Friday, December 29, 2006

My Final Advice Column of 2006

This is just too silly not to report. I was joking around with someone in my office this past Friday, and he noticed that my shoe was untied. As I stooped to tie my shoe, he complained that he had the same problem, in that the laces of his current pair of sneakers wouldn't stay tied. I suggested that perhaps in a spirit of mischief the makers of the shoes had lubricated the laces with STP. Remember STP? It was that reputedly, very slippery viscous stuff that was supposed to keep your car engine's pistons from wearing out or something. The STP logo was everywhere back in the 1960s and 1970s.

Mentioning STP jogged something in my memory bank. "Do you know what else STP is good for?" I asked.

One of the women within earshot guffawed.

"No, not that." I responded. "Something else."

So I told them my story. In my early twenties, I bought my first house. It was one of those tall, fairly narrow structures built before the second world war, with windows high up and jutting stone sills protruding from the windows, perfect for pigeons to roost on. Yep, pigeons -- those pesky birds that congregate by the hundreds and crap everywhere. I don't mind if they leave their deposits on the heads of stone politicians, in public parks, but I sure don't want them crapping all over my house.

What to do? What would you do, if you were slipping around on pigeon shit every day? The window sills of my house, the sidewalks alongside the house and every other available surface were covered with those nasty pigeon droppings. No-one I knew, knew what to do to solve the problem. The only solutions that I knew for sure would work were to shoot or poison the birds. Shooting pigeons in a highly congested area, even before our insane Canadian gun laws, was not the answer. And I didn't have the heart to poison them either.

I thought and thought and thought. How could I get those nasty critters to leave me and my house alone?

It occurred to me that pigeons don't wear shoes. They are always barefoot. If, like me, they didn't like to step into nasty, slippery, gooey stuff, there might be a solution at hand. Yep, STP. I got a can from my garage, painted all of the window sills with the viscous stuff, and. . . presto! Just as a magician makes pigeons appear out of thin air, I made mine disappear into thin air. They all packed up and left. All that was left for me to do was to clean up the mess they had left behind.

The fellow to whom I was relating this tale listened attentively. When I finished, he spoke: "Maybe that is what the letters STP stand for," he suggested, ". . . stop those pigeons."


So if your local park or the statue on the corner is infested with pigeons, perhaps that is your answer: STP.

You're welcome. In gratitude for my advice, please send me 50% of all the money saved on pigeon control and on cleaning bills. I will spend the money well. And every time I get an oil change in the Porsche I plan to buy with the proceeds, I will be sure to add a can of STP.

It's only fair, right?


  1. I remember STP stickers! A friend of mine had them all over the windows of his room, and on the bottom of his skateboard, and on the covers of his notebooks. I never knew what it was for, but I suspected the use to be a strong, manly one. Now I know for sure it is: Stop the Pigeons. Ingenious! Great story.

  2. LOVE IT! That is so ingenious and perfect!

    Happy New Year, Atavist!!!

  3. STP is great stuff for the summer oil changes. Marvel Mystery Oil is better in the winter.
    Never thought of using it for pidgeon repellent, but it's probably good at it, if the birds hate sticky stuff.

  4. I remember guys sticking STP logos on everything too. It must have been considered macho or something.

    I had never heard of Marvel Mystery Oil, but looked it up. Sounds like it will do just about everything except actually drive your car.

    Happy 2007!