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Magick Sandwich

Great Gifts for Alcoholics!

Looking for a great gift for the alcoholic in your life? It can be hard to find something new for that special someone who’s tasted everything from Purell to paint thinner. Take things up a notch with Magick Sandwich’s guide to tasty vodkas. They’re the classiest Christmas gifts yet to come with a screw top.

salmon vodkaChances are, you know someone who’s forsaken food in favor of booze. Now, he can have both. We’ve discussed the joys of bacon vodka here, so let us now extol the virtues of Alaska Distillery’s Smoked Salmon vodka. It’s a little taste of the Pacific Northwest with what’s sure to be an even more distinctive flavor on the way back up.

Smirnoff Espresso vodka is eye-opener, hair-of-the-dog and morning joe all rolled into one. Brought to you by the master of liver killing libations, Smirnoff shows mercy by disguising its usual vodka tang. The same could be accomplished with Starbucks’ coffee grounds salvaged from a Dumpster. But that would be harder to wrap.

7-Eleven wineIs your buddy bloated from too much 7- Eleven wine? With its dietetic fruit flavor and implied protection from scurvy, Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka is an excellent choice. It shows you care about his bleeding gums but not enough to let him into your house.

For those with a sweet tooth—though not necessarily an actual tooth—we recommend Cupcake vodka, in flavors like Devil’s Food and Frosting. Pinnacle Cotton Candy vodka, conjuring images of the county fair midway, is a yummy choice, too, unless it reminds him of the time he got turned down for a job as a carny because he was too dirty.

medea vodkaYour best choice of all may be Medea vodka. Though it boasts no interesting flavor, its bottle has a scrolling LED display on which you can program your most heartfelt message, such as, “We really think you should get some help.” No intervention necessary!

We hope this helps with your last-minute holiday shopping. Bottoms up!

More gifts:
Last-Minute Gifts – Wine Warning

Copyright Magick Sandwich

 

pigeons on pilgrim hill

Merde Alors! National Pigeon Day 2011

Gee, has it been a whole year since the New York Bird Club celebrated National Pigeon Day in Central Park? Where does the time go? And why is this holiday, now in its fourth year, still unrecognized by the U.S. government?

June 13, 2011 is the 92nd anniversary of the death of World War I hero Cher Ami. Bird lovers gather to commemorate his bravery and call attention to the plight of pigeons everywhere. That is, except for last year, when it conflicted with the Puerto Rican Day parade. The city showed blatant anti-avianism when granting permits. Thankfully, the date falls on a Monday this year. I’m sure, in any case, that Cher wouldn’t mind.

Ami, a carrier pigeon who valiantly flew on after being shot and suffering a partially severed limb, delivered vital military intelligence to the U.S Army in France in October of 1918. He returned to the U.S. before succumbing to his injuries several months later. He was posthumously awarded the French Croix de Guerre, a medal I’m sure its human recipients were honored to share with a bird. Ami has the singular distinction of also being stuffed and mounted. He forever stands at attention in the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

stuffed pigeon cher ami

I like this pigeon. He acted heroically, unless you require self-awareness to make the decision to go above and beyond the call of duty. Filling a war hero’s body with sawdust must be a high point in the annals of taxidermy but it seems a little callous. This almost overcomes my desire to write about the silliness of creating a holiday to promote pigeon awareness. Almost.

If we accept this precedent, where will it end? Perhaps there should be an official day to make people aware of the dangers of dryer lint catching fire or allowing your kids to eat too much grout. By the way, how much grout is too much? I think just enough to push the marbles and metal shavings through. Thoughts?

Anna Dove, née Augusta Kugelmas, founder of National Pigeon Day, in an interview with the New York Times, likened her efforts on behalf of pigeons to the struggle of Martin Luther King for civil rights. At times, her protests have been less than peaceful. In 2003, she threw birdseed in the face of a Parks Department employee who tried to enforce sanitation restrictions against throwing feed on the ground.

Joanna Tierno, moderator of a pigeon Internet group, compared the birds to Holocaust victims when City Council member James Oddo proposed using a birth control medication called Ovo Control P to reduce the amount of pigeon excrement corroding the infrastructure of the Staten Island Ferry.

Innolytics, the medication’s manufacturer, was a 2010 recipient of The Humane Society of the United States Corporate Progress Award, which recognizes companies that have made demonstrable progress in reducing animal suffering and advancing animal welfare. The ASPCA and PETA also support humane alternatives to lethal bird control. In fact, PETA and the Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PiCAS), a British non-profit organization, actively discourage pigeon feeding.

pigeons up close interview

In Andrew Blechman’s book Pigeons, The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled BirdGuy Merchant, PiCAS founder, states, “A small number of persistent and deliberate feeders are wholly responsible for the pigeon problem throughout the world. They are the pigeon problem. Pigeons overbreed when people overfeed.” Although compulsive feeders see themselves as charitable, Guy thinks them selfish. It’s not enough to simply feed the pigeons, he says. All that does is burden everyone else with cleaning up the resulting mess.

PETA, on its website, has this to say on the subject.

There are people who buy heavy bags of bird seed and walk around New York City, London, and other cities dropping huge piles of it on to public sidewalks and in parks. Naturally, pigeons flock there to eat, and then breed. These people think they are helping, but in reality, they are doing more harm than good….

Have you ever considered asking your local park or city to put up signs discouraging the feeding of pigeons? Have you supported or opposed a local ordinance that would establish mandatory guidelines for feral cat colony management? Can we-who care about and advocate for animals-stop letting irrational impulses dictate our actions toward them?

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Evidence I tried to say it better myself:
June 13 is National Pigeon Day: Ask Your Boss for the Day Off
National Pigeon Day. Again. I’m Not Kidding.
National Pigeon Day 2010: Part One
National Pigeon Day 2010: Part Two

Copyright Magick Sandwich

 

Magick Sandwich

Breaking: Manger Danger!

Pittstown, DE–Is your neighborhood nativity scene safe? Sadly, the answer was no for the Davis family, whose three-year-old daughter, Mensa, was injured last night when a faulty manger toppled onto the youngster.

“We were in the town square watching her throw rocks at squirrels,” her father read from a prepared statement at a press conference this morning. “It’s good for her hand-eye coordination. Then she started to climb up the manger wall. One moment her mother and I were laughing and clapping, the next, tragedy struck. It is unconscionable that the city did not properly anchor the manger to the ground. How could they do that to my little girl?”

Reached by phone, Mensa’s mother stated, “If she doesn’t come out of the coma soon, she’ll lose her spot at Branstone preschool. Her life will be ruined!” She added, “They’re going to pay for this!” before hanging up, overcome with emotion.

Savior Sold Industries, which manufactures the nativity scene, is expected to release a statement later today. This is not the first time the company has had a problem with a defective product. In 2007, it voluntarily recalled its Sweet Jesus Jumbo Tabletop Candy Crèche after a Pekingese choked to death on a piece of myrrh.

In related news, a Wise Man was attacked on December 6th in Baye Village, Ohio. DNA evidence is pending. Local registered sex offenders are being questioned. The manger’s owner, Jerry Smith, has removed the display from his lawn and says it will remain deflated until further notice.

Meanwhile, a church group in Iowa continues its efforts to make peeing on the baby Jesus a felony.Copyright Magick Sandwich

pigeons up close interview

National Pigeon Day 2010: Part Two

New York, NY: It’s a beautiful day on Pilgrim Hill in Central Park, where Anna Dove gathers the faithful to celebrate National Pigeon Day. Miss Dove, who legally changed her name from Kugelmas in honor of her feathered friends, held the inaugural meeting here on June 13th, 2008. This year the city hosted the Puerto Rican Day parade on the 13th, forcing Ms. Dove to reschedule the festivities to today, June 19th, 2010. She remains hopeful that her petition to have the 13th recognized as National Pigeon Day will be ratified by the U.S. government.

One group stands apart from the others and doesn’t seem to be enjoying the day’s program. Wading into their midst, one gets the feeling these pigeons are no fans of this day dedicated to them.

pigeons on pilgrim hill

A cocky male is the first to speak up. “First of all—no disrespect—it’s illegal to feed us here. So is this really the appropriate venue? Isn’t this supposed to be for us? Or is it just for some wacky bird people to get together and feel important? Maybe the cops look the other way today, but what about the rest of the year?”

There’s a decided anxiety among the pigeons. “You know, after that rally to stop the ban on feeding us, I thought we had some momentum,” remarks a disheveled youth, shuffling his feet. “People were taking action. But it all just faded away. I look at these people today with their pigeon cookies and fancy strollers, and I think, what happened, you know? We were counting on you guys.”

A dappled female chimes in. “What kind of world are we bringing our squabs into when we have to pick through garbage just to survive? It’s the 21st century and I can’t even get a handful of clean popcorn. Thank you, Mr. Bloomberg!”

One of the event’s speakers is talking about the loss of habitats for pigeons due to rampant human overdevelopment.

This causes a new round of complaints from the pigeons.

pigeons up close interview

“Don’t you see the disconnect here? This city is our habitat! We love overdevelopment! Build more! More cities, more buildings, more people to feed us! These people are pinheads!”

“Yeah, are they gonna sterilize themselves to stop human overdevelopment? Fine with me, since City Hall wants to put birth control in birdseed. I’m a good Catholic, man. Don’t put your Nazi tactics on me!”

Whoops of agreement.

Misinterpreting the ruckus, a young girl giggles and rains breadcrumbs down on the group, which pecks at them madly. As the crumbs are consumed and the frenzy subsides, one peers up and snarls, “Don’t you judge me! You think I want to take handouts from you people? Did you ever try to make a sack of breadcrumbs with these things?” flapping his wings.

His burly neighbor agrees. “You know what would make me happy? Thumbs.”

He cocks his head to one side and casts an appraising eye on the gathering of urban avians. “But that ain’t gonna happen too soon, right? In the meantime, you know, we do rely on the kindness of strangers. And I say there’s no shame in that.”

In the milling and agitated crowd, one voice rises above the rest: “Hey! Tell her about the bag snatcher!”

This beefy bird, who won’t give his name but reveals that he usually “works the waterfront,” claims to have been at the scene of the crime. “It’s like this,” he says.”Last winter, a few of my buddies and I were visiting a sick cousin up on East 93rd. Miss Dove was out feeding a bunch of us when outta nowhere, this old guy grabs her bag of birdseed and throws it over a fence, on account of he says she’s feeding the rats, too. The cops came and it was this huge deal. We made it into the New York Post!

Dove feeding pigeons NY Post photo

I look very handsome in that picture, which was taken before we hopped the fence and ate that whole bag of birdseed. The rats didn’t get one bit of that, I can tell you.”

Someone is holding a sign depicting a pigeon. The image is of Cher Ami, a pigeon owned by the U.S. Army and used in World War I in France. On his final mission, he delivered a message despite being shot, blinded in one eye and having a leg hanging by a tendon. He was awarded a medal, the Croix de Guerre, but later died of his injuries. June 13th is the anniversary of his death. The speaker calls for National Pigeon Day to be recognized so that pigeons can be properly hailed as heroes.

cher ami pigeon poster

The birds cry foul.

“The French eat pigeons! They’re probably sucking the bones of one of our relatives right now.”

“What did that bird care about a medal? He was a carrier pigeon. They’re extinct! Not even our species, lady! What the hell is wrong with you? You say you love us, but you don’t even know us!”

“Oo la la,” says another. “All this talk of heroes! What choice did he have? What they call bravery, I call slavery.”

Murmurs of agreement. “That was not our war.”

A crusty old bird hobbles up. “Why isn’t she talking about the spikes put up everywhere so I have to sleep with them up my ass? I lost a toe last winter when it froze to a ledge and broke off. Where are my veteran’s benefits?

“We’ve been invisible long enough! You know I don’t want to say anything about those poor birds down in the Gulf, but my brother Bob flew down there on vacation a few years back and he got swallowed whole by a brown pelican! I’m just saying, they’re not so innocent.”

pelican eats pigeon

The old bird, clearly a rabble-rouser, shouts to his brethren, “I see a lot of gums flapping but what are they doing for us, really? Hippie losers giving us a day? Every day is pigeon day!”

“YEAH!”

“Let’s fly down to City Hall and crap these breadcrumbs all over their heads!”

In a symphony of beating wings, they’re gone.

Mayor Bloomberg had better duck.

More pigeon posts:
National Pigeon Day 2010: Part One
June 13 is National Pigeon Day- Ask Your Boss for the Day Off
National Pigeon Day. Again. I’m Not Kidding.

stuffed pigeon cher ami

National Pigeon Day 2010: Part One

It’s early in the morning on Pilgrim Hill in Central Park. In a few hours, this space will be filled with people celebrating the third annual National Pigeon Day and crowding out the guests of honor who are already here: the pigeons.

Anna Dove, president of the New York Bird Club, will lead today’s events. Dove, who changed her name from Augusta Kugelmas as an homage to her dearly departed Lucie-Dove, founded this day to fight institutional discrimination against pigeons. The original date is June 13th, the anniversary of the death of Cher Ami, a carrier pigeon and decorated hero of World War I, which is now stuffed and mounted in the Museum of American History.

stuffed pigeon cher ami

Cher Ami

Unfortunately, this year the city’s Puerto Rican Day parade is also scheduled on June 13. With no city permit, the pigeons’ holiday must be celebrated a week later. Racial bias? Perhaps. Not even an angry bird lover would dare say anything negative about the parade. Dove is hopeful that the government will ratify June 13 as National Pigeon Day. In 2008, its inaugural year, she told The New York Times, “We are trying to do for pigeons what Martin Luther King did for his people.” Right on, sister.

Dove was a victim of prejudice this past winter when an enraged retired schoolteacher snatched a bag of birdseed from her hands and threw it over a fence. He later claimed he’d been concerned about rats eating the food. Dove has filed charges against the man, who she claimed poked and shoved her, telling the New York Post, “The guy was violent, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a weapon next time.” These are dark days, indeed, when a citizen can’t violate the New York sanitation code prohibiting littering.

Dove feeding pigeons NY Post photo

Dove feeding pigeons

As it turns out, Ms. Dove is no stranger to being on the wrong side of Johnny Law. In 2003, she was arrested for assault after she threw birdseed in the face of a Parks Department volunteer who had pointed out that city rules prohibit feeding in public parks. The volunteer, Carol McCabe, told the Post that some of the seed scratched her eye, requiring medical attention. She also stated that she had obtained a restraining order against Ms. Dove, describing her as “a little kooky.”

According to Andrew Blechman, author of Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Creature, Anna (then Augusta) said the volunteer was “a bitch with Mafioso ties” and that she’d thrown the seed at the woman to protect herself. The charges were eventually dropped, and Dove founded a club for the downtrodden pigeon feeders of New York City, which led eventually to the festivities taking place today.

Some of Anna’s flock may come to the park today in the hope that Woody Allen will finally show up. For three years, they have waited for the director to apologize for referring to pigeons as “rats with wings.” Anna urged members of her New York Bird Club to help her to pressure the writer-director into attending. The Village Voice reprinted Dove’s directive to her followers.

 

Please contact the list below and request that Woody Allen make an appearance at National Pigeon Day on Friday, June, 13th (details forthcoming) to make right the horrible disservice he’s responsible for by causing our feral pigeon population which are being persecuted and annihilated because of cavalier remarks like “rats with wings” (Stardust Memories, 1980, written and directed by Woody Allen) …. For nearly 30 years this ‘racial slur” has and is presently being perpetuated by the media who use it to ridicule and degrade pigeons so that they have no respect in our society and, therefore, are treated with contempt and hatred by the general public.

To date, Mr. Allen has been a no-show.

Of course, New York City officials are also a prime target for many activists. When Council Speaker Christine Quinn called pigeons “flying rats,” the Urban Wildlife Coalition’s Johana Clearfield wrote to inform Quinn that “flying rat” is an “epithet…much like the n-word.” That bad? Really?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg played both sides of the fence when he let City Councilman Simcha Felder take the heat for a proposed feeding ban, but later told the press, “We do have a lot of pigeons and they do tend to foul a lot of our areas, and people would be better off not feeding the pigeons.” Even he seemed wary of inciting a bird-loving mob.

Felder claimed the ban was aimed at minimizing pigeon excrement, which damages city infrastructure with its ammonia and uric acid. Each pigeon drops an average of 25 pounds of guano per year. That’s a lot of crap. But the bird boosters weren’t buying his story. They staged a protest at City Hall, carrying signs that said things like, “Have you known anybody killed by a pigeon?”Pigeon rights rallyNo, I’ve never know someone killed by a pigeon. (I also don’t know anyone killed by a feral cockroach. But they’re not cute enough to get their own day.) Demonstrators also argued that pigeons teach children an appreciation for living things. Apparently, the eight million people living here don’t count.

And when City Council member James Oddo suggested birth control, a move approved by PETA and the Humane Society, to clean up the Staten Island Ferry terminal and keep poop from raining down from the ceiling panels, the pigeons groupies came down on him like, well, poop from a ceiling. Joanna Tierno, moderator of a pigeon Internet site, told a reporter:

It’s just a horrible idea just to kill off all these innocent animals, and for what reason? You can’t help but remember the Holocaust. Jews were killed because people didn’t want to look at them anymore.

Wow. Those pigeons are looking more intelligent all the time.

More pigeon posts:
June 13 is National Pigeon Day- Ask Your Boss for the Day Off
National Pigeon Day. Again. I’m Not Kidding.
National Pigeon Day 2010: Part Two

Copyright Magick Sandwich

Magick Sandwich

Armageddon Time

Magick Sandwich is experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by.

I guess it was inevitable that something on my computer would become corrupted. Look who it’s been associating with all these years.

While we are metaphorically stuck between floors listening to The Girl from Ipanema, I suggest you check out the Manhattan Airport Foundation, an organization devoted to converting Central Park into an airport. Complete with architectural designs, proposals for incorporating some of Olmsted’s original works into the concourse and support from environmental groups, it is well-done and a hoot to peruse.

It presents itself in every way as a legitimate site, save for the fact that its offices are located on the 58th floor of a 57-story building. No doubt, many of the more than 85,000 people who signed the site’s petition aren’t in on the joke. You can also hop on the shuttle to its Facebook page and check out the many seemingly earnest supporters of converting Central Park into an airport.

I always thought it would make a great water slide. Six Flags, are you listening?

Magick Sandwich

Where Were You?

Hello, world!

So everyone will know where I am during Michael Jackson’s memorial service, which I’m sure is very important to you all, I am blogging to you from my Blackberry while taking a dump…at Michael Jackson’s memorial service. Well, outside it. They’ve got golden Port-O-Sans out here. It’s pretty plush.

There is so much sadness here. I see it on the faces of parents who must now go back to playing the lottery. Some lobbed their young boys at the passing funeral cortege in a last desperate attempt at pimpdom. I see it also on the faces of the children, who will never know the joy of shaking hands with MJ’s mottled Mr. Happy.

Such a sad day.

Copyright Magick Sandwich