A Toronto Transformation


When I was a reporter, I was always happy to cover any stories that featured local teens doing something positive.

Since I’m light years away from parenting any of the little hormone tornadoes myself, I still have the opportunity to think they are generally pretty cool.

Yes, they can be obnoxious and self-absorbed and just far too goddamned loud, but I love their idealism, their energy and their belief in possibility and I feel like too often they are cast in a negative light.

Do you know who’s not pretty cool?


City pigeons, to be precise.

Small-town pigeons are fine. They just go about their business, sitting on rooftops and coo-ing politely to one-another without any need for human interaction.

Totally reasonable.

City pigeons however, are another story.

They are constantly underfoot, eating old hot dogs, pecking at their mangey feathers, walking in stupid circles, and worst of all, waiting way too long to get out of the way of oncoming pedestrian traffic and then panicking and  flying directly into people’s heads.

I know it’s not their fault, I know they probably didn’t choose “horrible flying city rat with a tiny brain” from some reincarnation catalogue, but I just hate them.

And they are EVERYWHERE.

And, as the spring air becons through open high school windows, guess who else is everywhere?


Recently I had the misfortune of encountering both at once.

I was warily preparing to pass a group of pigeons, just as a group of (I would guess) 17-year old boys loped around the corner towards me. I saw the gleeful grin creep onto one of their faces an instant before he stomped towards the pigeons, sending them directly towards me in a flurry of beaks and wings and garbage and dirt.

 Suddenly, all of that teens-getting-a-bad-rap nonsense slipped out of my brain and I became the most scoundrel-hating old lady ever to shoo kids off her lawn, with a shotgun laid neatly across her afghan-covered knees.

I pointed at the offending teen and yelled “Never do that!!!” in a voice like a super-crazy muppet.

As I sailed past the group of young bros, staring at me in perplexed fear, I considered that maybe my reaction was a mite extreme.

But mostly? I blame the pigeons.

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