I imagine you have heard of people, in New York City and elsewhere, who keep flocks of pigeons on rooftops. They are called “pigeon-fanciers,” and of course are crazy because they do not think exactly like I do. Seriously, they are just people who find peace and happiness in a hobby which is harmless except for causing vast amounts of pigeon poop and even something called “pigeon-fancier’s lung.” This is an actual pneumonia caused by exposure to avian proteins in pigeon poop. One study I found online claimed that 10-20 percent of pigeon-fanciers have this condition.
No matter what I may think of their sanity, or what their neighbors may think of the bird poop festival, these people have found a hobby which they like. Some even like to do a thing they call “catch-keep”, wherein pigeon-fancier A will, upon sighting some birds that have somehow been startled and strayed off from pigeon-fancier B’s flock, quickly shoo their own birds en masse into the air in an effort to get the stray pigeons to join the cool kids and follow the birds back to A’s rooftop, thus increasing the size of A’s flock. Seems a tad silly, doesn’t it? I thought I had made it up in my head, that I’d heard some wrong information years before, but a simple search found it for me fairly quickly, that they actually do this. It’s a big ego boost and a big “screw you” to the other pigeon-fanciers whose whorish, flighty birds have, quite literally, flown the coop. Then, before they go down to their apartments, the “winning” fancier, a winner for that day anyway, must no doubt stand there bobbing their head up and down like Chevy Chase viewing the Grand Canyon in “Vacation” and go “Yup, I’ve got more birds than I had yesterday.” Do you suppose nowadays they text vulgarities to each other when this happens?
If one thinks about it, and if one likes to call oneself “one”, then one must realize the similarity between blogging and pigeon fancying. We type a bit on our devices, hit “Publish”, then stand up on our roofs scratching ourselves, waiting for someone else’s blog to put something out there in the sky. Then we scatter clever comments out into WordPress-land onto blogs we know and those we find through “Freshly Pressed” and whatnot and wherever, and we do it because we like to and we wish to share witticisms with other bloggers and we genuinely enjoyed their posts. But, of course, we are supremely flattered if we can get a new recruit by doing this, sometimes “stealing” a reader who ends up liking us more than the blogger who “introduced” us. We also run the risk of having an old-time reader “stolen away” via the same process.
It’s silly, really, I suppose–the checking of stats and the hoping to woo a sprinkling of new readers here and there. Though there are a lot of quality blogs, there are too many blogs in general, I suppose, and few of us find any fame in this hobby or turn it into a business. It may not really amount to anything more in the long run than the hours spent taking care of pigeons amounts to anything other than the gain or loss of a few birds. Big whoop, although it’s enjoyable to read and write fun comments and to read good writers.
There is one key difference, though, between pigeon-fancying and blogging–the bloggers who ever do kindly sign up to follow me have yet to poop on my picnic table, my deck, my grill, my car, or my fake waterfall, day after day after day in summer, and I doubt they’ll ever go into formation like the geese who summer in the nearby gravel pit pond and sometimes swoop in to strafe the side of the mobile mansion with giant streaks of goose poop that will not come off with anything less than a wire brush or high explosives.
Now, if you’ll be so kind as to excuse me, I must hit “Publish”, put on my coat and climb up onto the roof to await the stray bloggers.
Do you suppose I can actually put a video on here? Well for the moment some record company or music publishing company is allowing me to embed tonight’s theme song here. Most of you are way hipper than I am, I usually think, so I’m sure you’ve heard of the BBC promo from the ’90s of various artists doing Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.” It’s worth a look if it gets “denied” here. Have a nice night herding blog-followers.