I love owning my home. I love that with every mortgage payment, I am building equity. That I have the freedom to paint the walls any color I like. (They are still beige.) That I don’t have to deal with incompetent landlords who are angry at the world. That I have a place which is MINE.
There is however, a flip side to home ownership, and that is home maintenance and repairs. This may come as a shock to many of you, but I am not the most handy of people. Industrious? Yes. I once brilliantly repaired a chip on my espresso wood table using only a Sharpie marker. But handy? Not a chance.
So far, I’ve fared okay, thanks to professionals who make a living off the incompetence of people like me. A light was making a buzzing sound? Called an electrician. An alarming number of wasps in my kitchen? Called an exterminator. A bathroom wasn’t looking that clean? Called a housekeeper. You get the idea.
But my most recent challenge – the flock of pigeons who have made their home upon my roof – has no easy solution. Pigeons on a roof can cause significant damage, as Google told me. At first, I wasn’t too concerned. My roof is very angular and any pigeons who decided to live there had to be the least intelligent of the bunch. Darwinian logic suggested these pigeons would slip and slide to their deaths, and the whole flock would be that much smarter for it.
After a few weeks of coo-cooing and no sliding pigeons, I decided the “do-nothing” plan wasn’t going to work out. I don’t know what kind of Spider Man grip those pigeons had on my roof, but they weren’t going anywhere. It was on to plan two.
Plan two involved me on my rooftop deck. Since the birds of doom had made their nest on the opposite side of my roof (perhaps they weren’t that stupid after all?), I could not see them. And they could not see me nor my fierce “get-the-f***-off-my-roof” face. But they could hear me. And so I yelled, shouted, growled, hurled threats. I stomped my feet. I jumped up and down. Were those pigeons scared? No. They were not. Do my neighbors now think I have Tourettes? Yes. I think they do.
On to my last hope. I grabbed my 4 year old’s Star Wars light saber and up to the deck I dashed. If neither inertia nor shouting would remove those pigeons, physical force just might. And so I climbed upon a deck chair. Waving my light saber like a mentally unbalanced Jedi Princess, I chanted “Go away, birds!” I swung and I swung that light saber, but could not get close enough to scare the pigeons. Defeated, I came back inside to craft an explanatory email to my neighbors.
And so the pigeons remain. Daily, they taunt me with their coos of victory. Daily, they work to destroy my roof. I have thrown in the towel and accepted my fate. One day, my roof shall collapse and the pigeons will take over my home.
Survival of the fittest, indeed.