Evicting geese 

click to enlarge Goose image

It's hard to reason with geese, and just about impossible to get them to take a hint. You try to make them feel unwelcome, and either they will or they won't, depending on the dim algorithms that animate geese.

You can't tell them to go do unto themselves what Veep Dick told Sen. Leahy to go and do unto himself — it will roll right off their backs because it is characteristic of their genus that they simply won't be insulted. They hear disparaging comments by other species as appreciative of them, even flattering, and are likely to go into a preen. They think the world sees perfection in them as the duck-stamp painters do. It's simply beyond their capacity to think that a city councilman talking about a "nuisance species" might be talking about them.

Whether this self-deceit is the result of a conscious decision by some wise old goose of the past, a goose Confucius or goose Solomon, we don't know. But there's nothing in the ordinary goose weltanschauung, such as it is, to suggest as much. They simply seem to have found their Happy Place in the rather large zone beneath contempt, and see no reason to venture up out of it into the meaner realm where despair and self-consciousness and snapping turtles lurk.

Some of them like it wherever they happen to be so well that they've quit migrating — or forgot their obligation to do it, now that the glaciers are in full yearlong retreat. They just hang where it suits them, dookeying up their whereabouts as only geese can, not even wondering about what might happen next. There's even something endearing, or almost endearing but not quite, in their insouciance.

You'll perceive that I'm making here an ontological appeal for a local resident gaggle. That's a fact. A knot of them have homesteaded a small portion of Burns Park in North Little Rock, putting down roots there under some anserine statute that no human has ever seen or could make heads nor tails of if it were made manifest.

Even if there were a way for us to understand their lazy hazy crazy territorial claim, this flock of Canada geese would have no standing in our courts, and would find no jurisprudential sympathy or pity. And unless someone comes forward with a plan to humanely relocate the flock, the Polizei will be on them like they're Occupy Wall Street junebugs, batoning them senseless and bejugging them with pepper spray, whomping with particular animus the oldest old-timers of the bunch and the disabled combat vets — after which the whole lot of them will be lined up before a firing squat and shot.

A select group of fearless "hunters" will do those honors.

Our little gypsy goose troupe won't be saved from this ad hoc trigger-happy nimroddery unless we somehow get it through their mostly empty skulls that the naked apes who run things now do things different, in ways that facilitate apeness but not necessarily gooseness.

For instance, they have strict rules against trespass that supplant the age-old notion of free range; you can only loiter where the anthropoids say you can. And you have to justify your presence practically anywhere by showing your papers — papers proving you have visible means of support — whenever they're demanded of you. In short, lacking a sinecure, an inheritance, or a high-dollar lottery ticket that's a certified winner, you have to get and hold a job. Even if you're a goose.

Jobs are scarce these days. Nabbing a fulfilling one, one that you like, is just about out of the question. Just a gainful one — i.e., a crappy one — is a long shot. Prospects are especially daunting for non-human job seekers. But not insuperable.

The Peabody ducks found steady work as flophouse mascots soon to star in their own reality-TV show. Thoroughbred horses find semi-celebrity seasonal employ at Oaklawn Park, and it pays well even if it does entail occasional brisk cropping by little bitty clown-dressed men. We have about a hundred Arkansas seeing-eye dogs working long shifts for subsistence wages, and donkeys who'll play exhibition basketball or lend calm background authenticity to manger scenes. We have maybe a million cats who'll demouse your premises if you'll act like you don't want them to. And at least that many pea-brain turkeys who know that if a Mark Darr can nab himself a good job with ritzy benefits and no responsibilities, then it shouldn't be too much of a challenge for a goose.

After some mulling I've come up with one possibility for our geese.

Draft them to fly as an honor guard for the Little Rock Airport Commission as those worthies leave for or return from one of their regularly scheduled luncheon meetings on the Rue de Haut Porc in Paris, France.

All bets are off, of course, if Newt Gingrich manages to slither into La Casa Blanca after next year. Then all the jobs will be filled by 10-year-old human children, whether the 10-year-old children want to fill them or not. Call them apprentices and they don't have to be paid. Give them a whupping if they ask for seconds on the gruel.


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Bob Lancaster

  • Wretched rez

    I had some New Year's Rez(olutions) for 2016 but that ship sailed so I'm renaming them my Spring Rez or my All-Occasion Whatevers and sending them along.
    • May 26, 2016
  • Nod to Bob

    A look back at the weird and wonderful world of Bob Lancaster.
    • Mar 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Issue 3: blank check

    Who could object to a constitutional amendment "concerning job creation, job expansion and economic development," which is the condensed title for Issue 3 for Arkansas voters on Nov. 8?
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Latest in Bob Lancaster

  • Lancaster retires

    Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.

    • Feb 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • Making it through

    Made it through another January, thank the Lord.
    • Feb 6, 2013
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • The politics of opportunity

    Are you sick of the election yet? One thing that seems certain is that our politics remain as hyperpartisan and dysfunctional as ever. I may be naive, but I think Arkansas has an opportunity to help lead the country back toward pragmatic progress on the issues that will make our families and communities stronger.
  • The end is near

    Practically speaking, it doesn't really matter if Donald Trump accepts the results of the November election.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Football and foster kids

    • I think Bart Hester just hates tax dollars being spent anywhere for anything.

    • on October 27, 2016
  • Re: The politics of opportunity

    • Maybe we need to revive a grassroots movement to have (1) nonpartisan redistricting (2)Top two…

    • on October 27, 2016
  • Re: The politics of opportunity

    • I don't see the collective will to accomplish these things, either within or out of…

    • on October 27, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation