By now, those of you who enjoy Internet ephemera probably know about the well-documented rise — and subsequent departure — of “Swoops the Attack Bird,” a plucky Front Street blackbird who delighted onlookers by pecking the crap out of those brave or foolish enough to stroll past his downtown nest.
In a true testament to human nature, crowds of people gathered to point and hoot at oblivious pedestrians broken out of their Financial District daydreams by a sharp peck to the head; the thought of someone saying, “Don't walk on that street, there's a crazy bird there!” doesn't seem to have come up. God help us if there's an open manhole anytime soon in the neighborhood.
In any event, those saddened by Swoops' decision to fly off to greener pastures and cease perforating the heads of San Franciscans can be gladdened by this news: His behavior is catching. In fact, while yours truly was walking the other day on Church and Duboce, I was jolted out of my own daydreams by the beating of wings in alarming proximity to my ear and a sharp, painful peck in the back of the head; it felt like being struck with a well-tossed rock.