Yesterday, the lovely Mrs. Gammons and I were enjoying a little beach time. I had dozed off to the sound of the surf when I was jolted awake by the raucous cawing and cackling of twenty or thirty excited seagulls swooping and circling more or less right above us. This flock of seagulls had suddenly materialized thanks to a silver-haired granny with a loaf of bread who was standing ten feet to our left, lobbing bits of bread into the air as the birds went nuts and the poop rained down. (Granny was apparently not a fan of DuMaurier or Hitchcock.)
|No, not this Flock of Seagulls|
|More like this flock of seagulls|
We gave granny the stink-eye and she moved ten feet to our right, which improved things not a bit. Indeed, granny was then joined in her bird-feeding circus by a cute little girl and her mother. Despite a wide and uncrowded expanse of beach, the trio was determined to carry on right beside us until every last slice was gone. (How did we get so lucky?) We held our tongues and hoped to not be shat upon, and in a couple more minutes, the show was over -- the gulls and granny had, thankfully, moved on.
We could have and maybe should have asked granny to please take her Wonder Bread act further down the beach and away from us. We could have told her that seagulls don't really need human help, much less a loaf of bleached white flour. We could have pointed out that from Maine to the Keys, almost all shore birds are protected species and feeding them "people food", while amusing, is also prohibited and punishable by fine.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda. We said nothing. It's not easy to go enviro-Garp on a silver-haired granny and a cute little girl.
But the brief episode did make me want to share an oldie-but-goody from Tom Lehrer, satirical piano man from decades gone by. This was the sort of stuff I was brought up on, which may explain a lot of things: