This weekend I finally decided to attend a tile installation class at my local Home Depot here in Vacaville, CA. The instructor was a “good ‘ole boy” from Kentucky, and let us eager learners know that it would last the better part of two hours. So of course there I was eagerly filling page after page with notes to cover all aspects of laying tile. At times he would ramble on and on about how money driven Californians are (of course true), and how he missed slappin’ hogs on the farm (as if we gave a crap). A good guy, but certainly long winded. So I would on occasion let my mind drift away, and as I did so, I became acutely aware of the intercoms and announcements going on in the store. All of a sudden I thought I was losing my mind as I could distinctly hear duck noises coming from high above in the rafters. Since I’m not a total idiot I dismissed them instead of looking for their location. They stopped and I put them out of my mind completely. Minutes later they were back…unmistakable duck sounds. At that point I thought I would ask the guy next to me if he heard them too. Well as most things go, the sounds then stopped and he looked at me as if he was waiting for me to bust out laughing. I told him never mind and we both turned away. At least five more times during the class I would hear these sounds, and each time I would turn to him for a response. Each time in turn he would grow more uncomfortable and try to ignore me. After the two agonizing hours were up, the instructor concluded and asked the class for questions, I had none to speak of since after an hour in I had stopped paying attention anyways as I feared I was suffering from some form of early dementia.
Well figuring I had already conceded to the fact that I was hearing repeated duck sounds, and rationalizing it down to some form of trance that makes you purchase more stuff for your home, I decided I would ask customer service if I was alone in hearing this. At first the two young people just gave me a wide eyed smile and I thought to myself….”dude just get the hell out of here and go have a beer.” But to my amazement, they instead confirmed these noises to not only be true, but to being “piped in through the speakers by management.” Dumbfounded I questioned the reasoning and they stated, “we have a real problem with pigeons flying in and management thinks that playing the duck sounds will drive the pigeons out of the store.” All I could think is that you have to be freakin kidding me. Since when do ducks attack pigeons or even intimidate them so that they disperse. I could see maybe falcon sounds or even shotgun blasts, but freakin ducks? Well at least I realized I wasn’t completely nuts although I spent the better part of 20 minutes trying to find the guy that sat next to me in class so I could deliver the proper “I told you so.” Has anyone ever heard of this actually working?