Mobile sauntered across the pool deck at the Battle House Hotel and found a lounge chair. Her 312-year-old body still looked pretty rockin’ in a bikini, considering, but naturally time had taken its toll and had created some “problem areas.” But those had been there for a couple of centuries now and the old girl was very comfortable in her own wrinkled, weathered skin. A comfort that, in fact, looked really good on her.
Even though it was an exercise in futility, she slathered on some SPF 50 before diving into her new Us Weekly — also an exercise in futility, as she hadn’t known who any of the people on its pages were in decades. But she supposed she needed to be reminded that the stars were “just like us” by looking at photos of them getting coffee and picking up their dry cleaning. Who doesn’t want to see that, right?
As she was examining a picture of a famous girl she did not know buying tampons, suddenly a Canadian goose flew right over her head and landed on the chair next to her.
The beautiful bird seemed to be checking out his surroundings and though obviously it defied all logic, he looked like he even wanted to say something to her.
Feeling a little crazy, Mobile leaned over and said, “Talk to me, goose.”
“Is that Stacy Keibler buying Tampons,” the goose asked. “Gross. Why would they take a picture of that?”
“I have no idea. Why am I looking at it is a better question. And why am I talking to a bird is probably an even better question,” Mobile said. “What are you doing here?”
“They’re killing everybody out there,” the goose said.
Unfortunately, Mobile knew exactly what the bird was talking about. After numerous complaints about excessive amounts of geese feces on sidewalks and playground equipment in Langan Park, city officials called in the USDA to see what they needed to do to help get the park’s goose population under control. That “control” came in the form of rounding up nearly 300 birds and euthanizing them.
“I’m sorry, goose. That is awful, but from what I have read they say excessive droppings can cause a health hazard. And you guys can each poop from 1-to-3 pounds a day,” Mobile said.
“Well what do you expect when kids are feeding us bread all day long? You know that little thing they call digestion? We birds have it too.”
“I understand. But the ‘officials’ are saying your poo can make people really sick,” Mobile said.
“Well, of course it can. It’s fecal matter. Do you think yours is any better?” the goose asked indignantly.
“Cities don’t poo, per se. But if we did, I don’t think we’d just leave it all over the park either,” Mobile said, embarrassed she was talking about such.
“Well, I’m sorry. No one has potty trained us,” the goose said sarcastically. “Look, I was one of the first geese out there. We used to have a nice little intimate gaggle.”
“Intimate gaggle?” Mobile asked. “I like it. I think I may name my next band that.”
“You’re in a band?” the goose asked.
“No, just an expression,” Mobile replied.
“Oh, well anyway, as I was saying, we used to have a nice little gaggle out there, but people started feeding us. The word got out. New folks start moving in. Err’body stopped migratin’ and started matin’. And next thing you know, there are 400 of us and there’s sh*t everywhere,” the goose said.
“So you’re blaming all this on love?” Mobile asked.
“No, I was actually blaming it on people feeding us bread all day long, but I guess I can follow your logic there.”
“Well, I understand the health hazard, but did they try some less extreme measures first before they just mass murdered all of your friends and family? That’s just so terrible,” Mobile said.
“Tell me about it,” the goose said.
“I’ve read other things can be done,” Mobile said. “Border collies can be brought out to chase you guys off or even fireworks are sometimes effective in scaring you away. You can also coat your eggs with corn oil so they won’t hatch.”
“Well, I’m not going to advocate them bringing dogs in to chase us. And the fireworks, meh. We’ll come back as soon as they are over. Some of the girls were going to do the corn oil thing, but they work for Hobby Lobby and the company wouldn’t cover it,” the goose said.
“I didn’t know Hobby Lobby employed geese?” Mobile questioned.
“Doesn’t every office have at least one goose?” the bird asked rhetorically.
“True enough, dear goose,” Mobile said. “Well, what’s next for you?”
“Well as you may have heard ‘geese can’t be relocated’ so I am going back to my home in Langan Park to reconnect with what’s left of my friends and family. Now that this horrendous slaughter is over, I am going to urge our officials to come up with a plan to manage our population before such drastic measures are needed again,” the goose said. “I was hoping you could talk to them for me too.”
And just as suddenly as the beautiful bird appeared, he spread his wings and disappeared back into the sky.
“You can count on me, goose,” Mobile whispered. “You can count on me.”