Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We are just back from a merry tour of three states. We felt guilty when our daughters' best friends all went abroad this summer, so we had to do the old parental thing and make up for it by going to Gettysburg's "Land of Little Horses" and the Paw Paw Tunnel in West Virginia. Paris? Tokyo? Who needs those noisy old cities? Feed pellets to a llama! Step in murky water in zero visibility in a 150 year old tunnel! Luxury accommodations at the Red Roof Inn!
I know how to show my kids a good time.
Anyhow, we're back and deeply affronted to discover that, in our absence, the local third-tier newspaper published a front-page piece about rampaging turkey vultures in Florence, New Jersey.
According to a Florence Baptist minister, a tough gang of buzzards has moved in on Florence. They punctured his daughter's swimming pool. And they shredded a trampoline. They roost in the park, where you must dodge the droppings as if you were passing some urban statue of a Confederate general.
The minister added whistfully that he longed to end this conflict at the point of a gun, but alas, turkey vultures are a protected species.
It's news to me that turkey vultures are a protected species. I'll have to check the awesome site in my sidebar to confirm that one.
However, on these two points I'm firm. First, the photographs accompanying the story showed black vultures, not turkey vultures. Second, no self-respecting buzzard of any stripe would ever shred a trampoline, even if it was coated with dead skunks.
Sacred Thunderbird Exhibit A: Turkey Vulture
Sacred Thunderbird Exhibit B: Black Vulture
As for a punctured kiddie pool, if you'll please put down Of Pandas and People and consult your handy atlas, you'll see that Florence, New Jersey bumps up against the mighty Delaware River in an extreme way. Again, no buzzard of any stripe will attempt to drink from a kiddie pool with a magnificent river just a few awkward hops down the block.
So I've spent way too much time today setting straight a reporter named Richard Pearsall.
At one time I had dreams of writing for a newspaper. Wisely, I chose goat judging, where slipshod standards and quickly formed inaccuracies are unacceptable.
As for the Baptist pastor who wants to terminate Sacred Thunderbirds with extreme prejudice, well. He'd better hope his heaven isn't closed for repairs when he crosses over, or he might find himself trussed up like old Prometheus by some loving (but firm) feathered gods.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
AREA 14, STAR 14
Tomorrow: Wheezers, Tall and Hairy, by Puck the Faerie.