… A customer came into the Chevron this evening and asked if we had any crackers. He told us of an incredibly friendly pigeon that was out in front of the store, how he had it standing on his shoulder. So I grab my camera to go out and get a picture of him with the pigeon on his shoulder, and the thing flies over onto my shoulder. I laughed, he laughed and then took a couple pictures of us with my camera. Fun’s over, put the pigeon on the ground and I head back into the store.
… Yeah, I thought the fun was over. Just barely through the door, before it can close behind me, the bird flies into the store and lands on my shoulder again. I walk it outside, over to the bushes by the air hose and put it on the ground there. It follows me back to the store, comes in again, flies a little bit around the store and lands on the shoulder of the other guy working there. He (the worker, not the bird) didn’t like that too much, so I go over, get the bird back again, grab a hot dog bun and walk out again. This time I go farther, to the other side of the parking lot, leave a bunch of bread crumbs on the ground and drop the bird there. It wasn’t very hungry, because it followed me back to the store again.
… Ok, one more time. I walk it down next to the building next door, leave it on the ground with more bread, and this time I try to trick it by going the wrong way, around this P.O.D.S.* thing in the parking lot. I kid you not, the thing flew right next to me all the way back to the store. Every time it would come in the store and start flying around, landing various places, until a customer came in and I’d get it on my shoulder. It would stay on my shoulder rather than fly around, and I thought that was better than having it getting friendly with (as in freaking out)customers.
… At this point I realized it wasn’t going away easily. So, rather than having it flying around freaking out customers, I left it on my shoulder and called Animal Control. I got about the same reaction as when I called them a few years ago to tell them I had a peacock in my back yard. “What?”, “You’re kidding.”, “A pigeon?” and “Never heard that one before.” I think they finally decided that it would be fun to arrest that bozo claiming to be the Pigeon Whisperer for filing a false report, because they agreed to send someone out.
… I thought it would be only a few minutes, figured there couldn’t be that many animal emergencies on a Friday night, so I actually helped customers with the bird on my shoulder. Now that was funny, some of the reactions were hilarious, and fortunately nobody got freaked out by it. But after waiting about a half an hour I kind of got tired of it walking back and forth across by shoulders, and it finally dawned on me I could lock the bird in the back room.
… Animal Control showed up about another half hour later, laughed when I showed her the bird and it climbed right up onto my shoulder. When she left to bring it down to the shelter to let it free there, she said “and hopefully it won’t find it’s way back here.”
… Oh, and yes, it did soil my shirt.
*P.O.D.S. - Personal On Demand Storage, those one-car garage sized storage units they haul over and dump on your property while you’re remodeling or moving or whatever.