There are two types of people in this mad world of ours: those who duck pigeons in the street, and those who don’t.
We’ve all been there.
You’re walking up market street, minding your own business and trying to decide which method you’ll use to avoid the inevitable leaflet givers and charity muggers, when a small splinter group of urban pigeons swoop into view.
Your instinct as a city dweller tells you that at their current rate of progress they will make acquaintance with the bridge of your nose at some point in the next three seconds. Your instinct is to duck. Your intellect tells you that they never fly in to you, that they won’t this time, and to hold your nerve.
It’s bad enough that they strut around your town centre as if they own the place, offering no obvious benefits in return for the crumbs of sandwich which sustain them, never mind engaging us in this ridiculous game of chicken.
And if anything their strut has grown in arrogance over recent years, a development I put down to the quality of sandwich morsels they are dining on.
A decade ago, the diet of the average British pigeon would have contained a great deal of ham, cheese, and white bread. Now they have become partial, as have we, to duck wraps, feta cheese and red pepper focaccia, hummus dips, spinach and ricotta tartlets, and enough pulled pork to offset the financial losses incurred each year by the lingerie department at Marks and Spencer’s.
We have facilitated the rise of the middle-class pigeon, and we need to remember who’s boss.
Human pride is at stake.
Every person who ducks a pigeon diminishes us a little, in bowing to the will of a scavenging bird. We are already jumpy and skittish, fearful of the diseases they might carry and worried that they might go to the toilet on our head.
We need to stand up for ourselves.
We’ve allowed Nigel Farage and his mob to talk a significant portion of the country in to voting for our own demise, and we are struggling to prevent Teresa May and her mates from dismantling our beloved National Health Service in favour of a private alternative.
I can’t help thinking that flinching in the face of onrushing pigeons whilst we quietly wipe their shit from our shoulders is a metaphor we could all learn from.