Friday, February 19, 2016

Fact or Fiction : Small Town Invaded by Massive Flock of Birds?

This video reminds me of a story once told by grandfather and some other adults.  Maybe they were pulling my leg, maybe they were not; perhaps others remember hearing such a thing.

According to legend, before I was born my home town in Ohio was invaded by  a massive flock of  "black birds".  There were so many that when evening came around and the birds began roosting in the trees, nothing and no one was safe from the "fall out".

Sidewalks were covered, paint jobs on automobiles were ruined from the bird poop, people were bombed; anything under a tree was fair game. It was unsanitary and the screeching of so many birds, perhaps millions, was intolerable.  You get the picture.*

The problem was urgent and needed to be dealt with, immediately.  It was decided by the town's people that on a certain day and at a certain time, everyone who had a shot gun was to go outside and commence firing into the trees where these legions of birds came to roost every night. 

As can be imagined, many thousands of birds were killed.  With all the gunfire, the noise must have been frightful.  But the venture was a success; the invasion of the "black birds" was over.  Because "common sense" gun safety rules were practiced, no one was injured and there was little if any, property damage.

Imagine such a problem, today.  How would it be handled?  Can you imagine the bureaucratic nightmare it would take to act against such a thing as an invasion of birds?  Even in small, rural communities, such a remedy as that described would not even be considered.  Committees would have to be formed; discussion groups; environmental impact reports would be required.  Good heavens; the DEEEEEEEP would have to be consulted!

It was a simpler time, then.  People, generally being of sound mind and judgement, usually in excess of those elected to represent them, were willing and able to take matters into their own hands and solve their own problems.  Not so, today.  We've surrendered our personal sovereignty to those who are no better than, if not lesser than, ourselves.

Side bar:  While waiting for the bus in Hartford, I stood leaning against a building at the bus stop reading, "Catcher in the Rye".  From above, came a calling card from a pigeon's tail, extended beyond the edge of the parapet he was standing on.  Had it been aimed, the projectile could not have been more well placed.

I though, "How appropriate".  I closed the book and dropped it in the nearby trash can.  It is rare that I don't finish a book I start, but that was a poetically shitty ending for a shitty book. 

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