Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scarecrow, Mother Goose and the Holy Grail

How is your gift of observation? If you are like me - and know that I join the chorus of gentle sobbing you hear in your inner ear if you are - then it is not as astute as you might believe. During the course of the past decade or so I have driven past the building that is located directly north of the Firm on Parsippany Road on an average of twelve times a week (and given court appearances, depositions, trips to the bank, etc.) there has likely been a significant number of weeks in which that figure is significantly higher than a dozen. Yet until I spent a few minutes via Google learning its heretofore secret identity late yesterday afternoon I did not know the company's name.

Upon learning it I was embarrassed to realize that during the period of time that where I work has been located within walking distance of its front door, I have on at least three occasions been stopped by a stranger whose only request was, "Hey Mister (probably not what he/she said but has a nice '40's film noir feel to it; no?) can you tell me how to get to William Steinen Manufacturing from here?" And on each and every occasion I have not only failed to tell that hapless soul that the Firm's property abuts Steinen's, I have actually - albeit inadvertently - sent them off in absolutely the wrong direction.

Clearly if I ever found myself in the market for a drip-free misting/fogging nozzle, you can bet your bippy I would want to know that I am within walking distance of an outfit that produces just such a thing. Admittedly, I am not 100% sure what it is but its name is fun to say (C'mon - out loud fast as you can three times, I shall wait for you) and it looks pretty damn cool. I know not what "fine atomization" is but since only a fool would settle for any other kind, I am relieved to know where I can get myself some.

I am such a complete ass that what finally prompted me to learn my neighbor's name was not an urgent need for fine atomization but - rather - something I saw on its front lawn on Wednesday afternoon. The photo on their web site does not do justice to what their lawn looked like on a mid-January afternoon as it fails to show any of their adorable geese. Geese are a bit of a nuisance in these parts - if by nuisance one really means the Devil's winged menaces capable of crippling a jumbo jet and almost killing every human being on board. It is the Canadian geese who appear to be the most well organized and antagonistic, still pissed off no doubt at the American-dominated National Hockey League's decision to permit the Winnipeg Jets to be sold and moved to Phoenix Arizona. Apparently a Manitobian holds one hell of a grudge.

The good folks at Steinen Manufacturing apparently had themselves one hell of a goose problem. The solution? Dogs. But since real-life, flesh and blood dogs can be insane (believe me when I tell you my beloved Rosalita is a mental patient), a wee bit difficult to control and born with a proclivity towards - upon actually catching a goose - ripping it into a million pieces, which would not be so bad if Steinen Manufacturing had a pillow and comforter subdivision (in Morris Plains perhaps) or Parsippany did not have such a strict "No Tearing Another Living Thing from Wing to Wing" ordinance. But since at least one of those last two is not true (I have no idea if Parsippany has such a statute), Steinen elected to go the route of the plastic pseudo-dog.

I am sure that this beast is known to you. You may have even been in one's presence and not realized it as you cast an eye upon it in the morning's wee small hours on your way to work only half paying attention to the fact that every day, regardless of the weather, this somewhat smallish but very energetic looking pup mans his post in precisely the same spot, which if you were paying complete attention would likely strike you as odd. Since you are not, the "dog" appears vigilant, not artificial.

The decision-makers at Steinen apparently dropped enough coin to solve their droppings problem to have purchased multiple fake dogs. And for reasons known only to them and presumably the person or persons who recommended to them how to deploy them, the "dogs" are in a cluster on one portion of Steinen's lawn. There are two or three of them all grouped together as if preparing to break a huddle or some such thing.

And I am happy to report that this product does as advertised. The dogs' success rate in keeping the geese off of the section of the lawn where they are positioned was - as of 2:30 Wednesday afternoon - close to 100%. Unfortunately their success rate in keeping the geese off of the lawn altogether was 0%. The average goose is not as dumb as he looks apparently. At some point prior to my glimpse into their little eco-system at least one goose must have flown close enough to the defenders to realize that they were either artificial or somnambulists. If he had kept this tidbit of information to himself, then the entirety of the lawn's riches would have been his for the taking.

Alas, secrets run through a goose like (well, you know) and he told two friends and so on and so on. By the time I passed by Steinen yesterday afternoon at 2:30, every goose save Gossage was on Steinen's lawn. And every one of them was strategically located at least fifty feet from the Goose Patrol. How odd considering in the promotional video of one outfit that markets these pseudo-dogs, the results are spectacular......if by "spectacular" one means, "literally impossible to confirm or verify".

And for reasons known only to me and the chorus of voices inside of my own, jumbo-sized head I not only envisioned the anguished looks on the faces of the Steinen executives who burnt the funds on this purchase - at least those who have windows that front Parsippany Road - but I envisioned as well the logical next step in their lawn protection plan. And I found myself hoping that crows are a whole hell of a lot dumber than geese or someday soon we are all going to be paying $10.00 an ear for corn.

Run away! Run away!

-AK

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