SANTA BARBARA, CA – Audubon Society Scientists confirmed this past weekend that Santa Barbara’s famous red tile roofs are torturously maiming the world’s few remaining Bulbous-Breasted Bobolinks as they traverse the air lanes over the city en route to their seasonal breeding grounds on Anacapa Island.
Dr. George Weissman of the Audubon Society’s Science Division describes the phenomenon in detail.”The abundance of red tile roofs in Santa Barbara causes a localized meteorological condition known as Rising Radiant UV Shear, or RUVS,” he explains. “Sunlight strikes Santa Barbara’s 4,000,000 ft2 of red tile and the reflected UV rises with the aggregate force of a gamma ray hurricane. The passing Bobolink feels something like a thousand shards of glass tearing through the downy area just below its defenseless little throat.
“Then in writhing agony the endangered bird falls from the sky, flailing its near-useless wings just enough to make its descent non-fatal. The Bobolink strikes the ground at less than terminal velocity, such that it is not killed outright, but is disfigured and sterilized by the blunt force of the impact. Needless to say, perhaps; but a disfigured, sterile Bobolink is not going to be a great help in propagating the species.”
At press time, the Santa Barbara Red Tile Roofers Association were not returning calls, but did send an e-mail to the Santa Barbara Today-Examiner! offices. “Ask us about our success with the Snowy Plover. Or the common gull. And note that the Bobblings (sic) are not killed, only injured. Santa Barbara’s proud tradition of seeming to be a little bit Spanish will continue long after the world’s last Bobbling (sic) has been maimed by forces unrelated to Santa Barbara’s beautiful red tile roofs.”
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