Unfortunately the mission has been called off. They got the guy with the old exploding goat trick. I could’ve used the extra cash.
In the late sixties Canadian Geese were rare enough in Minnesota that one day around this time of year when there was still snow on the ground and I saw a small flock of them land in Lyman Lakes from the printmaking studio at Carleton, I ran to the back door and tried to sneak as close as possible to get a good look at them. They were wild and spooky and took off when I was still 20 yards away. I was utterly enthralled my the magnificent beauty of these giant graceful birds as they lifted from the lake, wings whisting, cheerfully honking. Today in this part of Minnesota you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a goose. They are the worst of vermin. Every putting green on every golf course is covered with goose shit. Can you imagine having to clear fifteen thumb sized green plugs of bird crap from the path of your putt? It’s virually everywhere that’s anywhere near water. And of course in Minnesota you’re always pretty close to water.
The Lake of the Isles, one of the gems of our urban chain of lakes, is particularly badly infested. I think that’s because the hot shot lawyer from Kenwood that used to drink at my bar got some goslings and put them in a chicken wire compound on one of the islands to protect them from foxes and got a flock started there. They come back to the same place to breed and twenty years later we had a huge flock. They were going to round them up during molting season with nets, and feed them to the homeless, but the animal rights folks stepped in. So they just netted them and hauled them out to North Dakota or some other desolate wasteland. They came back in about two days. You can see them flying around town all year long, many don’t even bother to migrate, there’s plenty of open water to be found. They once tried to find out where the ones that did migrate went. Rochester. Ninety miles south, where an power plant keeps a large area of water open all year. I suppose they were just getting their annual checkups at the Mayo clinic along with the movie stars and royalty.
Leo Kottke the great finger picking guitarist claims that his voice sounds like goose farts on a muggy day. I don’t know about that but I think the sound of their voices and wings and the sight of them skimming the tree tops on a foggy day as they land in the cemetary for dinner is still kind of exciting but for the most part these days its “just another fucking goose.”