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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, November 18, 2003
    "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea," Eric Cantona famously said. No trawlers here; but always, in the park, someone scattering bread pieces from tatty carrier bags. And clouds of seagulls circling and flapping and screeching behind them. With plenty of grubby grey pigeons for company / competition.

    The park is a vast open green but activities like this make it hard to negotiate. The problem is in the size of the seagull-swarm and the desire to avoid - let's be frank - being crapped on from a height by these excited feathered vertebrates. The people who perpetuate this problem are usually the same ones whose canine friends mark the park with their deposits - doubling the potential for some sort of shitty incident to occur to anyone else innocently passing through.

    This is the downside - or the backside - of sharing one's space with animal-lovers. And people who buy bread just to chuck it at obese birds. And there is no obvious (compassionate) solution: walking on the path makes no difference as one thoughful old geezer regularly deposits loavesfull on the tarmac just by the entrance gate: it's unavoidable. I guess there's a lesson here about good citizenship. Sometimes it means having to be prepared to take other people's crap.

    [That was the talk on 'Citizenship' I won't be giving at school assembly tomorrow...]