Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Every morning while washing I can hear screeching parrots overhead.
It's probably the Telegraph Hill flock, but I think they may be forming a colony in the nearby green area. Lately I've been hearing them behind the apartment in the evening too.
Nob Hill is not only a supportive environment for super rich San Franciscans, at its lower reaches it is also hospitable to more colourful creatures.
Parrots. Crows. Raccoons.
And those of us who qualify as none of the above.

There is in fact a booming raccoon population out there. A veritable mob.
Little furry burglars and con-artists everywhere.
In addition to the over-fed raccoons that live near the Ping Yuen projects, there's also some fat and sassy beasts further up Pacific Street, who are adept at raiding waste disposal containers. They avoid the recycling bins and head straight for trash or compost - that's where the pizza is!
Plus cat doors, basements, and back seats of parked cars. Wouldn't be surprised if they've stolen an infant or two, and are raising them as feral naked children.
It would explain some of the crazy ladies in this neighborhood.

How would YOU like your child to grow up eating garbage and mugging cats?
Better keep the kid away from those fast-food burgers. That's how it starts.

A few years ago I would occasionally sit near the church on Larkin and Clay Streets in the shadow of the trees of an evening to smoke my pipe. That's less appealing now - the pastor, his flock, and the raccoons have all fled, the pigeons and street people have taken over.
The building is abandoned and falling apart.
Even the local crows avoid it.
Not enough roadkill.

Or maybe not any that stays around for very long.
It's probably those feral children.

There are fewer street areas where one can have a quiet smoke than once there were.
If it's not someone trying to bum a fag, it's a snooty transplantee from Bucketknowswhere in the Midwest, objecting vociferously to tobacco near the car or her kid.
Lady, your car won't come to any harm because of nicotine, and far better you should worry about the raccoons stealing your ugly brat.
Besides, your precious poppet is INSIDE the house! How dare you bother me when I'm not even near him?
If raccoons don't snatch your child, I hope crows mistake him for roadkill.
Peck peck peck peck peck - darn, tastes nasty! Like bad hamburgers!
Either that, or the parrots should traumatize the monster.
Fly around his head calling him rude names.
I'll teach them the words.

There are also raccoons up at the top of the hill, living off the fancy hotels and rich people.
Plump, prosperous, and remarkably contented. Where they are, they don't have to work for a living.
Probably a surfeit of discarded pizza.
Plus the occasional cigar.

Sometimes, at night, I'm aware of beady eyes watching my every move.
Fur and feathers everywhere.
Remarkably, almost no cats.
I think they got chased away by the parrots.
Those birds have a tendency to gang up on other animals.
Between them and the crows, the pigeons are having a hard time of it.

I hope that the parrots and the raccoons drive out the non-smokers next; there's far too many carpetbaggers from elsewhere in the country in this neighborhood.
If I have to choose between trust-fund opportunists and yuppies on the one hand, or raccoons, parrots, and crows on the other hand, you know which side I'll take.
Furry thugs and feathered rowdies win hands down.
No animal has ever objected to my habits.
Maybe I can reward them with food.
I will put a burrito outside.
It's better than a baby.
Con salsa picante.
Bon gusto!

Would y'all perhaps like a cigar?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the posts with the urban wild life.


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Important disclaimer or whatever: Because I am Dutch American, neurotic, and somewhere on the spectrum (Aspergers syndrome is quite common a...