Pigeon Mafia Hit

When I sing, I like to wear vintage clothing. And I don't mean obscure-small-town-t-ball-champs-of-1984-t-shirt vintage. I mean, I like to seek out a gem of an outfit, something classy and fitted to suit the music I sing. Vintage dresses just fit my shape better.

In any case, I was trolling the shops in Kensington Market to find myself one such gem and I was totally striking out. I couldn’t find anything that worked. I had dragged my poor hubby around half the city to find something. For the last ten years, he has resigned himself to the chore of shopping with me. He usually sits outside whatever shop in the sun (you should see his sunburned knees) and waits patiently while I rummage away for hours. Poor sod.

While I was rifling through a particularly exciting trove of 1950s house frau dresses, I heard a great groan come from the crowd out on the street. Being a Saturday of the World Cup semi-finals, I figured that some joint nearby had a gaggle of fans sitting rowdy, pints in hand round a flat screen.

Turns out it wasn't a groan in response to a ref’s call or goal-ah or what-have-you. Apparently, a slow-moving driver had accidentally run over a rather unsavvy pigeon. Most pigeons have some road sense, but apparently this one had a death wish and the result was a crunching, horrible mess, witnessed by many passers-by on the street.

From that moment, having not been present to intervene and save this bird, frittering away my time and energy in the la-la land of vintage shopping, I believe I was caught in a vortex of pigeon Karma.

The following day was my singing show. I hadn't found anything new and interesting in the shops to wear, and so I had pulled together an outfit of one of my favourite old dresses that I had dyed myself, as well as a beautiful white silk shawl I had worn at my wedding. I had a bag full of music, I knew that I hadn't forgotten anything, I was well-rehearsed and I had plenty of time to relax and maybe even eat before I sang. Luxury! But alas, someone had other plans for me.

I was walking along, minding my business when out of a clear blue sky - Splat! Sploop! Son of a bitch!

A pigeon, leaning its feathery little turd-pelter over the ledge of a dry-cleaners sign (which was closed - somebody call Alanis Morissette ‘cause THAT is ironic, don't you think?) had sprayed the contents of its bowels all down the front of my dress and in various spots on my precious wedding shawl.

I swiveled around to confront the offender and shook my fist. It was all I could do.
"You BAStard!" A cyclicst whizzing by had witnessed the whole event and shouted something to the effect of "Ha Ha!" as he passed.

I know what you're thinking, it’s “good luck,” right? Yeah, well, that's what people tell you when you have bird crap in your hair or sprayed down the front of your dress to make you feel better. What are they going to say? Hey, you really should rethink your choice of accessories? Wow, I love what you’ve done with your hair, but the chunks are so last year? Or, ha-ha sucker? Really, the only way it could be “good luck” is perhaps the fact that you've already been crapped on, so how much worse can it get, eh? It's all up hill from here!

I finished cursing at the rat with wings as shocked mothers covered their children's ears and elderly Polish ladies genuflected, I retrieved my soiled dignity and continued down the street.

I dropped my bags at the club where I was singing and rather than start my show with a giant wet spot on the front of my perfectly-selected outfit, I jogged down the street to try to find a suitable, well-priced replacement. About three blocks away, I tore apart an unsuspecting shop-owner’s store. I must've tried on twenty dresses in five minutes. They were all really cute, but not quite the vintage vibe I was looking for. Finally this sweet little shop owner suggested she rinse my dress and stick it in her dryer downstairs.

"Bless you!" I shouted. I handed the dress over and tried to keep myself sane while I waited. Apparently, sanity is sitting huddled and alone in a dressing room, singing to oneself while rocking back and forth in ones underpants.

I could feel the time ticking away until finally I poked my head out of the dressing room door, panting like a lunatic, and I asked her to just GIVE me the wet DRESS! I will simply put it on and hope it dries by the time I sing. She nervously brought me the dress. It was perfect! She'd gotten the whole stain out and it was almost totally dry. I threw my arms around her, I think I may have even kissed her, pledging to return for a wild spending spree.

I got back to the club just in the nick of time and the show went very well. After all, I had already been crapped on, how much worse could it get?

What I learned from this: Just rinse it. It'll dry. I wasn’t able to rinse my shawl right away and now it has green poo stains on it. Oh, and… either pigeons are highly cosmically connected or there is simply a pigeon mafia. Be careful out there, they’re everywhere.

And Furthermore
: That shop with the amazing customer service is called Dressers, run by a brilliant gal called Mary-Ellen. It’s at 307 Roncesvalles Ave. (416-531-7356) and though it doesn't have any dressy vintage peices, it has numerous cute and comfortable sun dresses – believe me, I tried ‘em all – as well as lots of other fabulous casual wear.

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