The Harbingers of Garbage Doom:
We all know the feeling on garbage day. You round up your trash, tie everything firmly shut, carry it to the curb, and then stand there, looking around for them. You check the power lines in the area, other people’s rooftops, and you scan the skies. If the coast seems clear, you breathe a sigh of relief and head off to work. You have a long, productive day, and then drive home, ready to relax and watch some TV (maybe Republic of Doyle, if the CBC hasn’t cancelled it yet).
And then it happens. You pull onto your street, and from a distance, you can see them circling like vultures. At the foot of your driveway, garbage is scattered widely around the place you left your neat, tidy bags. There’s a fifteen foot radius of refuse. The harbingers of garbage doom cry overhead, mocking you loudly. Yes, they’ve broken open your bags, eaten your garbage, and made a total mess. A mess which, by the way, the town’s garbage collection staff won’t touch, so you’re left with last week’s garbage festering on your lawn. Lovely.
After this, you have no choice but to clean up the mess. You put on your work gloves and pick it up, piece by tiny piece. It takes forever. Or maybe you try an alternate plan, like the two-shovel approach, where you use one shovel to push the garbage into the other shovel. It’s not a perfect plan, but it is effective if there’s a big pile of garbage to deal with or if you really don’t want to touch anything.
Of course, this is entirely your own fault. You should have put out garbage containers (but it’s windy! They would have blown away and dented the neighbour’s car!) or used an old blanket as a cover (but where would that disgusting thing go afterwards? It is NOT coming into my clean house!), but you had your reasons for not using some kind of cover. And hey, the seagulls haven’t been around this year, so it should have been safe! Sadly, one lonely looking seagull is all it takes, and with a few squawking cries, that seagull and all of his scavenging buddies will descend upon your unwanted trash like it’s a five-course gourmet meal.
Is this disgusting garbage inspection a scourge that’s unique to Newfoundland? Probably not. What makes it seem worse, though, is that in Newfoundland, seagulls are supposed to be part of the quaint tourist trade. Tourists snap pictures of them sitting on the gunwale of a dory or on a boathouse near the water’s edge, thinking they’re cute and culturally relevant. They don’t realize that beneath those grey-and-white-feathers lies a destructive force that could rival the new F-35s the Canadian Government is buying! Maybe we could harness this power by dumping garbage in places where enemies lurk?
What do you think? Are seagulls the cute, comical creatures that Pixar artists portrayed in Finding Nemo (mine! mine!)? Or are they a menace to trash bags everywhere? Weigh in below with your comments and tales of garbage destruction – don’t worry, we won’t put the lid on your trashy stories just yet!