WHAT IT IS
When Mutt Jefferson rumbled up to the loading docks and saw five eighteen wheelers ahead of him, he knew he was in for a long wait. The University of Pittsburgh had been on lockdown for two days while campus police scoured every nook and cranny for a gunman students reported roaming around the university’s library. At the end of the second day, Wally Sebastian was found asleep in a student residence with his AR-15 beside him. All this drama lead to a major backlog on campus, meaning Mutt would have an unscheduled delay in his trucking agenda. Mutt tossed around in the sleeper for an hour, tried reading a Reader’s Digest for the third time, turned on his TV and rolled his eyes at Ellen before finally deciding to go for a walk.
Mutt could see a tall building from where he was, so he slow walked in its general direction but before getting there he was drawn to an excited crowd of students outside an administration building. White crowned sparrows were hurling themselves against the large glass windows and falling to the ground, most were dead but some survived. Mutt immediately recognized that these birds were displaying symptoms of pesticide poisoning, often manifested with migrating birds losing their ability to find north resulting in haphazard flight patterns with many birds flying into objects that may be in their way. With the help of the students, Mutt gathered up the live birds to bring them to his sanctuary where an ex-INSECT biologist was working on detoxification techniques for such victims.
WHAT IT IS NOT
They are rapidly making Barcelona unlivable, Marseille has become a no man’s land for ordinary people and it’s nearly impossible to find a Venetian anywhere in Venice. The marauding hordes come by airplanes, trains, cruise ships and automobiles and they will not be stopped as they take over every restaurant, hotel, B & B and flophouse up for rent or sale. As these tourists occupy more and more space, the original residents are forced far and away from where they once lived.
This reality was, more or less, what Mark Malloch saw for the future of space tourism and although it was a long way off, Malloch delighted in the knowledge that he may be responsible for sending the earth’s opulent hordes deep into space. Malloch’s occupation with this notion was soon rocketed back to reality when a white crowned sparrow landed on the window sill outside his motel room. Could this be the same bird that he’d seen at this exact location some months earlier? Of course not, he thought! Malloch was back in Canso, Nova Scotia and getting ready for a rocket launch scheduled for the next day. He spent several grueling months revising data compromised by Butsey and Beersey and believed the launch was now ready to go off without a hitch.