Pigeon poo

Two old people were arguing this afternoon under the memorial to Joan Amades on Calle Carmen in the Raval about whether the pigeons should be fed. The argument proceeded along roughly the same lines as in the 1950s Parisian skirmish recorded in Juan Goytisolo‘s Señas de identidad (1966), in which the old man is determined to continue feeding the buggers despite the buckets of water chucked down by the widow on the third floor:

Old man: Madame, Dieu vous regarde.
Widow: Moi aussi je suis croyante, Monsieur.
Old man: Vous faites une mauvaise action.
Widow: Ça, c’est ma conscience qui doit me le dire, cher Monsieur.
Old man: Ce sont de pauvres bêtes innocentes.
Widow: Innocentes, peut-être, mais sales.
Old man: Ils ne font de mal à personne.
Widow: Ils font des saletés partout.
Old man: Vous aussi vous faites bien vos besoins, Madame.
Widow: En tout cas soyez certain que je ne les fais pas sur ma fenêtre, cher Monsieur.
[The “you” figure, a young and affluent Spanish Communist in exile, continues to gaze out of the window of his trendy Parisian attic. How noisy the Spanish immigrant workers were at la gare d’Austerlitz earlier today! How unfortunate that he was unable to film their distress at being contracted to work for a decent wage!]
Old man: Attention, Dieu vour punira un jour.
Widow: Il a d’autres choses à faire que de s’occuper de vos pigeons, le bon Dieu.
Old man: Ne soyez pas si sûre que ça, chère Madame.

At this point “you”, a thinly disguised Goytisolo, takes another swig of Beaujolais and continues to wonder how best to express his frustration at the rejection by the Spanish in the post-war era of God (alias Stalin, José Antonio, Bakunin) in favour of dear old Mammon. Tom Lehrer had much more fun (and probably made rather more money).

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