March 6, 2018

dear sparven - goose edition

Dear Sparven,

I have just started a great job with a large, reputable company located downtown.  When I arrived on my first day of work, however, I noticed a flock of hundreds of geese congregated on the property in front of the building.  The geese were still there when I left that afternoon.  One goose chased me as I was walking down the sidewalk.  Is there anything that can be done about these geese?  Should I complain to the building management?  I'm an animal lover, but the geese don't seem very nice.

Flocked in Fresno

Dear Flocked,

You should not waste your time notifying anyone in your work building, as an infestation of geese is a permanent affliction.  These same geese, and any friends they pick up along the way during migration, will return to the property year after year.

I will refrain from asking the obvious, i.e., why you did not notice the geese during your job interview(s) and make a sound career decision to avoid the fowl.  It is possible that the interviews were conducted off-site, in the best interest of the company to attract high-quality candidates who would otherwise run away and then fail to return phone calls.

Instead, I can offer advice about how to cope with this unfortunate new cross you have chosen to bear.

1.  Geese are born evil.  A goose cannot be tamed, herded, trained, reasoned with, or expected to shy away from pedestrians.  A goose will even tend to lie in wait if it knows a human is going to pass by soon, and will enjoy the opportunity to relentlessly beak-thrash person and property.  Once a door has proven to be fruitful in providing human fodder, a goose will make that door its territory.  If this happens, it is advisable to use another means of ingress and egress, such as a fire escape, underground tunnel, or human hamster ball (non-inflatable, res ipsa loquitur).

It's too late.

2.  If geese cannot bodily obstruct the path between an office door and a parking lot, they will attempt to obstruct the path instead with ample deposits of dark green goose-poo.  Tread carefully.  The poo is not as dangerous as a live goose pecking a hole in your right calf, but it smells worse and makes the hamster-ball method problematic.  Furthermore, you would not win a lawsuit, were you to slip on and fall into the dung, as you would have had notice and comparative negligence would be against you.

3.  Geese are angered when a human avoids both a goose and poo and makes it safely to a motor vehicle.  Thus, you will frequently witness large portions of a flock blocking your driving path as you attempt to leave the premises.  This gives the geese the upper wing, I'm afraid, and your only option is to inch forward and let the geese slowly scatter from eventual boredom.  While there is no moral culpability incurred by running down as many geese as possible with your car, I recommend against it out of practical concern for your tires, chassis, and visible license tag information.  Don't be a martyr, even for the sake of performing a public service.  Any surviving geese will remember your tag and retaliate.

4.  In the early spring of each year, geese will "pair off" with a lifelong mate.  During this process, there is increased aggression between the geese that will undoubtedly be taken out on humans as well.  Guarding your shins is essential.  If you do not possess greaves from a set of high-quality armor, combining several pairs of soccer shin guards will suffice.

I hope that your new job is both fulfilling and lucrative enough to justify the daily scourge you have accepted.  A final piece of advice:  Be sure to carry with you at all times a map showing the routes to the nearest hospital and urgent care facilities in the area of your workplace.  Good common sense is always in order.


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