When god was unhappy with the Egyptian Pharaoh for not releasing the Israelites from slavery he unleashed a plague of locusts upon the Egyptian people; it is as yet unclear what exactly the graduating class of Pepperdine University have done to deserve a swarm of pelicans to angrily descend upon them during their graduation ceremony, but there they were, lots of angry pelicans.
A video taken at the event shows chaos breaking out as several of the vast birds try land amongst the seated crowd. It is a scene almost reminiscent of Jurassic Park, where pterodactyls swoop over terrified crowds, but instead of revivified dinosaurs, this park – which also doubles as an accredited third level institution – is exclusively full of very angry pelicans with no sense of reverence for pomp and ceremony. The pelicans of Pelican Perk are nothing short of flying pricks with distressingly long beaks.
The video then goes on to display what may be one of the greatest acts of folly ever conducted by a human being. As one of the huge pelicans sort of waddles along the grass, in front of the hundreds of seated people, a man in a suit takes it upon himself to deal with the pelican. Such is the want of a man in a suit, when they see an emergency it is impossible for a man in a suit not to feel duty bound to throw themselves headfirst into the thick of the action. “Yes,” the man in the suit thinks, “It is my obligation, nay, my calling as a man in a suit to sort out this problem, as being both a man and an owner of a suit, I am clearly the most qualified to attend to this crisis.”
The man in a suit in question presumably went through some similar thought process before making his move on the irate bird. Had this man in a suit any prior experience of handling pelicans? Almost certainly not. Did this man in a suit have any other plan beyond ‘walking at it aggressively and then confidently trying to pick it up like it’s a slightly recalcitrant dog’? Obviously not. Had he factored in the beak? At any point during his thought process, while he was waddling up to it, did he consider that the evidently quite angry bird had a large beak. You can see by the surprise on his face when the pelican turns around and tries to almost swallow his entire arm in its bill, that no, he had not considered the beak.
Seeing a man’s ill-founded confidence instantaneously evaporate in a moment of beautifully profound hubris is delightful. It is a moment to be savoured.
The man in a suit sort of just wanders off, ashamed by the fact that he has been bested so thoroughly by the bird. It was then left in the charge of two other men who sort of stood vaguely bemusedly over the bird, blocking its access to where the degrees were being conferred, like they were nightclub bouncers barring an offensively drunken attendee- who also happened to be a pelican – from entry into the club