I loaded up my shopping trolley and headed out to cope with some of the mandatory Xmas jobs. I wasn't half a block from home before I was squatting on the sidewalk with two distressed children and their grandmother, trying to sweet-talk Liam the bluetick hound into coming onto the sidewalk and off the street, where he was wandering aimlessly and barking (and that dog has a voice like a French horn). Bad idea #1: a restless bluetick hound is not necessarily the ideal canine companion for a fairly urban address, and I myself have pulled Liam out of traffic twice before, when he was still a puppy, and I'm not sure I would trust him not to bite me now if I got him by the collar. But he was eventually chivied back onto his own porch and into his own house. I went on my way and when I passed the subway overpass there, sitting on a strand of wire, was a hawk. Like, super close. I was convinced it was caught on the wire and was heading to the vet to ask if they'd call animal services, but then I noticed that Patty from the clinic was out there with a transit official, pointing at something: a cage with four or five frantic pigeons in it and a frozen bowl of water, very deliberately set up on TTC property. Bad idea #2: trapping pigeons, even if they are feathered rats, without providing adequate shelter and care. The hawk wasn't caught on the wire; it was hanging around to keep an eye on the captive pigeons. I don't know what doofus set up that trap or why, but when I dragged myself home, the cage was empty and the pigeons were gone.

Damn, as a species, there just isn't a lot to recommend us.