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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Great Pigeon Coffee Enema Moment - London Pigeon War update

I was at Euston station bright and early (7:30 a.m) for a trip up to Liverpool today. Usually, the Pigeon Wars are fought in cities large and small across the UK. They involve pigeons either defecating, regurgitating or dive bombing me, while I shake my fist and fantasise about growing my own pair of wings some fine day. Payback, honey. With bells. (Although with my luck, I'd end up flying into the side of a building.)

And then things like this morning happen. I'm going to call this one a draw.

I reached Euston with about a half hour to spare before the train left, so I went outside to the little coffee area. If you don't know it, it's set up with a row of assorted booths (pies, donuts, sausages, sushi) opposite a chain coffee shop and a diner. In the middle are poured cement benches and bolted-down tables, since in this part of London NOT bolting down tables would result in a sudden and abrupt lack of them. Everywhere sells coffee, from the little pie place to the donut counter. Since I love my coffee, this makes me happy.

It was pretty quiet; the main rush at Euston starts around 8 a.m. I love these little moments of quiet in the middle of London; I get to sit down with my steaming cup of liquid bliss and people watch.  This morning there was one drunk draped over a bench in the far corner, snoring happily, one large lady with an impressive set of dreadlocks and a bright pink and orange tracksuit, and two middle-aged businessmen, all scattered around the tables and watching the world rev up it's engines.

And then I heard that give-away flutter behind me. I ducked as first one, then two, then three pigeons swooped past my ear, brushing over my shoulder and the table-top before bouncing triumphantly on their toes as they landed. We eyed each other. I checked my coat for calling cards.

The pigeons took flight again, and I ducked my head, hoping this wasn't a strafing run.

I'd been in the process of adding sugar to my coffee, so the lid was off. (It was 7:30. I needed sweetening up, trust me on this.)

The first pigeon blew past my cheek again, closely followed by the second. The third had what I can only call the ultimate birdy moment of oops, and landed with its feathered butt in my coffee.

I drink my coffee black, and it hadn't had time to cool off yet.

You know when you see footage of an animal's face, and you know just what they were thinking?

Pigeon : That's... that's not right. Something went wron-HothothothotOHGAWDMYNADS!!!!!!!

Me: *Speechless*

Pigeon : OHGAWDOHGAWD Get this THING OFF ME! I'm being ATTAAAAACKED!!!

Me: There's a certain justice to this...

At which point the pigeon ascended majestically, and at roughly the speed of a pigeon with a very, very toasty rear end, and flew up over the top of the station building.

Physics being what it is, there was a certain displacement of coffee in the process. There were also feathers, some fragments of which I was still picking out of my eyebrows when I got to Liverpool just after 11 a.m. Judging by what was left in the cup, that bird puckered. Hard.

By the time I'd cleaned off both the coffee and the larger feathers in the train station (apparently some things can still make Londoners raise an eyebrow. Looking like you've just motor-boated a pigeon being one of them) my train was boarding, and there was no time to grab a refill.

So, while I'm still kinda sulking over losing my coffee, being a witness to self-administered coffee enema by one of my feathered nemesis did balance it out, hence me calling this a draw.

I do wish I'd had my phone out, though. I've never seen an expression quite like that on a London pigeon before.