Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thou shalt not feed the winged rats

One of the most lasting memories I have from my high school AP literature class is our reading of the infamous Dante's Inferno. Not so much because I loved the book, but because I clearly recall the assignment that followed: Create your own Circle of Hell, complete with insufferable sinners and appropriately torturous punishments. Which is just now striking me as a very gruesome assignment...

My circle of hell was for that terrible blight on an otherwise sane and civilized humanity: the seagull feeder.

Some pampered seagull with horrible entitlement issues once stole a French fry from the box I was carrying in my arms. I knew who really deserved the blame.

In the circle 10 the punished were transformed into giant hot dogs and other beach food which were eternally floating in a sea of Coca Cola while human-sized seagulls dressed as lifeguards (? I don't know) blew really shrill whistles and swooped down to peck away at their edible bodies.

I thought of that today when I saw a woman in over-sized clothing sitting on the sidewalk feeding the pigeons on the street (from her hands: gross, gross gross). I was torn between breaking into a heart-wrenching Mary Poppins ballad or picturing her as a soggy hamburger.

What do they teach in high schools these days?


  1. Well, they tell us Hamlet's Ophelia is pregnant...

  2. Pigeons aren't so bad, are they? Do they steal stuff out of your hands?

  3. Jenna: I have heard this :)

    Marie: You're right, pigeons are not so bad! I just always think of that assignment when I see someone feeding birds.

  4. Haha great post. I have to admit that I am someone who needs to be punished because I ALWAYS feed the birds.

    Recently I was in Florida and my husband and I were sitting on a sidewalk and there were birds flying everywhere and I kept feeding them and eventually one of the birds was literally standing between my legs pecking at my hands for food. Sorry:(

  5. It's been too long since I stopped by your blog, I'm glad I did today. This made me smile. Almost the first ever blog post I ever wrote included a mention of Trafalgar Square in London, where there used to always be thousands of pigeons and people would buy tubs of food to feed them - they'd land on your shoulders and eat from your hands - absolutely horrific.

  6. Sharon: That does sound like the plague waiting to happen! Thanks for stopping by :)