Monday, September 6, 2010


The Sky: Home of fluffy white clouds, sunshine, and Superman.

But there is one thing that comes from the sky that I am not OK with. Something that happens millions of times a day all over the world, which you don’t think about it, until it affects you directly.

I speak of course, of pigeon poop.

I’m not sure if my mother actually believed this, or this was just something she made up to prevent us from crying, but she always used to say it was good luck.

I think the first time she said this was when my sister and I were really little and my sister got pooped on in the backyard. If you don’t know the feeling well, lucky you.

When you are a kid you don’t realize excrement can fall out of the sky. Rain, acorns, things like that yes. But poop? What precedent is there that a poop bomb is even a possibility?

I have been lucky enough to travel to different countries around the world and the one consistent thing that I come across in every single country is the effen pigeons. They are everywhere. I swear when the apocalypse comes and giant aliens eat all of the people on the planet, all that will be left are pigeons and cucarachas.

I can see those frigging cucarachas now, riding their pigeon planes through the sky.

Cucaracha: Dive Sebastian, dive! The skies and land are ours!
Pigeon: Victory is ours Benjamin!

Gross. I hate them all.

Pigeons hit their high note in terms of coolness the first time I was in Venice when I was in high school. This was back before the city of Venice changed the laws, and vendors were still allowed to sell bird food in the Piazza San Marco.

Tourists from all over the world would pay old men with bags full of bird food. And then you would dump it in your hands while pigeons molested you so your friends could take pictures of you looking like Lord of the Birds.

To be honest when I did it, I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. Even when that pigeon landed on my head and grabbed a…. um, claw, full of my hair.

Have you ever looked at a pigeon’s foot before? They are awful. They are so often mangled and dirty and tied up with dental floss and other trash they can’t get rid of because they don’t have hands.

Because they are pigeons.

Upon my return to Italy in college, that delight at the hilarity of pigeons quickly disappeared as being exposed to 40 million of them every day, every place, as they try to land on your pizza, and steal your gelato, quickly gets old.

As much as I hated them I tried not to piss them off. They outnumbered me. My roommates in Italy didn’t feel the same way. One of them, lets call him Rob, had what I can only describe as a karmic experience with pigeons.

We were visiting Sienna for a day trip, checking it out and exploring the sites when we had sat down outside a church to rest for a bit. It was there that Rob began an interesting interaction with a pigeon.

Rob: I really want to catch a pigeon.

10 Minutes later

Rob spits on a pigeon

20 Minutes later

Rob: Oh man I just got shit on by a pigeon.

It seemed like poetic justice to me, something that Rob deserved. The story I am about to relate to you though, has no justification in it whatsoever.

It was in June of this year, several weeks after I had started my new job. The weather for the summer hadn’t yet turned to unbearable. I was excited to be heading in to a job that I loved. I emerged from the E train out into midtown.

The sun was shining, the air was crisp, I was in the best possible mood. I took a look up at the sky and said aloud:

What a beautiful day!

And then I took about 10 steps before somebody threw an entire cup of soup on me.

At least, that’s what it felt like. I looked down on my arm and saw that was in fact PEA soup. Gross. Green pea soup all over my shirt, which thank god was a long sleeved one I had rolled down.

I looked up in shock. Who had thrown this soup on me?  Surely somebody had seen the culprit. But nobody seemed to care. How could nobody have seen the… oh I get it.

It quickly dawned on me that it must have been a pigeon, a pigeon that had eaten a bean burrito for dinner.

Great, my arm now covered in bird shit I couldn’t tolerate it, I had to find a fix and quick. Lucky for me, midtown is chockablock with bodegas trying to sell tourists t-shirts that New Yorkers wouldn’t be caught dead wearing, unless of course, that New Yorker had been shit on to start his day.

So I bought the only shirt that seemed appropriate after being pooped on coming out of the subway.

I then walked into an alley and took my shirt off because I couldn’t have the poop sleeve touching my skin anymore, I was starting to go mental. I put on my new t-shirt and then walked directly into a Dry Cleaners and told the nice lady at the counter my story as she began to touch my shirt. (This brought me an instant flashback to an early blog.)

I was pooped on.

“What?” she said.

A bird pooped on me, just now, outside.

Needless to say she slowed the pace at which she was folding up my shirt. She asked me to spell my name about 7 times before giving me a receipt for my shirt and telling me I could pick it up in a week.

Well, we are going on 3 months now and I still haven’t picked my shirt up. Maybe it is because I am so grossed out by that shirt that I can’t wear it in good conscience any more.

Or it could just be that the shirt isn’t actually mine.

I don’t know who that Rich Poehncke is, but I wouldn’t want his shirt. I hear there’s poop on it.


Ava said...

Heard the same thing (about it being good luck). A bird pooped on my head when I was teenager. I did not attribute or even notice subsequent good fortune that stemmed from that event. Considering the amount of them, it's a small wonder we don't all get pooped on everyday.

Anonymous said...

I got crapped on whilst meandering down the boardwalk at Ocean City one day. On my face. Naturally, I ran into my mother, who followed me down to the bathrooms, laughing all the way, til she gasped between giggles that it was good luck.
Suddenly a wizened old cleaning lady sprung out of a stall, and went "Well no shit it's good luck, gettin' shit on is the worst thing that's gonna happen to you today. The rest of the day's gonna seem great!"
Well played, bathroom cleaning lady.
(epilogue: I got back to my seat on the sand and found that there was poop on that, too.)

librarygirl said...

I snorted so violently whilst reading that blog that green stuff resembling pea soup came out of my nose... it wasn't pigeon shit, before you ask. I have a genuine fear of pigeons and being shat on by them. If it ever happened, I think I would probably have a nervous breakdown. You, however, handled the situation like a man, with bravery and courageousness. For that, I applaud you.

Caroline B said...

Poor you...I seem to have sailed through life with very little bird crap aimed at me, but my brother on the other hand became a bit of a family legend for being shat upon. Several seagull incidents(boy, does that stink), a chimp hurling it's own faeces at him, and being spat at by a camel. My poor son was shat upon by a baboon,at high speed through a cage....despite the horror, I couldn't stop laughing and it has probably scarred him for life.

Interesting - the word verification is 'quill'......

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Oh ew. I thank goodness that I have never been pooped on by a pigeon but they still freak me out. You don't see them much around here but they've always reminded me of rats with wings. So gross.

Hannah said...

Hence, the reason my very first resolution of EVERY new year is to pray to God that I will NOT be pooped on by ANY bird all year. Thank the Lord for answered prayers!

Oh, and the dry cleaning lady def has a sense of humor. I think she just accidentally left a second "O" out at the beginning of the last name. Yes, I think that's EXACTLY what she did. yup.

Nancy said...

Nothing worse than being pooped on by a bird. I had it happen to my head once. :-(

Anonymous said...

The first time I got pooped on was just last year. You do always hear the stories. I was at the Metreon in San Francisco, a large park, beautiful day, eating cream puffs.

Then boom, I got creamed. Cream sliding down my ear. I don't why, but on the way to the bathroom, I confronted a girl and said, "Can I tell you something? I just got pooped on."

Now every time I see a flock of birds I crap in a bucket and grab my mortar and shoot that shit up at as many birds as possible.

It's a fun little war we got going on, birds and I.

Pat said...

Is this where that saying came from, "May the bluebird of happiness shit all over you?" Huh.

I've been both pissed AND shit on by seagulls. I am not proud of that fact, either.

PrincessBeks said...

ha ha ha, hilarious!! well i'm lucky that i dont get pooped on, not that i can remember although when i was in australia a bird nick my fish out of a fish and chip tray i had, i was not best impressed!!

Stephanie Ann said...

Pigeons have scared the ever-loving crap out of me ever since I went to Europe. Parisian pigeons are on some kind of bird steroids. They're the size of hawks! And just as cunning. I was sitting outside of Notre Dame eating a sandwich and one of those mean things stole the whole friggin' sandwich right out of my hands! It pretty much traumatized me to eating outside for the rest of the trip.