Tuesday, July 01, 2008


In what circumstances might one find a grown man appearing to kick a pigeon across a busy main road? What would your reaction be to such a sight? Would you intervene?
It's certainly behaviour consistent with a mental patient on day release.
Unfortunately, this was the pickle I found myself in at about half past five today. As you know, pigeons are everywhere in cities. Some are lovely looking creatures, like the chap pictured in the post below. Others are scabby beyond belief, defying nature itself to somehow exist as dishevelled, flea bitten mono-pods. The pigeon in question certainly had the look of one who had been through the wars. It wandered about around the pavement in front of me, before following me to the edge of the kerb as I crossed a side street. On closer inspection, I decided I couldn't tell if it was a juvenile or just malnourished. Not that I know what a juvenile pigeon looks like right enough........ As I walked on, I turned back to see it amble aimlessly into St Georges Road, attempting to use it's wings, but unable to get off the ground. A row of cars came out of the Charing Cross junction and I hoped one of them would catch it with a wheel, finish the job, nice and quick.............
Instead, the unfortunate creature just went under the chassis, between the axles of the car. The gust of air as the car passed blew it over, and for a second I thought it had been caught, maybe by the exhaust pipe or something, but it seemed to right itself and got into a huddled position, waiting for it's next brush with death. A few more cars went over the beast without hitting it. One driver even had the reflexes to swerve and avoid it..................
I had made my mind up. An ad-hoc rescue attempt would be made, just as long as I didn't have to pick the pitiful specemin up.
..............and so, this was why, at half past five on a Tuesday evening, I could be found, so it appeared to any onlookers, to be kicking a recalcitrant pigeon across St Georges Road.
I sort of shoo-ed it across into the gutter of the pavement at the other side of the road, and there it lay, as if exhausted by it's experience, and looking to be in no mood to go anywhere.
I have no illusions, it'll be dead by now. Either through starvation, fatigue or as the title of this post suggests, flattened to fuck after attempting to re-cross the road. I just couldn't, for reasons of utter feeble minded sentimentality, leave it hanging there, maybe getting clipped and bounced around the road for half an hour before something came along and struck it a final, fatal blow.
A rational re-evaluation tells me I should have left it to it's own devices. Nature gave this particular creature the middle finger, theres no reason to believe that it would have found many more favours once I'd walked away. That said, theres nothing wrong with being a silly sod once in a while....................


SzélsőFa said...

But some city pigeons are better left unaided to let Nature do her job, as you put it so right.
I don't get when people take their obviously and seriously ill pets to the vet - what for? It's the pain and suffering that's been made longer, that's all.
I want to die quick. Like in an armed robbery when I'm the robber, heehee.

iLL Man said...

I have mixed thoughts on quick and slow death. Quick is good if you don't know much about it. It has to be instantaneous. All this 'life flashing before your eyes' nonsense sounds like a real pain in the arse. A slow death sounds equally unpleasant, though I do explore the notion that someones final hours could be a numbed out narcotic haze here:


It's maybe wishful thinking though...........

When it comes to animals, I'll admit I'm a little sentimental.

last year's girl said...

Aw, you're a big softie at heart, aren't you?

I have to confess to not being the biggest fan of pigeons, but I doubt I could have left the wee soul alone either.

SzélsőFa said...

Do you mean that those who fear death wish for a slow one, to get accustomed to it somehow?

My maternal grandfather was seriously ill for seven years. He underwent several serious surgeries that made him suffer longer. He did not want these so-called life-saving operations.
He suffered.
Now that is inhumane and I don't want that fate to anyone.

My fraternal grandmother, at age 75, came home from a bus-ridden trip with her friends from abroad and somehow fell and got comatose. She was unconscious for a day or two and died while as such.

If you had the choice - which one would you prefer?

iLL Man said...

Szelsofa -

"Do you mean that those who fear death wish for a slow one, to get accustomed to it somehow?"

Maybe.... It's an interesting notion in itself. It's a bit like an extension of the character in Catch 22 who 'cultivated boredom' because it made his life seem longer.

As for the story... It's kinda supernatural/superstitious in a way. It's about someone waiting for the moment when consciousness ceases, only to find that from their perspective, it seems never to come. I admit I've taken a few liberties with it with regards to any kind of realism. It probably needs another draft or two as well.....

"If you had the choice - which one would you prefer?"

The 2nd one, absolutely. As I said, I would want to know as little as possible about my death, but some 'quick deaths' sound horrific too. The pain and sheer terror of a heart attack for instance. Not that you get to chose of course............;)

Your 'down in a hail of bullets' death sounds like fun, though could you trust the cops to hit you in the right places to ensure a quick exit?

iLL Man said...

LYG - I was just thinking of the mess it would have made of someones brand new Lexus.........


SzélsőFa said...

Wow you did take part in my GTM series, Round One. I'm so happy!!
Now parts 2,3,and 4 are up, too!

As for your question: I must make that sure by committing really nasty things. But those I would not be able to do - not with being peace with my inner self, that is.

An alternative solution can be bungee jumping at age 93...Rock climbing near dusk on an avalanche...

FlyingRodent said...

Job I'm doing these days, I leave the house at 6.25 in the morning and in the summer the local ducks think it's a great laugh to go playing in traffic. It got to the point where I was terrified to leave the house in case I scared some form of wildlife under the wheels of a Volvo.

IMHO, you should never charge a panicked animal, because you never know what it'll do. I got within five feet of a fox under Calton Hill and it looked seriously pissed.

Nice brush, though.

iLL Man said...

Szelsofa - I'll have another try, but I'm really bad at these sorts of things, especially now that you're not giving out any clues anymore......... : (

FR - Never seen any suicidal ducks before. The ones I see are safely tucked up in the pond at Kelvingrove, or on the Kelvin.

My last encounter with a fox is detailed here.


I find it better if you snoop after foxes, they prefer it.

iLL Man said...