Of Bats and Rats, Pigeons and Poles
"Blowback" is not restricted solely to the area of foreign policy. Even municipalities must deal with the ancient principle that intentional human action will, by necessity, create unintended consequences in a social setting. Especially when that social setting is extended outward to encompass other species ...
Take the New York Rat. Please. The City of New York has forever been unable to control the endless copulating and populating of this rodent. It's gotten so bad in some sections of Manhattan that a gent named Manny Rodriguez, has taken to whacking some of these unlucky critters with his home-made bat. Upper West Siders are cheering this victorious vigilante, nicknamed"M-Rod," for his bat-to-rat alternative to the teams of exterminators and inspectors that are finallyresponding to neighborhood calls for pest control.
Another New York neighborhood has been trying to deal with what many residents term,"rats with wings." The New York Pigeon. Dubbed"Public Enemy No. 2," literally, the pigeons in the Manhattan Bryant Park area have been dropping their droppings on people for years. The City tried to control this, at first, by drugging the poor birds. When pigeons, rather than pigeon-poop, started dropping on people's heads, the City decided to stop its bird-brained narcotics program. Then, the City introduced Fake Owls into Bryant Park, which were supposed to frighten the pigeons away. But these are New York pigeons. They simply started depositing their droppings on the Fake Owls, mocking them, as if to say:"You talkin' to me?"
Then, the City came up with a really brilliant plan: They introduced hawks into Bryant Park. Yes. Real, live hawks. But the hawks didn't touch the pigeons. Instead, one of them swooped down and attacked a helpless Chihuahua, attempting to lift it into the air as it frolicked on the green. People were scurrying and screaming, and dog lovers protested.
So the City has now come up with a Bold New Initiative. City workers are now wrapping Slinkys around tree branches, which hang over sitting areas in Bryant Park. This will, apparently, stop the pigeons from sitting on the branches because it will, apparently, make them"dizzy." They will therefore have to go elsewhere to take care of their lavatory needs. Perhaps the City will install Public Poopers for Pigeons that are as well kept as the People Potties.
Meanwhile, another war looms in the outer boroughs. This one is coming to my Brooklyn neighborhood, which is home to thousands of Green Monk Parakeets. These natives of South America, like other immigrant groups, have settled in my beloved Brooklyn. Don't let their delicate, pretty appearance fool you. They are hard-working and productive, building nests on telephone poles and street lamps. But the phone company is now starting to grumble, and it is only a matter of time before it tries to remove the South American Squatters from their utility poles. Let's just hope they don't introduce Slinkies, Fake Owls, or, to the eternal fear of my dog Blondie, Chihuahua-Hunting Hawks. These Brooklyn Birds are tough; they will make the Manhattan Pigeons look like Chickens. Not to be confused with Chicken-Hawks.
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Andre Zantonavitch - 5/29/2004
We New Yorkers are ~way~ too sloppy with our garbage -- which is mostly what those wonderful rats and pigeons eat. We usually leave the trash out all night long (a veritable rat feast) and ~don't~ put it away in cans. And all our NYC public trash cans are wire mesh -- which often spills, and provides "easy access" to vermin even when it ~doesn't~ spill.
Ultimately, a huge part of our problem lies in our vastly overpaid garbage men. These incompentents are all union-controlled government workers or mafia-controlled "private" workers. Along with its many other fine attributes, the Welfare State is also ~disgusting~, as Chris Sciabarra's article indicates.
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