Tag Archives: pigeons

Pigeons, Mike Tyson, and me

There’s an ambiguousness to this blog.  For a whole year I think it had a tongue in cheek tone to it.  And more lately it’s been pretty personal.  More contemplative and serious even.  But something that’s remained constant in its two and a half years is pigeons–and how much I love them.

The About page has described me as “a pursuer of creative outlets with a deep love and curiosity for all things pigeon,” which I think sums me up pretty well.  If I could only tell people two things about myself, I’d feel pretty satisfied if they only knew about my creativity and my feelings for pigeons.

All this is on my mind because I’m in countdown mode for the new Mike Tyson show on Animal Planet that debuts THIS SUNDAY, March 6th–“Taking on Tyson.”

“The first day I fought I must’ve been a ten year old kid.  This is the most frightening day of my life.  The reason for the fight was because the guy ripped the head off my pigeon.  This is the first thing I ever loved in my life.”

I don’t want to get too excited for this show.  I don’t know a whole lot about pigeon racing.  I don’t know a whole lot about Mike Tyson.  But I think this show is going to be an interesting look at a sensitive, provocative man.  Probably a lot of people will tune in because it’s a little strange and funny–but that’s okay.  The things we laugh at have truth in them.  And often the things we make fun of are the things we don’t want to take the time to consider–because they challenge something we’ve always held to be true: fighters are mean, men like Mike Tyson are tough, pigeons are just stupid birds.  I don’t think any of those things are true.  And that’s why I’m excited to watch.

Freaking out. (#$*%*#$*!!!!)

I’m forever indebted to the man behind MonkeyBlogMonkeyDo for sending me the juiciest bit of pigeon news perhaps in the history of pigeon news:

Animal Planet is making a show about Mike Tyson’s quest to become a champion pigeon racer!!

Thank God.  And about time.  I don’t own a TV, but I’m going to find a friend with a DVR and live at their house, watching episodes over and over again, until I slowly disintegrate into their couch.

I remember the day I learned that Mike Tyson loved pigeons.  And one day I will be telling my grandchildren about this day, the one when the MonkeyBlogMonkeyDo guy sent me this link.

My favorite part of that article is that I can now steal one of the commentors ideas of framing this magazine cover in their house:

Bob Barker, my hero!

Hey! Remember my unconditional love for pigeons? Well, it seems that Bob Barker shares that love! It’s a great day for America:

Bob Barker donates $1 million to save PA pigeons

A TV icon is taking a stand for the pigeons of Pennsylvania.

Bob Barker, the former game show host and one of the nation’s most generous animal philanthropists, has donated $1 million to stop pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania and says he will be joining protestors outside a Bensalem gun club where shoots are being held regularly.

Barker said the donation will go to SHARK, an Illinois-based animal activist organization dedicated to putting a stop to these shoots.

The organization plans weekly demonstrations at the Philadelphia Gun Club in Bucks County which two years ago began holding pigeon shoots despite a cease and desist order issued by Bensalem Township. In 2002 the township said the shoots violated local firearms laws and constituted animal cruelty. The club recently filed suit against activists and neighbors for harassment.

Barker also said he will support legislation being considered in both the state House and Senate that would ban the use of live pigeons for targets and make organizing or operating the shoots a crime. Animal rights activists in Pennsylvania have been fighting to win passage of anti-pigeon shoot legislation for two decades.

Pennsylvania is the only state where live pigeon shoots are openly practiced, according to the Humane Society of the United States. The contests – held at gun clubs, most of them in Berks County – involve launching pigeons from spring-loaded boxes where shooters fire on them at close range. Many wounded birds are scooped up – often by children – their necks broken and the carcases disposed of. But other injured birds end up outside of the clubs only to suffer a slow death from their wounds.

“The very characteristics of a live pigeon shoot are such that the event cannot be held without causing extensive animal suffering,” said Barker. “Live bird shoots are held under the guise of ‘sport’ target practice But they offer neither sport nor hunting.”

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that about 22,000 live birds are used as targets every year in Pennsylvania.

I had NO idea.

Thanks to a terrible contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” tonight, I have learned that Mike Tyson is a pigeon-lover. Of all the things to take the time to talk about, one of the talking points of Regis’ introduction with her, this woman Michelle Ribeiro, was all about…how she did not like pigeons.

I gasped in horror when Regis said it. I clutched my face with my hands. This woman. This woman had tricked me. She won the “fastest-finger” game, she sat in the “hot seat”, and I began to root for her. Then it came time for a commercial break. And when the commercial break ended, that’s when it all came out. She blamed her deep fear and hatred for the creatures on watching The Birds one too many times as a kid. Which is, to borrow a phrase, bollocks.

She laughed and smiled this big smile and made everyone feel bad for her because she got fired from her job as a “CosmoGirl” editor and didn’t get to have an in-person interview her childhood crush, Tommy Lee, when the whole time–she’d been a pigeon hater.

I feel bad. I let the “CosmoGirl” thing slide. Which was wrong of me. I should’ve shunned her right then and there, before the $100 question, before the commercial break. Because let me say, on the record, that “CosmoGirl” is no publication I would ever want any daughter of mine to read.

Pigeons are smart, beautiful creatures. “CosmoGirl” turns smart, beautiful creatures into insecure, superficial, celeb-obsessed, materialistic, unsatisfied teenage twats. Case in point, on the front page of their website you can access a quiz that asks, “Always single? Find out why you don’t have a boyfriend!” Then you can click over to the Beauty section and read an article that starts with the oh-so-innocent line, “Everyone knows that Aveda is a super awesome company…” Yeah, they really have it in bold. Oh, it makes me so sad.

But the one good thing that came out of Michelle Ribeiro badmouthing pigeons on national television tonight was that a friend of mine brought Mike Tyson’s deep love for pigeons to my attention. It makes me so happy to discover that I have more in common with Mike Tyson than I do with a “CosmoGirl”:

Adventures with radical bird folk

June 13th was the day of a significant occasion, yet one that I was unaware of until the last minute.  I came dangerously close to missing it, which would have been a tragedy because the occasion was…  National Pigeon Day. 

And no, it’s not just an arbitrary day for pigeon lovers to come together and make noise about feeding regulations and building spikes that prevent nesting (though there was that).  June 13th commemorates the death of Cher Ami, a homing pigeon that saved 200 lives while serving with the 77th Division of the U.S. Army in France during World War I.

Pigeons are fierce, man.  So fierce that there are falcon nests installed atop the Tappan Zee Bridge to scare away the winged things and the rust and ruin inducing droppings they bring.  Come on.  That’s something.  Can your poop bring down a feet of engineering?

Anyway.  It really was a cool thing and I’ve been meaning to mention it and I’ve especially been meaning to share a couple photos I took at the Central Park event.  It was like I had been a lonely religious zealot for years and suddenly I had found a group as fanatic as I.  Or maybe much more fanatic…

Life of the party.

The life of the party (and the subject of my dreams, now and forever).

UNTIL the hen showed up.

UNTIL the hen showed up.

Whats more bizarre--a hen on a leash or a child?

Requiring and reveling in all the attention.

From humans and canines alike.  The dick.

From humans and canines alike. That whore.

As much as I felt a kinship to the people at the event, part of me didn’t know if my breed of pigeon loving was the same as theirs.  It’s like, I’m perfectly content admiring and contemplating them from a park bench, but I’m not sure that’s enough if I truly want to be accepted into the National Pigeon Day group. 

My love is more passive, I guess.  I like carrying a tote bag with a pink pigeon screened on its sideI like reading books about them. And of course singing along to lyrics that mention them (Ben Folds’ “Annie Waits”: Annie sees her dreams / Friday bingo, pigeons in the park; Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”: There’s pigeons down in market square / she’s standing in her underwear).

So, in conclusion, pigeons make me happy, I love them, but I’ve yet to wave an angry poster as their advocate at City Hall or boycott a supermarket that tries to keep them from calling the “O” or “A” in their neon sign home.  We’ll see.

By the way–there’s totally a link to my pictures here, on the organization/holiday’s blog, which brings me way more joy than is normal or healthy (qualities no one should strive for, anyway).

An April Fool’s Apology of Sorts

Today is an odd occasion.  So much so that something unprecedented happened: I woke up and thought, “Hmm…maybe I’ll write something in that blog I seem to remember having.” 

I could blame the lack of updating on laziness, the nearness of Spring, or on the people who neglect to take the lint off of the dryer lint trap.  Instead, I will blame it on an impromptu list of people/places/things beginning with the letter D that all may or may not relate to the current economic crisis.

1. Daylight Savings Time–A couple weekends ago you stole an hour from me.  I don’t care if you plan to give it back. 

2. Dinners, Potluck–I love buffet-style eating.  I love when friends, families, church congregations, and communities come together to dine off of paper plates.

Still, it's partly this bastard's fault.

3. Danny Bonaduce

Stop giving redheads a bad name.

Stop giving redheads a bad name.

4. Dexia–The Belgian-French financial institution that I saw in the Wikipedia article on “economic crisis.”  Its own Wikipedia article says, “In February 2009 the bank announced net losses of 3.3 billion euros (approximately 4.2 billion US dollars) for 2008.”  How could it not be Dexia’s fault?

5. Dunkin Donuts–Their new commercial presents eating donuts as a solution for your children’s mindless television watching, which they imply puts a wedge in your family.  Also, their whole “You ‘kin do it” slogan is not funny.  And, they’re offering six donuts for $3 for a limited time–small price to pay to avoid the possibility of having a body like Danny Bonaduce’s, but still–I will never forgive them for using Rachael Ray in their campaign that one time.

6. Mourning Doves–They wish they were as blameless as pigeons.

7.  “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

and last and most heinous of all:

8. All passengers on the D Train:

Hello, February–Don’t You Love Hangovers?

Isn't it terrifying?

Oh, hey!  It’s the last day of January!!  I’m not usually awake at this hour, but my roommate got a job and to celebrate we did what all employed people do–drank, danced, debauchered.  I scored a business card from a man named Angelo who is likely not the father of my future 14 children.  Woke up to eat a waffle, determine the level of my dehydration, and add Angelo on Facebook. 

You know what else happened last night? I was pooped on by a pigeon. For the first time ever! It really wasn’t surprising because I was walking underneath the above ground subway which is where loads of them sleep at night. There’s literally a carpet of pigeon droppings on the sidewalk beneath it. It happened to this middle aged guy who me and the roommate were hanging out with last weekend, but I didn’t know him very well so I didn’t tell him. Some landed on his face and dried there. I felt a little like a jerk for not informing him, but I was also jealous so it’s okay.

Here are some search terms used to find my blog that make up for the untimely death of Mr. Coffee:

Celine Dion t-shirts

My favorite Celine song is “Taking Chances.” I also enjoy that one that starts off “The whispers in the morning. Of lovers sleeping tight. Are rolling like thunder now.” She speaks my language, you know?

milf pixar

Bespectacled Aardvarks...every girls weakness.

Aardvarks are every girl's weakness.

I’m sexually attracted to lots of animated characters.  Bob the Builder. Patti Mayonnaise. Diego.  I just don’t remember many Pixar MILFs…I guess the kid’s mom from Toy Story was hot?


Keanu Reeves alcoholic

People are so mean to Keanu. 😦

back scratching chihuahua

That’s stupid.

dick embarresing

I don’t know how to spell, either.  Men who are illiterate are right up there with aardvarks.

פיונה אפל

A Google Images search concludes that that’s how you write “Fiona Apple” in…a language I’m not familiar with.

Tommy Lee Jones, Tommy Lee Jone, and Tomy Lee Jones are pretty popular, too.  Thank goodness my mom likes him.