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Columns | "A Balloon In Cactus"

Birds of Prey
versus Birds of Pray

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand
If you think Kardashian media coverage has reached critical mass and will end, think again. If you think the U.S. congress's public opinion polls could not drop any lower, think again. If you've seen Miley Cyrus riding a wrecking ball and are convinced you've now seen everything, think again. There's always something more shocking than you think. We've just watched a symbol of world peace turned into a twisted version of Hitchcock's "The Birds." This time, the birds aren't after humans, they're after each other. Who'd a thunk?

Following the Pope's public appeal for peace in Ukraine before thousands of people in St. Peter's Square, children standing next to him at the open window of the Apostolic Palace set free a pair of peace-loving white doves. An age-old symbol of peace since the time of Noah, right? These days, not so much. Somebody at Pope Frank's digs forgot to first hand the traditional olive branch to the doves, granting them safe passage. Instead, they let them fly away naked, directly into mortal danger. The official's careless omission did not go unnoticed by a couple of bad boy birds lurking outside the window, hungry for action. Twitter reports that they had been trained by Tony Soprano.

Two bully birds, a seagull and a crow, attacked the doves right after their release. Bear in mind that these doves never had boxing lessons from Mike Tyson, learned martial arts from Bruce Lee, or upgraded their flapping wings into jet engines by NASA. Alas, there were no First Responders to save these emissaries of a Papal Peace Plea.

One dove had his feathers ripped out in a smackdown with the seagull, but witnesses hope it managed to escape and is currently free. Bald but free.

Not such luck for the other dove. The crow showed no mercy in a concentrated attack of pecking and clawing. (Perhaps that's why a group of crows are not called a group of crows, they are called a "murder of crows.") Both crow and seagull are trying to get into witness protection and hav e contacted Walter White's lawyer, Saul ("Better Call Saul") Goodman.

A reward has been offered for information leading to their capture. Meanwhile, Saul called a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy who could get them an appointment with Chris Christie. They are currently enjoying temporary sanctuary under the golden dome of the New Jersey State House.


© Maggie Van Ostrand, January 28, 2014 column
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