that I smeared your face with blood and you howled like Highlander instead of squealing like a little girl and we’ll both be legends in our own lunchtime 😂
But back to pigeons… After kill number 3, it was almost though word had got out amongst the feathered fraternity that Karen was on the lose, hungry for blood, and ready to up the score. The streets and roads were eerily free of avian activities… This went on for a week or maybe two… And then it started again. Pesky pigeons crossing my path…
I was driving solo and feeling peeved for no particular reason… Thinking back, I think it was the general peevishness I get when the day is miserably grey in a way that it’s hard to know what time it is and whether you should be getting up or heading to bed… That unchanging disorientating grey that makes memory slide away… A pigeon right in my flight path, just sitting there. I remember thinking fuck you not today and instead of trying to change course, I stubbornly stuck to my path and instead of flying at me it flew away… We both went our ways unharmed… It struck me as an interesting analogy for a few other things that have happened in my life… Times when I’ve tried to avoid what felt to be an inevitable crash only to crash harder than imagined… Maybe, if I’d just stayed doggedly going where I was going then obstacles would have just removed themselves?
What I do know is that now I have another problem. Now I drive straight at pigeons, which is fine when I’m on my own, but when I’m with other people, then I end up with a car filled with screams! They’re puzzled why I laugh but I laugh because my hit rate when driving directly at pigeons, remains steadfastly at zero. I stay on track and my path clears… My hands (and tyres) are blood free. Though I’m not going to explain any of that to my screamers as I’m kind of warming to my reputation of being cold blooded. Plus why let the facts get in the way of a good story?