October 22, 2008

A Most Unlikely Champion

The other day, I was at brunch (true story) when a friend of mine (we'll call him Angus) decided he would share a piece of his bacon with a passing pigeon. Angus' girlfriend protested immediately that pigeons do not eat bacon.

It turned out she was right.

Pigeons don't eat bacon. They throw it.

It was undoubtedly the greatest feat of athleticism I'd ever seen from a pigeon, and keep in mind that I've seen pigeons fly. This plucky little bird time and again took the small slab of bacon in his beak, jerked it back and forth (as though attempting to rip off a chewable piece), and at the end of that motion, each time, he sent the bacon flying into the air.

The first few times, he threw it about 10 to 12 inches. Then, on what was probably his fifth throw, he unleashed. The bacon went flying a good three feet in the air, nearly sailing all the way over a nearby parked car.

Then it struck me: This pigeon belonged in the Pigeon Olympics. As a Bacon Tosser.

He probably never imagined that his future was to be decided so abruptly when he sidled up to our table hoping to catch a fallen bread scrap, but such is life as a smelly, persistent little flying rat on the streets of the wild jungle we call America.


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