Posts

Magick Sandwich

Henry David Thoreau, Beloved Bullsh*t Artist

national simplicity dayToday is the 200th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau’s birth on July 12, 1817. The fondness and nostalgia his name evokes are undeniable. National Simplicity Day was created many years ago to commemorate his birthday each year.

But romantic notions of Thoreau’s retreat into nature don’t stand up to scrutiny. While his conclusions may be valid, his description of the circumstances which led to them is demonstrably false.

The James Frey of his time, Thoreau passed off fiction as memoir. Unlike Frey, he was never called to account by the 17th-century equivalent of Oprah.

Henry David Thoreau, author, ersatz ascetic, armchair philosopher and navel-gazing misanthrope, was a consummate bullshit artist.  Here’s what led us to this unpopular opinion.

Thoreau famously went to live in a cabin in the woods, the better to ponder life without the inconvenience of other people and the irritations of everyday, well, life.

In Walden: or, A Life in the Woods, he wrote, “I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beechtree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.”

Thoreau certainly could turn a phrase; many of them clog the arteries of inspirational sites and satisfy the sweet tooth of quote-mongers who reverently offer them up on posters, mousepads and coffee mugs.

He neglected to mention that the area was bustling with people year-round. A commuter train passed nearby. He hosted parties. He lived a twenty-minute walk from his parent’s house and made the trip several times a week to enjoy his mother’s cooking.

The man who advised his readers to eat only one meal a day to avoid indulging base appetites was visited by his mother and sisters at least once a week to bring him food, tidy up the cabin and clean his laundry.

Exhortations to simplify one’s life can be helpful, but they often mask disdain and smug superiority. Thoreau reminds us of the intrepid explorer in a documentary, ostensibly forging a path trodden moments before by the cameraman walking backward in front of him.

Have a happy National Simplicity Day but if you can’t keep it simple, don’t worry: you’re in good company.

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

World Play-Doh Day

Happy World Play-Doh Day

Magick Sandwich Play-Doh DaySeptember 16 is World Play-Doh Day. After writing about it on Worldwide Weird Holidays, I found that some of the prose was a bit inappropriate for that site—in other words, perfect for Magick Sandwich. Call it WWWH After Dark, if you will. (I’m pretty sure you won’t.)

Fun Facts about Play-Doh: The compound was created in 1933 to clean coal soot off wallpaper. The inventor ripped off the formula homemakers and servants had used for decades.

By 1956, homes didn’t use coal anymore. No soot, no need for the cleaner. The company was tanking when the sister-in-law of an employee suggested repurposing it as a toy and came up with the name. Of course, she received no credit or payment.

The employee convinced Bob Keeshan, a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo, to feature it on his show once a week in exchange for a percentage of the sales. Similar to payola schemes run by radio disc jockeys, this was truly a case of “pay to play” or “pay to play-doh,” if you’re feeling punny.

Bonus Fun Fact: A tell-all book by longtime stage manager Daniel B. Morgan alleges that Keeshan liked to expose himself before the show, sticking a pencil under his little captain and waving it at Hugh “Lumpy” Brannum, who played Mr. Green Jeans. Per Morgan:

“Then the Captain would come through the door, greet everyone, and hang the keys on the key hook. On with the show! So now, at the end of the program (which probably included credits), Bob was backstage reading the final voice-over…(and) during Bob’s final read, Lumpy pulled out his penis and began to pee on Bob’s leg.”

Captain Kangaroo liked to pull out his dick before greeting his fan base of millions of small children. Doesn’t everybody? (I need to Purell my childhood memories. Can someone find out if that’s possible?)

*****

Do you long for the simple charms of shaping and smushing, but can’t figure out how to integrate Play-Doh into your daily work routine without attracting undue attention? How awkward would a trip to Human Resources be? Even the most exhaustive employee handbook has no listing for “Play-Doh, abuse of.” There are no talking points, no rehab to recommend.

On second thought, there could be a highly-specialized treatment center somewhere in, say, Malibu. Right now, someone is getting equine therapy to break the cycle of Play-Doh addiction. In case you’re unfamiliar with the modality, the Equine Psychotherapy website explains: “It is the discipline of using horses as a means to provide metaphoric experiences in order to promote emotional growth.” It sounds a lot like getting a horse to babysit so the human can go grab a cocktail. (Horse-sit: say it three times fast.)

Now you can avoid the humiliation of being narced on by coworkers—and the deceptively pleasant-sounding shame spiral which follows—while enjoying the essence of Play-Doh every moment of every day with no risk of sanctions. Demeter Fragrance Library, the maker of such classic scents as Lobster and Funeral Home, offers PlayDoh cologne.

Don’t be surprised if the scent inspires an admirer to pull on your pigtails. (Apparently, little boys used to do that to little girls they liked, but we can’t find anyone who’s seen or done it.) Guys, it’s unisex, so if you spritz it on, don’t be surprised if someone pulls on your man-bun.

On the subject of male grooming, why is practiced, casual vanity so often inversely proportional to a man’s personal hygiene habits? I’m thinking of a 1980s TV star who claims to have no interest in fashion but festoons himself every day with at least ten necklaces and as many rings as his fingers can hold. (We have no problem with male adornment, just hypocrisy.) Coincidentally, he looks like he hasn’t taken a shower since the 1980s. Surely there’s a circus nearby where the elephants can wait a moment so he can be hosed down.

Back to the hairdo: A man-bun says, “I write poetry, I love to cuddle, I’m sensitive and attentive and I smell like a week-old, bloated goat carcass.” Happy World Play-Doh Day, everybody!

Copyright Magick Sandwich

Awkward Moments Day

Happy Awkward Moments Day

Awkward Moments Day

is for Awkward

This post originally appeared on our sister site, Worldwide Weird Holidays. It seems like a good fit for Magick Sandwich readers, too. We hope you’ll enjoy it! (Feel free to share your own awkward moments in the Comments Section!)

adjective US /ˈɔk·wərd/ 1. difficult to use, do, or deal with: The computer came in a big box that was awkward to carry. 2. causing inconvenience, anxiety, or embarrassment: It was an awkward situation, because the restaurant was too expensive for us but we didn’t want to just get up and walk out. 3. Someone who feels awkward feels embarrassed or nervous: We were the first to arrive at the party and felt a little awkward. 4. lacking grace or skill when moving: He’s too awkward – he’ll never be a good dancer. (Definition from Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary)

hear pronunciation Warning: If you decide to listen to this audio clip at the office, be warned that it is automatically followed by the pronunciation of the word “pedophile.” That will not be easy to explain to Human Resources.

In honor of Awkward Moments Day, we’d like to offer a few examples of instances when you would gladly teleport onto the face of the sun to get away from the situation in which you find yourself.

You meet your boyfriend’s parents and, in the middle of dinner, realize you have a need to defecate that will not be denied. You excuse yourself to use their bathroom. When you finish, the toilet won’t flush. Panic-stricken, you flush again. The toilet overflows.

You keep telling your parents about a favorite show you’re sure they’ll love. When they visit, you queue it up on Netflix. Unfortunately, you forgot about the nudity and “sexposition”–when boring plot points are discussed while two or more people enjoy each other’s earthly wares. You might call it Game of Thrones Syndrome when you’re ready to laugh about it a decade from now. But most likely, never.

You’re on your way out when a neighbor gets on the elevator with you. You say hi and then stare at the door as if it’s so interesting it should be hanging in an art gallery. You purposely lag behind when getting off on the first floor, but she holds the front door open so you have to break into a half-jog to catch up. You say “thanks,” she says, “you’re welcome,” and turns away. You realize you’re going in the same direction.

After everyone else leaves and the boss is gone, you blast rap music through the office’s stereo system. The doorbell rings and you buzz the person in, figuring it’s a late delivery. But it’s a prospective client who’s stopped by to pick up information just as a song kicks in with, “Hey, m*f*, hey, m*f*, yo!” You scramble to turn it off, then pretend nothing happened, desperate that he do the same. After a minute that feels like an hour, he turns around and leaves.

Your debit card is rejected after the cashier has rung up a huge load of groceries. You start to sweat as you ask her to try again, stammering about how it must be a mistake, that you checked your balance just hours before. You try to ignore her facial expression as she puts your bags aside so you can run to the store’s ATM. Once there, you realize it’s not a mistake, and you can either go back, remove items and split payment between cash and the card…or run away and never shop there again.

You’re wheeling a cart stuffed with dirty clothes to the laundromat. As you cross the street, you see a cute guy walking toward you. You think he might be looking at you; you’re not interested but, still, it’s nice to be noticed. The cart abruptly halts as the wheels catch on the edge of the curb, and you walk into it, bashing your shins and falling over it as it tips over, spilling your underwear out onto the ground as the guy passes by. He never breaks stride.

Have a happy Awkward Moments Day!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

Global Handwashing Day bacteria graphic

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

The following piece was originally published on Worldwide Weird Holidays. It seemed like a good fit for the Sandwich as well. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
—–

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

Global Handwashing Day logo graphic

We know, we know: eww! When it comes to that ill-advised hot dog wolfed at a highway rest stop, we are all Mulder: we want to believe. That counter’s clean, the food freshly prepared by people who treat every day as handwashing day. So this must be one of those silly made-up holidays. Right? Why are we still talking about this?

Global Handwashing Day was founded in 2008 by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing to raise awareness of how proper hygiene can prevent disease transmitted by hand.  Here’s a tweet promoting the holiday and graphic embedded in it.

Why #GlobalHandwashingDay? B/C 1 trillion germs can live in 1 gram of poop (abt weight of a paper clip)! http://bit.ly/1JUaOrDGlobal Handwashing Day bacteria graphic

Wait a second. The numbers don’t match in the tweet and its graphic. Although I think we can all agree that either number is unsettling, we feel it’s our duty to get to the bottom of this. Who knew that researching this would end up in such a dark place?

Okay, now that we’ve got our juvenile punning (mostly) out of the way, let’s learn a little bit about the strangers in our poop. According to a study cited by the Centers for Disease Control, a gram of feces can contain a total of 1 trillion germs. So the tweet is right. Reporting of the number of viruses and bacteria, however, varies wildly. You might want to take our word for it. The Google search alone will make you want to douse yourself in hand sanitizer (which, by the way, isn’t as effective as you might think.)

Now that you’ve got a face full of feces facts, here’s a dollop more. A German site called my.microbes aims to be the first social network to connect members with similar microbial profiles to “share experiences, remedies, health and diet tips.” Watch out, Match.com!

If you’ve got your mind on your manure and your manure on your mind, track your output with the PoopLog app. According to the developer, he updated it to include the ability to attach photos because “it is the most requested feature from my users.” PoopLog allows you to track your bowel movements using the Bristol Stool Scale.

The Bristol Scale was devised in England and is very, well, descriptive. Click here to view it but maybe not when you’re eating sausage. We’re not showing it here because we don’t want to support poop porn. We will show you this enthusiastic review of PoopLog, though:

Pooplog Review graphic

Leland, we wish you the best in your turd analysis. Perhaps Places I’ve Pooped would be a valuable app for you, too. Just a quick word of advice: turn off the flash when you take a shelfie™* in a public place, which we fervently hope is a restroom. The uninformed might frown on you taking a photo of what came from your posterior for posterity.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go wash our hands. We may never stop.

*sh– + selfie: don’t make us spell this out

Copyright Notice

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

National Pigeon Day. Again. I’m Not Kidding.

The first National Pigeon Day on June 13, 2008, was patently absurd. I figured it was some kind of avian fluke. But it’s back this year and bigger than ever, taking place again in Central Park in New York City and launching a book heralding this foul fowl.

Woody Allen called pigeons “rats with wings.” I find that comparison funny but unfair. Rats are intelligent animals, used in experiments to help improve the human condition. But will there ever be a National Rat Day? No. Why? Because it’s a stupid idea.

Like pigeons, rats are fastidiously clean. It’s the squalor of their habitat that forces them to be loathsome, disease-ridden vermin. We should honor our unspoken social contract by allowing them to continue scavenging our rubbish.

In return, they enable us to go on being filthy swine who leave our trash in the streets. Hail them as heroes if you’re delusional enough, but for God’s sake, don’t feed them. They eat our garbage; that’s their job.

I wrote about this “holiday” last year, never thinking it would be repeated. But here it is again, so I’d like to take this opportunity to bring you my original post.

June 13 is National Pigeon Day- Ask Your Boss for the Day Off

June 13 is National Pigeon Day in Central Park. I found this announcement in New York magazine:

“We’re trying to promote a positive image,” says New York Bird Club founder Anna Dove…. “There’s such negativity for no reason. They’re harmless, defenseless. They can’t attack; their beak is very soft.”

It’s great that these disease-carrying merde machines that crowd out other bird species are having their day in the sun. I would like to submit a few more unsung heroes that I believe deserve to be honored.

The Asian longhorned beetle immigrated from China in cargo containers and feeds on maples and elms in New York City, helping us control the rampant tree population, since the only remedy is to chop them down.

Then there’s the Chinese emerald ash borer that’s helped to rid us of over 6 million ash trees in the Midwest. To paraphrase Springsteen (or Edwin Starr, if you’re a purist), “Trees-what are they good for?”

Possibly the most overachieving of these heroes is a plant. Kudzu came here from Japan in 1876 as a decorative plant.It grows an amazing 1 foot per day, smothering native plants and killing trees with its vines. Like something out of the X-Files, it has taken over many southern states and is on its way north. Then we can have National Kudzu Day when it’s overgrown everything else in Central Park. Hey, at least it won’t hurt our precious pigeons.

Kids will learn cool pigeon facts…as they nibble on pigeon-shape cookies, view pigeon-inspired children’s art, and take part in a candlelight prayer service.(Dove worries there might not even be urban pigeons in five years.)

Hey, here’s a cool pigeon fact. They eat meat. I remember one munching on my KFC like some happy cannibal reenactment on the Discovery Channel.

Meanwhile, she urges all New York families to “carry a bit of bread crumbs in your bag, a few seeds to show kindness and respect. The pigeon isn’t a threat or an enemy. It goes along with quality of life to show kindness and compassion to all living things.” That’s a lovely lesson for the children.

Yes, littering- what a great lesson. Here’s another one. Have your kids wait until after dark to see who feasts on the castoff pigeon cookie crumbs and detritus you’ve left in your thoughtless wake. That’s right, folks: our friend the Norway rat. He lives on unintentional handouts, like those yummy crumbs dropped from the pudgy little fingers of adorable children who want to feed the pretty birdies.

But let us not forget what is perhaps the greatest lesson of all. Make sure your kids toss those crumbs right next to the feet of a homeless man. This is a great way to teach your children about irony. He might’ve enjoyed that pastry you crumbled up before you came to the park. He’d definitely drop some crumbs around him to feed the pigeons. You know, those homeless have no manners.

And the Circle of Life continues.

*****Since I had no comments on the blog, I’d like to share the reaction of a reader on nymag.com after I printed a portion of my post in its Comments section.*****

Your bitterness towards the pigeon CATHCOM, is misplaced. It should be directed to the people who do terrible things to pigeons because they are helpless and vulnerable.

I won’t ask how a pigeon managed to get a bit of your KFC, but why don’t you take a peek at the PETA website to see what those chickens have to go through to provide you with that sandwich. Animal cruelty is an extreme euphemism. As for cannibalism, suppose if you were facing a life of having to eat garbage and street scraps, you might not be very particular yourself.

If the rats bother you, consider what a feast day they would have if there were no scavangers like the pigeon to remove most of it. You think that if people stopped feeding pigeons the rats would go away?

If you see some irony in the homeless not being fed, ask yourself why society lays the blame for their homelessness on them. Like its their fault they don’t have high paying jobs or that they struggle with mental illness without care and treatment. To people like you however it all reduces itself to the problem of throwing a few bread crumbs to a pigeon. If you want irony we could teach our children how little we value the lives of other Americans, and showing kindness to a few pigeons is a great place to start. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be determined by how its animals are treated”- Gandhi.

By Grimaldy on 06/13/2008 at 3:52 pm

My reply:

Thank you for your comment, Grimaldy. I’m sorry to hear that you are bitter toward people who do terrible things to pigeons. Those kind of resentments can wear you down, especially if you haven’t eaten enough protein recently.

I always specify that my sandwiches be made from chickens that have really suffered terribly. It makes them so much sweeter. And it balances out my diet of hobos quite nicely. The one thing I really can’t stomach is a vegetarian — too stringy.

By the way, I’ll wager you’re no more like Gandhi than I am. He didn’t have to pretentiously quote himself, after all.

By kathcom on 06/13/2008 at 5:23 pm

*****

Even with this only in its second year and a black man in the White House, I’ll bet it’s easier to get this day off than Martin Luther King Day. Good luck, everybody! Let me know how it goes.

Copyright Magick Sandwich