Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lost appetites

A friend of my dad's told me the following two stories yesterday:

Her ex-husband had worked at the USF&G Building in downtown Baltimore while Scarlett, the famous peregrine falcon, was in residence there. Apparently it was not uncommon for office workers in the building (especially newcomers) to return to their desks to eat, or abandon their lunches altogether, when the peregrines dined: one of the peregrines' favorite "butcher's blocks" or plucking perches was directly above the cafeteria window, and some people were put off by the blizzard of disjecta membra—feathers, gizzards, guts, feet—that fell past the window as Scarlett or her mate dismantled a pigeon.

[The USF&G Building, now the Legg Mason Building. It doesn't really lean; the Pisa effect results from my unsteady hand as I shot from a boat today.]

Another acquaintance of hers, a lifelong Baltimorean, happened to be present when a body was recovered from the Inner Harbor. As often happens, scavengers had found the body first—it was covered with dozens of blue crabs. They may be Baltimore's favorite seafood, but the lady never ate crab again.

(Happily, I have no such inhibitions.)

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