I’ve long been perplexed by a routine interaction between birds and humans. Why does it seem that every time I wash my car, the birds seem to poop on it immediately?
Fouled by a Fowl
Dear Fouled by a Fowl,
This is one of my favorite topics to cover – interactions between humans and other creatures. To answer this question, we have to return to a time very long ago, when automobiles were introduced to mainstream society as a form of transit. Before that time, there were very few methods of shuttling humans around the globe, namely train and horse. Both of these methods of transportation were slow, not to mention very noisy, giving birds plenty of warning to get out of the way.
Then came the invention that changed humanity and the fowl world forever.
While automobiles started off noisy and slow, they were quickly adapted to go faster and faster. Birds could no longer get out of the way of the dastardly metal monsters that hunted them. Each day, pigeons would gather in groups to take roll call and mourn their feathered friends who hadn’t made it back to the tree safely.
As they watched their numbers dwindle, a plan began to hatch.
The birds decided to wage a war on all automobiles. The first plan of attack was rather simple – clog the pipes of automobiles with nesting materials. This proved futile as the humans would pull the debris out and carry on with their errands. The birds regathered and came up with a new strategy, though it was extremely risky. They would swoop in front of automobiles, causing the human driver to panic and swerve to the side. On a good day, this worked to take flustered humans off the road for the day. On a bad day, the bird funeral dirge could be heard for miles. As casualties mounted, the birds decided to change tactics.
The swoop and poop was invented.
The avian world discovered that the humans not only prized their automobiles as a source of transportation, they treasured them like shiny trophies. Every Saturday the neighborhood would spill out of their homes into their driveways, where they would lovingly wash and wax the metal monsters that sat in quiet contemplation of the past week’s bird murders. The birds decided this was the weak spot in the armor they were looking for. As soon as the humans re-entered their homes to dress for their Saturday evening escapades, the birds would move in. Poop bombs were dropped in every direction.
The automobiles were completely defenseless without their human drivers!
The humans, completely unaware of this new tactic, returned to their driveways in anticipation of a pleasant ride to dinner, only to find their precious automobiles were now stinky and unfit for human comfort. The first human who attempted to ignore the mess was berated by his wife for hours when the stains wouldn’t come out of his jacket.
The birds had found the means to take automobiles out of commission, for a few hours at least.
Unfortunately, in this age of technological advancement, humans have now found a way to thwart the poop and swoop – the drive through car wash. Instead of spending hours cleaning their car, humans can now accomplish the feat in minutes. Birds everywhere are filled with angst, continuing to poop on freshly washed cars as a reminder that they haven’t given up the battle.
Or stopped planning their next attack.
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