I knew for sure that things were funky in the cosmos today when I boarded a bus out in the west end of the city only to run into a friend who I thought was in Winnipeg. This was none other than the lovely Celeste Sansregret, a writer/performer from the Fringe compartment of my life. Okay, I guess part of me knew she had moved here, but I have trouble being sure what city people are in and I've had my head in my studies. And neither of us tend to go to the west end of Toronto. She's working on selling the contents of a house that is about a block from where I'm working.
So we took bus and subway and we got off in the Annex and I got ready to ride my bike the final leg of my journey home - and then I noticed that the bikes were surrounded by a sea of at least 75 pigeons, eating birdseed that an elderly woman had for some reason decided to put around all the bikes.
Sidenote. Have you ever noticed that when pigeons feed, in a group, sticking their tails and wingtips up in the air, they look like a bed of mussels?
I posit the comparison for your perusal:
I couldn't find more similar pictures, but STILL I think the biggest difference between them is the number of creatures, not the appearance.
Anyway, I said goodbye to Celeste and made my way to my bike, Kilda. Actually, the pigeons were sparse around Kilda but reached their maximal density about 3 bikes to the left of her. As I unlocked and got my riding stuff out they were startled several times. Pigeon-crowd air is warm, dusty, and surprisingly strong. There's a specific, memorable scent to it, not a bad one but not a good one either.
So I was putting on my under-helmet hat, which covers my ears, and realised that someone was talking to me. It was the pigeon-feeder lady, who has a Germanic-ish accent:
Pigeon-Feeder Lady (PFL): [muffled talking]
Me (taking off my hat): Sorry, what was that?
PFL: Where is your helm?
PFL: You should wear a helm.
Me: Oh...yeah, it's right here.
PFL: Don't you have a helm?
Me (pointing at my helmet, which is attached to my backpack): Yup, I've got one.
PFL: Put it on.
Me: I'm, uh, about to do that. Thank you.
And I did. My under-helmet hat looks pretty Medieval-dork-chic on its own.