OPINION: Rich bloke across canal pays price
COMMENT BY DAMIAN BATHERSBY: I FEEL a bit sorry for the bloke across the canal.
I haven't felt that way about him too often. After all, he lives in a flash house on the water with a fancy pool, outdoor entertainment area and one of those pontoon things for his big boat.
I can see his luxury set-up from the window of our two-bedroom apartment, which hasn't had a facelift since 1973. And I admit, there have been times I've wished I lived in his place.
That was until the other morning when I was having a coffee and heard a commotion outside.
I looked out the window to see a flock of birds land on the canal.
I think they were terns.
Old mate across the canal probably had another name for them after what they did.
I don't think it was anything personal, but the entire flock climbed out of the water to perch on his pontoon.
Fair dinkum! There were at least 100 of them standing there sunning themselves.
"Isn't that pretty!" my wife exclaimed as she took photos out the window.
"I wonder why they would be doing that? Maybe he puts food out to attract them."
I didn't tell her there was no food involved and old mate probably wouldn't have been too thrilled about his avian avalanche.
We watched the flock for about 15 minutes as they basically stood around chatting and airing their wings like pensioners on a day trip.
Then they began to drift off - in ones and twos at first and then in larger groups until the pontoon was empty.
"That was amazing," my wife said with a sigh.
"Mother Nature at her finest. It's moments like these that ..." her voice trailed off.
"What's wrong darling?" I asked, knowing full well that reality was rapidly dawning.
"Oh my god!" she exclaimed.
"What's that? All over the pontoon.
"Great big piles of .....
"Of no. I think I can see steam coming off it.
"Those birds have just crapped all over that man's pontoon."
The birds hadn't stopped for a chat. They'd called in for a collective toilet stop and the neighbour's pontoon was the nearest available space.
I didn't wait around to see him discover the mess. I imagine he wasn't impressed.
I do know I will be back at the window tomorrow morning and this time I'll have a camera ready.
Mother Nature's a cruel beast, isn't she.