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When birds do what birds do, let it rain

A very shocking thing happened to me while I was at Ellis Middle School recently with my son as we were preparing to meet his teacher and get everything squared away for the school year.

His teacher was running a bit behind and was still with the seventh-grader and parents who had the appointment before us, so I stepped through an exterior door that my son had informed me wasn’t there last year; it was a new entrance to the new part of the building that had been constructed over the summer. Curious, we went out for a look.

My son and I agreed that it was a very nice addition to the school, and he said he looked forward to seeing the new cafeteria that, unfortunately, we later learned was closed to the viewing public that day.

About that time I looked up, and I’m still having difficulty believing what I saw; (cue horror film music) There, scattered in the familiar splatter pattern on the side of the brand new building, was bird poop. Bird poop! Can you even imagine?

I immediately began looking around for the power washer-brandishing cleaning crew that I knew must have been getting ready to descend upon the scene to deal with this most horrifying set of circumstances.

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Seeing none, I began scanning my immediate surroundings for the tree crew that without a doubt had been summoned to rid the area of any and all trees in which the perpetrator may have made its dwelling. They were not there either.

"How could this be?" I wondered. "How can we just let these birds treat our brand new school addition the way geese treat a park?" "Hadn’t the school board learned from the county’s handling of this problem at our new government center?"

I wondered whether or not the school board had already sprung into action, calling special meetings in an effort to figure out ways to use taxpayer funds to put an end to this calamity. Surely they’d already taken bids from a short list of tree services and power washing companies.

I mean, I thought that’s what you do when you’re a governing body and birds have the audacity to behave like birds. You evict them. You invoke Eminent Domain and kick them out on their tail feathers and make them hunt for a new place to roost, hopefully near a rundown old building like, oh I don’t know, Mower County’s old courthouse.

I’m sure glad I’m not a governing body. One time I washed my car, only to find it defecated upon by one of our feathered friends within about an hour. Guess what I didn’t do? I didn’t march out to the nearest hardware store, buy a chainsaw and start hacking away at all my trees.

More recently I saw bird droppings on the brand new shingles on the house my wife and I just bought. You know what I didn’t do? I didn’t give it a second thought. I figured the rain that I had made inevitable by washing and waxing both our cars would wash it off.

Thankfully, school boards, accustomed to having to work within budget restraints, are capable of more self-discipline when it comes to fiscal matters than, say, government at any level. So they’re probably much more likely to understand that bird poop is just a fact of life when you share your environment with birds. At least that’s my hope.

And if the school board does decide to act, it’s more likely to be in the form of a catalog of pizzas and cookie doughs that will come home in my son’s backpack, and then I’ll have to take it to work to see if my coworkers are interested in helping with the poop cleaning effort

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At least that way they’d be able to choose whether or not to spend their money.

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