Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hawks & Doves

173 Hawks & Doves

Ask anyone at the Pentagon: winning wars ain’t easy. And we haven’t been too good at it lately.

Here’s another one they can’t win. It’s at the recruiting station in Times Square. The enemy is pigeons.

This dufus from Chicago makes 40 different kinds of machines to make pigeons go away. And he has this other dufus from Amityville who sells them.

The recruiters of Times Square get about a million visits from pigeons for every live mammal who walks into the place. But they don’t recruit pigeons. They used to. Had ‘em deliver messages. Now, they have satellite phones. Much more expensive and we don’t know how much more effective or reliable.

Okay, so the deal is to get rid of the pigeons at the recruiting booth. And here comes Amityville Dufus with the best of the 40 machines the Chicago dufus makes out in the middle of nowhere where they don’t have all those many pigeons.

Amityville has this machine, which is really an iPod with four loudspeakers attached. Guy’s got on a haz-mat suit. Goes up his ladder to the roof. Attaches the iPod with the four loudspeakers. Turns the thing on. Climbs down the ladder. Gets out of the haz-mat suit. Tells the Army guy the pigeons will be gone by noon.

The loudspeakers play the sounds of pigeons getting beat up by hawks and owls. The pigeons hear this and they’re supposed to get scared and leave. Instead, they move to the other side of the roof where there are no loudspeakers.

The Army guy calls Amityville Dufus. Dufus tells the Army guy to “stay the course.”

Now it’s about 5 PM and the iPod owls are hooting and the iPod hawks are cackling and the pigeons are having diner. Popcorn from a Times Square tourist – probably from Chicago.

The Army guy calls Amityville Dufus again. “Insurgents,” says Dufus. But he has the answer. He’ll add two more speakers and “…your troubles will be over by tomorrow.”

Next morning, here comes Amityville, again. He’s back in Times Square with two extra loudspeakers. But four’s all that’ll fit the iPod.

The Army guy says “Four? Four? My Jeep has eight, and this thing can’t take six?”

Amityville suggests installing spikes on the roof. The spikes are plastic. The pigeons don’t know from spikes. They wedge between them and bend them out of the way. The pigeons of Times Square also don’t know from owls or hawks, having never seen any.

They DO know from tourists from Chicago who spill popcorn. They have been known to attack tourists who have popcorn but don’t drop any.

The NYPD has a special undercover anti-pigeon unit called “the Hawks.” It has the worst arrest statistics in town. Espeically since they had to turn in their glocks. Something about shooting only brown birds.

Rumsfeld once sent a memo on pigeons at recruiting stations. And he wanted to establish a commission to investigate. No one read any of Rumsfeld’s memos.

Pete Seeger wrote a pigeons’ rights song. The pigeons attacked his banjo when he tried to perform it. Pete had no popcorn. And pigeons don’t like banjos, which can scare off an audience – but not a bird.

Pete brought along a dove, which is really only a white pigeon. The NYPD hawk squad tried to kill it to prove that it didn’t just kill brown birds. They Tasered it, and then the pigeons ate it. Cannibals. But what can you do when there’s no popcorn.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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