Net: Our nocturnal hearts are warmed, and our intellects challenged, by the onslaught of owl letters we have received. Wol, we hope you’re satisfied with these responses. We must say, we’ve learned a lot.HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To Wol from Superfan: The reason fierce creatures such as fake owls lurk near the skyway at Blegen Hall is this: Birds are stupid. You see, when an aggressive bird flies by a reflective object such as a glass window, the bird will attempt to attack the other bird it thinks it sees. Net: Sounds like the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Having the owls prevents the Facilities Management team from having to clean up bird blood and skeletal remains from the skyway windows every day.
The owls are also placed there because the administration wanted to fool ignorant hunters, and so they shoot at the owls and not freshmen. Net: Perhaps — but who provides tastier meat? Another theory I have is that perhaps the owls were put there by the ULC, the Unified Legion of Squirrels. Net: ULC? You see, the owls are the leaders of the squirrels’ communistic government, and the leader of the ULC, the almighty West Bank albino squirrel, must answer to the supreme owls. Net: Oops. Sorry. This one turned into a squirrel letter. We apologize. Next! …
From Knowitall: This message is in reply to the naive little person by the name of Wol.
As a guide for the fine Bell Museum of our campus, I have an answer for you. But before I tell you the answer I think I will give you some hints to the answer, as we guides at the Bell do for the oh-so-small children who frequent the museum.
Where did you see these fake owls? That’s right, on a ledge. Net: Wish you would step back from that ledge, owl friend. Do you think they’re decoys? Probably not — there isn’t a strong owl hunting season as of yet, Net: But if you approve the state referendum, owl-hunting rights will be preserved for all eternity! and I think most of the ornithology students are confined to the St. Paul campus.
Could they be there to scare something away? Net: You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in. Maybe? Well, I like that choice. But what could they be scaring away? I don’t think they will keep any suicidal business students from making the jump. Net: We would under-sta-e-and … Maybe they are there to keep some other birds away?
What type of bird would be in such an urban setting, though? Net: Depends. In ancient Africa, there was the Dodo bird. In 1980s Boston, there was the Larry. That’s right — pigeons! Those realistic owls are there to do their part in keeping our U beautiful. Ledges are notorious places for pigeons to sit around and do nothing but, you guessed it, defecate on our wonderful buildings. Net: We would under-sta-e-and … Someone figured out it was easier to put a replica of a bird that eats pigeons out instead of choosing the natural idea of taking cheap shots at them with a rifle. If any other Network readers have questions about the natural world feel free to visit us at the Bell Museum. Hasta lasagna, don’t get any on ya! Net: Sound advice. But now, let’s heed the words of Cypress Hill and “spark another owl.”
From Biffman: As it turns out birds seem to think if it is clear, they can fly through it. So when you have a skyway you either end up with a pile of dead birds on the ground below or you have to keep the birds away. Besides holding hidden cameras, the owls frighten birds away from the skyway — same as the bird cutouts on the windows. Now the pink flamingos on Eddy Hall are another story.
From Peewee: I have an explanation for you, Wol. Those owls are there because they are our government’s symbol to remind all of us that we are under their ever-watchful eyes. (That’s ’cause owls got big eyes.) The owls are everywhere. Take your average $1 bill.
If you take a magnifying glass and look real close at the one in the upper right-hand corner, you will see nestled in there the picture of an owl!!! Net: All sorts of funky stuff on the $1 bill. That’s ’cause George grew pot ya know.
This is yet another example of the Orwellian slant of this country as we slowly slide down the slope from well-meaning, if wrong-headed, republic to utter fascist police state. How else can you rationalize the fact that the only decent candidate for governor of our state is a man who used to prance around on TV in black tights and a feather boa, AND was in “Batman and Robin,” one of the worst movies ever made by Hollywood. Net: Because your statement is a tautology. In our eyes, one can’t be a decent candidate for anything unless one is willing to prance around on TV in black tights and a feather boa. Remember kiddies, fight the power — and the only good owl is dead and on a stick.
From BOTT BOTT BOTT: Well, Wol, with a squeeze of KY and a curl of the tongue ring I happily answer your question concerning the owls. Living in a townhouse complex during my junior high days, I often inquired as to the purpose of these strange owls perched near every rooftop of the Beachside townhomes. Also, when I worked the Sky Ride at the state fair this past summer, I could not help but notice gazing off all the cable towers were, yep, more owls. They are everywhere.
Their purpose? To scare away rodents. Net: Ah-ha! So they’re used AGAINST the squirrels! Evidently our nocturnal cousins do not like the owl-shaped silhouette or the reflective eyes.
Frankly, neither do I. In other words, it is a matter of taste. Net: As are so many things in this happy little forum of ours. Thanks once again for your helpfulness, readers, and remember — they’re watching you. Have a nice day.