March 1, 2024 | Rome, Italy

Product comes balled

By |2018-03-21T19:49:29+01:00April 17th, 2016|Area 51|
One day, in my half-blind glory, I decided to act.

am half-blind but I also have pigeons. And seagulls. Not as pets but as regular visitors to my balcony and terrace and their many overhanging gutters and eaves. To pigeons and gulls, eaves are luxury hotels with lounges and bars and plenty of cushy nooks.

How, you ask, since I’m half-blind, do I even know this? Pigeons coo, and revel in bombing the planet with their own waste, a kind of existential comment on the state of human things. Gulls screech, howl, and caw, generally behaving like fat white prima donnas on a global tour. They too bomb the planet with waste, finding the ocean far too banal. Why, say the gulls, waste waste on the ocean, let alone the sea — in my case the nearby Mediterranean — when the invitingly grand urban spittoon is always available? So it is the gulls fly around by day and in the evening make make their noisy way to my rooftops for drinks and dinner (though they won’t be caught dead with the pigeons, who by nightfall have moved on to clubs and sex alcoves). Before dinner, the gulls, like the pigeons, carpet-bomb the underneath with their white detritus.

One day, in my half-blind glory, I decided to act. Call it half-blind man’s valor, but half of anything makes most axioms break down.

I looked for and found a website specialized in pest control products. Now then, I read and speak Italian, but I don’t speak the arcane language of rodent and bird assassination, which is something you apparently acquire either over time or in politics. Thankfully, this delightfully efficient assassination site provided English translations explaing the havoc its many products would surely wreak on all sorts of creatures, most of these explanations compiled from the comments of customers, though not all of them entirely satisfied.

I am not yet a customer, let alone satisfied one (what half-blind man is?) but am now more light-hearted about my would-be villainy.

Why? Thank the Shakespearean eloquence of excited consumers.

Riccardo, from Pavia, had this to say about a pigeon poison:

“Conforms but not efficacious. Product comes balled in a summary way. Wet repellants in cubes can make you happy first but not always. These cubes completely slipper the pigeon. But three weeks of atmosphere is not enough for flying. The volatiles sit beside the repellant cubes and still tabulate.”

To which I say, Poor Riccardo.

While my pigeons and gulls do many things, often in the dark, never do they tabulate, let alone slipper or get suckered by the summary.

Then came Sabrina’s more tentative remark.

“Works in the maybe roof! I don’t hear my eaves anymore minus the combination of flying. Maybe it worked to be disappeared and also the birds, but I am not sure about this.”

Sabrina is right not to be sure. When eaves stop sounding off — did they disappear? — most combinations total a minus. At this point she might as well be half-blind.

Elia got the last (apparently deeply distressed) word:

“Initial pigeon tape is three days long. Goodbye uselessness! My garden has fallen from the roof of birds and I recommend no worthless money. Don’t effect this installation but go elsewhere to find liquid pigeons where the problem roosts. I have nothing highly to recommend to these creatures except this product of invitation.”

If it’s havoc you seek, whether among birds or humans, a few falling gardens will always do the trick. After which come liquid pigeons and all manner of invitations. Eloquence does the rest. Goodbye uselessness!

About the Author:

Christopher P. Winner is a veteran American journalist and essayist who was born in Paris in 1953 and has lived in Europe for more than 30 years.