While I've never liked pigeons and geese, I've always had a fondness for the more visually-appealing birds like blue jays and cardinals, and, of course, ducks. Ducks, I'll always love. They'll always be on my side.
I don't care for geese because I find them to be the Republicans of the bird world - all they do is honk, attack even when unprovoked, and shit everywhere. For the most part, they haven't violated the Corbett-Goose Truce of 1999, which basically says they leave me alone and I'll avoid them as well.
Unfortunately, the pigeon lobby was effective in the late 90s in keeping their leadership away from the peace table, and so, through the years there have been confrontations. Let me be perfectly clear: each of the pigeon terrorist attacks against me have been unprovoked, with my intelligence group missing the signals that an attack was imminent.
In 2003, as I walked down 10th Street for breakfast from the diner, on a very snowy day, I was assaulted by a kamikaze pigeon, who slammed into the back of my head. Not knowing who - or what - was attacking me, I reacted, swinging my fist around and punching the bird (in mid-air) as it backed away. It fell to the ground, laying dazed in the blanket of snow on the sidewalk for a moment or two. I hurried into the near-by diner, to be haunted by thoughts of "oh god, what potential diseases did the pigeons attempt to infect me with?"
I raised the security level to red for several weeks, being cautious that another attack could be in the works.
But it wasn't. The pigeons, I learned, know how to be patient, how to bide their time and wait for the right moment to strike again.
And, as I became complacent over the years since that first pigeon attack, they plotted. And then they struck - this time another kamikaze dive-bomber hit me directly in the right temple as I exited Union Station in January. He really just winged me. Literally.
Again, I raised the security level to red. I also began discussions with the robins that returned to our backyard in February, in hopes I could persuade them to spy for me. I struck out with the robins. They wanted the backyard to return to its dog-free status, a compromise I simply could not make.
My attempts to use one member of the bird world against another must have rankled some feathers...
Today, as the sun was rising and I was enjoying my walk to the metro station, I was attacked by an unlikely ally of the pigeons: a blue jay, sitting high overhead on a power line, dropped a big bomb on my shirt sleeve. It hit me like a playdoh bullet in the forearm. I considered diving for cover, assuming it was just the first wave in an all-out bird attack; but I stood my ground, determined to stand my ground.
When I looked up, the blue jay seemed to nod to me, beforing flying off. I would know that look anywhere, having seen enough mafia movies: that was just a warning shot, next time we're coming for real.
I fear the pigeons are enlisting all the fighters they can, readying for all-out war. I only hope I'm ready when they come.