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Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Leicester Pigeon Wars, Part 1

Anyone following my twitter & blog has noticed the occasional pigeon rant. There seems to be an ongoing conspiracy amongst UK pigeons to make my life hell. Some of it's old news; I had a few bad moments in the flat I lived in a number of years ago when something with feathers (I refuse to dignify it with the word bird) kept dive-bombing the toilet window. While I was *ahem* using the facilities. Repeatedly. It got to the stage that I'd dive into the room, latch the window closed, and leave again for a few minutes so the homicidal little buggers could headbutt the glass. None of them were ever killed or hurt by doing this, and they never did it when my flat-mate was in that room. They saved it all for me.

Things escalated into outright war - unprovoked, with me as the injured party - when I started travelling to Leicester on business.

A couple of years ago I made my first trip to Leicester, which involved leaving London at some horribly early hour. I lurched off the train needing the bathroom, a coffee, and a cigarette, so probably wasn't at my sharpest mental state for what followed.

I stopped outside the station to try and figure out where I was supposed to be going. Having the sense of direction of a traumatized gold-fish at the best of times is not really good thing when you travel a lot for work, by the way. There was a young guy standing a few feet away from my, yakking away on his mobile phone.

As I blearily tried to work out where the hell I was, a pigeon staggered up to me. (Yes, I mean staggered.The only thing I've seen with more stagger is a Camden drunk on a Friday night.) Then it made the strangest noise I've heard from any animal - feathered or otherwise - and then it projectile vomited onto my trouser leg.
Then it staggered away from me, flapped it's wings a few time, and shuddered into the air.
The guy of the mobile was laughing so hard I thought he was going to choke.

So let's recap:
First visit to Leicester? Check.
In desperate need of bathroom, caffeine & nicotine? Check.
Absolutely lost? Check.
The above is all pretty much par for the course when I travel. Puking pigeons? Not so much. Puking pigeons that projectile vomit bright orange alien-looking goo onto your fairly expensive and new business suit? Nope, that's a pretty special it-can-only-happen-to-me moment.

I had no idea this was only the opening round.

J H Sked is the author of WolfSongBasement Blues and Die Laughing, all of which are on Amazon and enrolled in the Kindle lending programme.