Monday, August 14, 2006

A Ferry Tale

Went to NYC via Staten Island, so found myself having to take the ferry to Manhattan. Am sitting on a green plastic seat looking out at the river when a very old man wearing a Nike jacket and a cap with LAS VEGAS festooned across the front walks up to me, holds up one hand and with the other takes out a harmonica and plays a tune. I stare. He is playing away, never taking his eyes from mine and his song brings to mind merry-go-round-type music. What is more interesting is that he is wearing two hearing aids.

Then I notice that he now has an empty coffee cup in his right hand. Ah. He wants money for the pleasure of his music. It's not a welcome-to-the ferry moment.

After he leaves (with no money, sorry, sir), a pigeon comes walking along. Wow, I think, that pigeon is a bit of a slacker. No flying to Manhattan for him. Nope. He is taking the ferry. After all it's free and fast and provides musical entertainment. And I guess when a pigeon has business in Manhattan, what better way to go.

The pigeon stops next to my seat -- of course -- and stands there. Waiting. For what? Does it want money, too? A panhandling slacker pigeon?

It looks at me with a watch-what-I-can-do toss of the head. I look back with a well-show-me-your-stuff shrug. Pigeon walks forward, bends its head and picks up a pretzel crumb and throws it. Then it runs and kicks it, runs after it again and kicks it once more. Holy shit! A soccer-playing pigeon! Money SHOULD be paid for this!

Too soon we are nearing the end of the trip, the game is over, the crumb is consumed and the pigeon follows the crowd walking down the ramp.

Ah, these David Lynch moments.

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