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How to Catch and Eat a Pigeon

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Credit to David Alvarado

Credit to David Alvarado

You might have read Hemingway’s quote: “There is no hunting like the hunting of man.” Well, I respectfully disagree.  You may have pursued fascists over the Pyrenees, but you haven’t really hunted until you’ve tracked the urban squab, as it soars through its concrete jungle.  Pigeons: they are the ultimate adversary.

Pigeons aren’t ‘the rats of the sky’, they are noble animals. In fact, I’ve been told they prefer the more PC term ‘metropolitan dove’, which is obviously fancier. Plus they’re much less cantankerous than seagulls (as it has come to my attention that seagulls are evil), and pigeons even make pleasant, hilarious cooing sounds. Their iconic and graceful movements inspired the dance that still marks us today, the Bert ‘pigeon dance’ from Sesame Street.

Pigeons raise their young tucked away from social interactions like homeschooled kids, so they rarely impose their babies on you unlike your friends on Facebook. You know the friends I’m talking about, the ones who’ve managed to sustain a relationship with a real person over the years instead of with just a bottle of wine. Like you…ok, I mean me.

I have complied a comprehensive list on how to catch and eat the plentiful and delectable urban delicacy we call pigeons. Bon appetit, squabbers!

All amazing art credit to Colorado’s own David Alvarado:  Webpage and Facebook.


1. Build a trap to catch the pigeon. Said trap must involve a basic Rube Goldberg mechanism (with at least 376 components), or include you standing by holding a string.

2. As per the random passerby who gets caught in your ambuscade, toss them back into traffic or wherever you caught them from. Some people like to keep them as trophies but I don’t like unnecessary violence.

3. You’ve caught a pigeon! Great job. Shake your own hand.

4. Now, befriend the pigeon. It is probably a little curious about the fabulous mechanics of your trap, so go ahead and explain them to it. It’s a great ice breaker.

5. Take pigeon out for coffee, with the excuse of discussing the abject failure of Reaganomics. Make sure coffee shop is next to a dark alley.

david-alvarado-art-illustration-how-to-kill-a-pigeon-coffeeshop
Credit to David Alvarado

6. Pretend to accidentally kill pigeon (but, like, actually kill pigeon). Feel remorse, attempt to reattach pigeons head, and try to resuscitate pigeon. Become unnecessarily hysterical.

Credit to David Alvarado
Credit to David Alvarado

7. Shoo away the seagulls that have gathered, perched above you, either to peck you to death as revenge for avicide, because they’re also hungry for ‘$kVäbh’ (a fancy word for you get the drift), or simply because they’re evil. I personally have experienced all three.

8. Accept that death is a natural part of life. Resign yourself to a delicious meal.

9. Go online to research how to field dress and cook pigeon. I honestly have no idea.

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Rae Bathgate - Down and Out and Overseas

Rae Bathgate - Down and Out and Overseas

Rae, known also (depending on the country) as Rachelle/Raquel/ Rachele (and often sadly mistaken as Richard, because biblical names are hard you guys) is an aspiring writer and now sort of a dick for having actually defined herself as such. She was born and lived over the first half of her life in Italy; she then moved to the States and lived a good ten years there (including in SF). Currently back in Europe, she is neither a hapless American tourist nor a snobby European jerkyjerk; luckily for you, she is some weird ungodly combination of both. Also, she’s broke and is probably stealing bread crumbs from pigeons.