Pedestrians around Seal Beach Pier were reportedly treated to a most distressing sight: people getting out of a car, grabbing a pigeon, ripping its head off and smearing birdy blood all over themselves.
They are said to have then grabbed some more birds before filing back into the car and darting off.
Now, before we go any further, it behooves us to note this is from the local police blotter compiled by Carlos Alfaro of Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch. What is reported to police did not necessarily happen, just like a Fullerton cop saying he only tickled Kelly Thomas didn't really happen. Nutters, lonely hearts and Auntie Rae at the rest home often call in false reports to police. It's sad, really.
With that out of the way, we can say that a call did come in at 1:35 p.m. on Nov. 1, that beat cops and animal control were notified and that's all we know for now.
Of course, what immediately springs to mind is the annual pigeon shoot in the Appalachian Mountains of central Pennsylvania. That's where Jerry Sandusky's toothless relatives decapitate by mouth or fingers pigeons before tossing their headless bodies aside like yesterday's funny papers.
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However, as S. Hoon Song pointed out in his head-turning "The Great Pigeon Massacre in a Deindustrializing American Region" chapter of Natural Enemies: People-Wildlife Conflicts in Anthropological Perspective edited by John Knight (2000, Routledge), many of these Cletuses (Cletusi?) actually smear the pigeon blood on the faces of their kids. Because it's all about the children.
It would be ridiculous to assume that the Seal Beach pigeon decapitators/blood smearers were transplanted mountain folk celebrating the communal shoot, however. Why? Because that blessed event is held Labor Day. Workers of the world unite--by getting even for that poop on your windshields!
A more plausible explanation is the folks in the car, should they even exist, are Santeria devotees who commemorate births, deaths, marriages, new priest initiations and Bat Mitzvahs by ritually slicing the cartoid arteries of doves, goats, chickens, turtles and, yes, pigeons. Blood is not smeared on the Santerians, but the critter is cooked and eaten.
Obviously, the Seal Beach enthusiasts are both messy eaters and followers of the raw food movement.