Monday, December 10, 2007

The Pigeon(s)

Although most aspects of my 79 days of living in Manchester have been nothing but pleasurable, there are a couple of causes for chagrin surrounding my place of residence, otherwise known as Flat C. One of them is thus: it has transpired that our building is the number one hideout for the entire pigeon population of south Manchester. They while away the hours of the day on our roof - often in large gangs, wearing hoodies, swigging from bottles of cider and holding their hands down the front of their trousers. I remember when we moved in, I arrived first and while familiarising myself with the flat - exploring and opening cupboards and then closing them again, as you do - a pigeon suddenly flew into the windowpane, giving me a fright and sending me into tumult. I hoped this was an isolated incident, but it isn't and they plague us every day.

They flap and trot about, making quite a lot of noise and shedding feathers onto the Padmobile lying below. Whenever I deem it sensible to leave the flat, I hear them insult me. Yet when I glance skywards to let them know I heard what they said, all they do is smirk. I feel the pigeons are slowly grinding me down. I worry that their long-term intention involves driving us out of Flat C and taking over the property. I fear a coo.

The kitchen window (ignore the grime - it was already there when we moved in)

If there are any answers to all of this, I'm not aware of them. Short of calling in Tommy Saxondale with his pest control expertise, it would seem we are powerless to deal with the vermin in a legal way. I may have to resort to vigilante methods, such as leaning out the 'Velux' (yes, it's a brandname) window in the guest bedroom and throwing darts at them. Come to think of it, I remember once reading that if you feed uncooked rice to pigeons, they die on the spot because it clogs up their throats. Brilliant. I will try sprinkling the roof tiles with Basmati and provide an update from my prison cell.
"You can't kill it, but you can't live, live with it either, never, no human being can go on living in the same house with a pigeon, a pigeon is the epitome of chaos and anarchy, a pigeon that whizzes around unpredictably, that sets its claws in you, picks at your eyes, a pigeon that never stops soiling and spreading the filth and havoc of bacteria and meningitis virus, that doesn't just stay alone, one pigeon lures other pigeons, that leads to sexual intercourse and they breed at a frantic pace, a host of pigeons will lay siege, you won't be able to leave your room ever again, will have to starve, will suffocate in your excrement, will have to throw yourself out of the window and lie there smashed on the pavement, no, you're too much of a coward, you'll stay locked up in your room and scream for help, you'll scream for the fire brigade, for them to come with ladders and rescue you from a pigeon, from a pigeon!"

Patrick Suskind, 'The Pigeon'

See, they're so evil they even made Suskind forget how to punctuate properly.


Anonymous Jimi said...

You know, when I first moved into my flat in South Manchester I too had a pigeon problem. They used to wake me up at dawn each day with their raucousness. Unfortunately I can't offer you any advice on how to eradicate them --- I ended up just adjusting my sleeping patterns to fit around them. I'm ever the pacifist. Although, a certain scene in 24 Hour Party People does come to mind....

December 11, 2007 11:27 am  
Blogger Paddy said...

They can take my freedom but they'll never adjust my sleeping patterns. I'm a pacifist too, when it suits, but in this case I propose mass murder. Pigeonocide, you could say.

December 11, 2007 11:00 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

They really are conniving little shitehouses on scabby bobbly legs, pigeons.

In my second year at university, I lived at 103 Brighton Grove, Fenham, Newcastle. From the first September day in the house, strange noises poured forth from the attic. I just presumed there was someone up there, a kidnapped child or suchlike, and left it.

However, on looking up one morning, I noticed about 20 pigeon feet scrambling around above me on the other side of the sky light.

What a vulgar discovery.

On being alerted to the problem, after two weeks my landlord Mr Sadiq, 47, sent around two men in their sixties to sort the whole thing out.

The men climbed into the loft and ran around shouting "oi, ye, ye pigeon bas-tad man, ha'way, off...". This went on for half an hour, and the pigeons vacated the loft via the power of flight.

However, they came back again having watched the shouty men leave, and bedded in for the winter.

We complained again, and Mr Sadiq sent round a man with a rifle and an anti-contamination suit, like on the end of ET.

He shot them all, and asked me if I wanted to see his "bag of dead birds". I declined, though let him know that Peter Sutcliffe might have been interested in such a proposition.

Geordie pest control. Marvellous.

December 14, 2007 12:18 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

Another one of those tomorrow?

December 14, 2007 4:30 pm  
Blogger Gez said...

I once mistook a pigeon's nightly cooing for the feminine moans associated with gentle love-making.

I wouldn't mind but I'd 'enjoyed' the experience at least twice before I found out the true source of the noise.

To this day I can't look a pigeon in the eye.

December 19, 2007 9:42 pm  
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