There was once a time when I thought the snow was the coldest thing on this campus.
It was a simpler time, before I encountered the most diabolical, cold-hearted creatures on planet earth: the geese.
When I say “the geese,” I’m not referring to any goose. The UB geese are far from your average birds.
They’re massive animals whose only goals are to ruin your life and make you second guess every decision you’ve ever made.
In their defense, geese have the potential to be pretty cool.
Mother Goose, for instance, supplied my childhood with loads of fairy tales and memories.
UB’s geese are memorable too, in a far more obnoxious and terrifying manor.
Let me put into perspective how awful these little demons are.
A few weeks ago, I decided to take my daily run outdoors. It was about 60 degrees out and I was ready to bring along my favorite pair of short-shorts.
I began my run on the Ellicott bike path and after five minutes of moving my legs, I had to abruptly stop.
A mob of geese spontaneously crossed the bike path the second I approached; forming what appeared to be their rendition of the Abbey Road album cover.
As I was staring at John, Paul, George and Ringo, I evaluated my options.
I could’ve ran straight through them, at the risk of them biting off a few of my limbs. Or I could’ve ran around them and subjected my feet to piles and piles of unseen goose feces.
Needless to say, I decided to just sit tight and avoid both those traumatic experiences altogether.
Maybe I would’ve run right through those birds if they weren’t the size of human toddlers. Their size is actually their most menacing trait.
They’re twice the size of the average bird and use it to their advantage.
The geese find joy in huddling around passers-by and don’t move until they’re gifted food, much like middle school bullies looking for lunch money.
This tactic creates the vicious cycle that these birds thrive upon. If a student feeds these birds, they only increase in size, making them much more intimidating than before.
Size isn’t the only thing that these birds use to intimidate students.
UB is a large campus with plenty of empty land, but these geese still manage to defecate primarily on sidewalks and parking lots.
Their sole purpose of doing so is to watch students suffer, stepping on their goose deuce.
On that same run where I met the fab four, I had another situation play out further down the bike trail.
The trail became nearly impossible to see, as I played hopscotch avoiding miles and miles of goose feces. I should be able to enjoy my run once a day, without fear of stepping on a number two.
For students who don’t have to deal with these problems and enjoy the leisure of taking online classes, there’s something you should know.
These cruel animals don’t just function outdoors. They use their tactical annoyance skills to disrupt the lives of those inside, as well.
When you’re a student like me, who’s first class this semester is at 11 a.m., you want to enjoy the luxury of sleeping in each day. Unfortunately, the geese here don’t operate on the same schedule as students.
Roughly five times a week, since the beginning of this semester, the geese have been my personal alarm clock. Each morning at 8 a.m., I wake up to the sound of dozens of geese honking outside my window.
I thought the geese were directly outside of my room, voluntarily bothering the residents of my building, but I was wrong. One morning I looked out the window and realized that nothing was there. After searching for the heartless birds, I saw them.
The geese were on the roof of my 10-floor building and taking part in what could best be described as UFC for birds.
These animals were brutally attacking each other and letting out the most dastardly war cries I think I’ve ever heard.
At that moment, I realized something about these massive, frightening creatures. They don’t just hate us; they hate each other too.
How naïve was I to think that these geese had it out for students? Sure, maybe they’re not the most kind-hearted creatures, but at least we know that they feel the same way about each other as we feel about them.
To all the geese out there, I know you may be the most heartless animals on planet earth, but you are just as much a part of UB as we are. So please, let me sleep in on weekends at least.
Brenton Blanchet is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brenton J. Blanchet is the 2019-20 editor-in-chief of The Spectrum. His work has appeared in Billboard, Clash Magazine, DJBooth, PopCrush, The Face and more. Ask him about Mariah Carey.