As soon as you make a throwing gesture with one arm, they swarm in for the kill. Even the ones who are so fat (from previous bread crumbs) that they can barely fly. Thirty miles out to sea, they sense a free meal and waddle in on wings. I have great aim. After much practice, I know how to compensate for the stiffest wind to lob carbs to the bird of my choice. I have a thing for
Suddenly a woman appeared on the next bench, carrying a sack big enough to smuggle a body in, filled with rolls. She had a whole frickin' bakery right there. On the next bench. In a heartbeat, nearly all the sea gulls abandoned me and flew over there, screeching and quivering in anticipation. I couldn't believe she set up shop right next to me. With a bread warehouse.
"She stole my birds," I said. Flip shrugged.
"How far apart are these benches, about 30 feet?" I asked him.
He looked at me nervously. "WHY?"
"Don't you trust me?"
"No. What are you planning to do?"
"She stole my birds," I repeated. "MY BIRDS."
The wench wasn't even dressed nicely. Or pretty. Yet she had so many birds around her that it looked like a Hitchcock movie. She was just sitting on the bench, tantalizing them with her huge bag of loot. Then she stood up and tossed a small crumb onto the boardwalk. Two dozen gulls dove for it. I think she was slipping them diet pills, or cocaine. Those good time Charleys didn't even remember me. I am not a particularly contentious person by nature, but we were in it now.
Competitive Bird Feeding 101.
What I needed was a large meathook or mechanical crane to airlift her out of there. I didn't have either one.
I tried telepathy. On the birds. "Poop on her. Poop on her now."
I tore up a handful of large crumbs and tossed them. Only five gulls remained in my camp. Five loyal gulls out of 40 or 50. And a lot of pigeons.
You know who loves ya, baby.
Another flock of sea gulls flew in from Hawaii and settled themselves on the bulkhead, watching her intently.
She rattled her gunny sack, just to be mean.
They waited patiently. Like high school boys checking out a new girl. With my bread going to waste 30 feet away. Organic bread. With 3 kinds of seeds in it.
She tossed another smidgen to nobody in particular. They acted like she hung the moon. She doled out crumbs as if she didn't care whether they were there or not. They inhaled every morsel like white on rice.
Men and sea gulls are suckers for indifference.
Next time, I'm going to spread my bread crumbs with peanut butter.