Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pigeons & Pizza

Kinda Like Chokin' Yer Chicken...

I may never feed pizza to pigeons again. Almost killed a brace of the buggers this morning whilst waiting for the METRO bus to arrive.

I'd packed a Ziploc baggie with some of last night's Pizza Hut leftovers, figuring a cold pizza lunch couldn't be any worse than my usual afternoon repast of no-name pastry and stale chips from the vending machine.

METRO being METRO, I was waiting longer than I needed to, so as I passed the time watching a few pigeons fighting a squadron of sparrows and a gang of grackles over a pile of picked-over sunflower seed hulls spat out by some uncouth barbarian, I thought I'd up the ante by a crust or two.

I pulled off the "pizza bones" from a couple of slices, and began tearing them into peanut-sized wads before sending them arcing into the melee.'

Immediately the grackles and sparrows used their superior speed and maneuverability to grab some crust chunks and retreat to a safe place before tearing into them. The pigeons, OTOH, calmly head-bobbed their way to the nearest morsel, and gulped them down.

At least, they tried to. I first discovered something might be amiss when I saw a pigeon doing something I'd never seen before. It was hopping around on one foot, one foot frantically kicking against its beak. I couldn't fathom what it was trying to do, until the flailing foot finally dislodged the wad of crust. I gather a general lack of lips amongst the pigeonry means they can't just do a "ptoo!" and spit something out.

Apparently, Pizza Hut's thick crust approaches the maximum density of breadstuffs. Already compressed to the limit by being torn from the crust, when the pigeon went to force it down its gullet, there as no give left to it. About the time I figured this out, pigeon #2 was doing the pizza gag dance.

Pigeons being pigeons, they tried again. Second verse, same as the first. This time, they'd gotten better at the "kick the crust loose" game. I finally started tearing off tiny chunks, just so there wouldn't be piles of dead pigeons remaining behind after I caught my bus.

So, lesson learned. Next time, we go with thin crust pizza. They won't choke, but they'll probably puncture their gizzards on the sharp edges!