An Open Letter to the Pigeon I Spooked When I Accidentally Scuffed My Shoe

Dear Mr. or Ms. Pigeon,

I am writing in regards to the incident of Saturday September twenty-sixth when, after walking behind you for several feet, my shoe suddenly produced a loud scuffing sound against the sidewalk, causing you to take to the air in fright.

Please accept my apology for this misunderstanding, and I hope that I am not responsible for any lasting effects to you or your family.  I have for many years been afflicted with very wide feet, which necessitates me buying shoes that are longer than my foot.  This often causes the toe of my shoe to brush harshly against the walking surface during the pullfoward motion.  Please understand that I am speaking of my hideous anatomy not as an excuse for my actions but simply as an explanation.  If it brings you any recompense, please know that this same phenomenon often causes me to “trip over a flat surface” and pitch forward sharply upon my face.

You may remember that at the time I offered hurried apologies and explanations as you flitted away (although you may have been too disturbed to notice, which is understandable).  Do such in-the-moment attempts at satisfaction provide any benefit to your species in these situations, or am I making a bad situation worse by hurling panicked words at your panicked back?

I have long been an admirer of your species and your genus, and I hope that this unfortunate incident has done no permanent damage to either our personal relationship, or to the relationship between our races (which you must agree is often not of the best character).

I am at your disposal if you wish to discuss this matter in depth (I may require the use of a translator).

Sincerely yours,


O Lady Cursing at the Metrocard machine

How To Spot Tourists in NYC – Lesson 1