I usually get off the subway one stop early so I can stroll through Boston on my way to the office. I love Boston in the morning. All the sidewalks have been scrubbed clean, the stench of exhaust and diesel from all the construction sites is still a few hours away, and the air is cool and fresh.
While my stop would be Downtown Crossing, I get off at the State Street stop. If I’m feeling especially ambitious (Note: never) I get off at Haymarket and enjoy a leisurely stroll through Quincy Market. Haymarket to Downtown Crossing is a haul, but if the mornings are cool and it’s early enough, the walk is enjoyable.
Disembarking (I was tired of writing ‘Getting off’) at State Street means I only walk a few blocks, but it takes me through one of my favorite spots in Boston. A small back alley with random bricks in the walkway paying tribute to the historic events or places of the city. The bricks are made of (I think) bronze and signify things like the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s ride, the Molasses Flood, the Boston Massacre, the Boston Pops, the Swan Boats and a bunch of other things I have yet to figure.
I’ll take some pictures next time I’m there and post some up here. They’re pretty diverting once you notice them. Most people tend to bustle on through.
Once you pass out of this charming, little alley you enter Winthrop Square. A tiny, concrete island that hosts some benches, some lovely trees, a small army of bike messengers and – most important to this story – flocks of pigeons. For reasons I will never understand, one lady occasionally shows up with old bread and scatters crumbs all over the sidewalk. This, as you would imagine, creates a free for all with the pigeons who could care less that people are walking by. I’ve been hit more than once by a frantic pigeon as it flew by my head on its way to free food.
SIDE RANT: Why do people feed birds? It never ends well for any people in the general area. At the beach last Saturday, some brainless bitch decided she would toss her remaining chips to the seagulls. The end result was a scene from Hitchcock. People scurrying for cover, seagulls swooping in from every conceivable angle, kids cowering under their parents legs. One even hovered long enough to grab a sandwich out of an unsuspecting woman’s hand. It was chaos!!
Thanks, brainless bitch. You ruined the beach for everyone.
Where was I?
Oh, right. So yesterday I’m walking through this little park and notice there are no pigeons. Not one. What the fuck? They’re always here. Always. I glance around and see nothing. I hear one of those gargling ‘coos’ come from above me and realize they’re all perched in the trees. Uh oh.
I didn’t have time to fully form the thought of ‘I’m going to get shit on’ before I got shit on. Big, wet, dripping pigeon shit plopped on my right pectoral muscle (I was going to say ‘massive, rippling pectoral muscle’ but I’d only be fooling myself). The best (worst) part was I had on a navy blue shirt. Ever seen white bird crap on a dark shirt? It stands out.
I get to the office, head straight to the men’s room and get it nearly all off. Feeling bitter, but better, I head to my office. Now, my office locks because I don’t want anyone stealing my toys….er….expensive equipment. As I’m rummaging in my pocket for my keys (what? It feels good!) I notice brown on my fingers. I look down and sure enough, I have more shit on my pants; just above the pocket.
Now, I’m pissed. Back to the men’s room, clean up again. Heading back to my office I pass one of the douchebags that most would call a coworker if I did any actual work. He sees the wet spot on my pants and shirts, gives me a questioning look and, coming from the men’s room, feel the need to explain: ‘Bird shit on me’.
‘That’s good luck!’
I’m sure you’ve all heard this before, too, but coming from this dickweed, it was especially annoying. I say nothing, finally get settled in and over the course of the next hour have 4 different people say the EXACT same thing about the bird poop.
‘That’s good luck!’ Exactly. Same phrasing, same bizarre level of excitement. One woman actually perked up when I told her I was shit on. ‘OHHH, that’s good luck!!!’
Really? Well let’s put this to the test, shall we?
Oh, we shall.
I will set aside that I have a faint, white shit stain on my navy blue shirt for the rest of the day; that’s the price I pay for having all sorts of good fortune following me around. I guess….
First thing I do is head to the common kitchen. On a good day there will be some breakfast food left over from a client meeting. There is nothing.
I walk down to where one of my favorite people sits and discover she’s not in and may not be in until well after lunch. Fucking great! The gray cloud hovering over me just got a little darker.
I’ve got it!! I have a lottery ticket on my desk that I have yet to cash in. I paid $10 for the initial one, won $20 and got two more. Won $20 again and got two more. Won $10 but never got a chance to cash that in. Off I go to the lobby shop to trade it in for another. If I’m going to win that million dollar prize it’s going to be today. No doubt about it.
Result: Zip. Zilch. Nothing. Big, fat, fucking zero. Just like me and my pigeon shit stain.
Conclusion: Being shit on by a bird does not bring good luck. The best thing I could say about yesterday was I survived it. I guess in a round about way that’s kind of good luck, but that also means I’ve had good luck every day of my life before this, too.
Not buying it.
My guess it that the good luck theory was developed for the sole purpose of making someone who’s been shit on by a bird feel better about being shit on by a bird. Why is stepping in dog shit not considered good luck? How about getting stuck in a monsoon with no rain gear?
When I arrive home, I point out the stain and tell wifey what happened.
‘That’s good luck!!’
I glare at her.
‘Did you play the lottery today? You totally should have played the lottery!’
Thanks, dear. What would I do without you?
Today’s distraction: The basics of bird photography. Pay particular attention to the 'Know Your Subject' section. You definitely want to know what a bird looks like if you want to photograph them. Big step!
I'm off tomorrow, so will catch up next week. Enjoy the celebration of work by not doing a damn thing! God Bless America!