Re: Should you not throw rice at weddings because birds swallow it and explode?

One thing has been overlooked–most weddings are performed on Saturday mornings/early afternoons. Birds #2 all over the sidewalks whilst consuming rice. Church-goers track #2 all over inside of church attending 5PM/7PM Saturday evening service(s). Sexton can’t get carpet shampooed Sat nite after 7PM service. Sunday morning, church carpet looks like used baby diaper. Clergy start spreading exploding bird rumor to keep carpet cleaning expenses down. Too cynical? Too clever/devious for clergy to invent? You decide.


MODERATOR COMMENT: Please note that this thread is from 2012, until Post #31 where a comment is added in Jan 2014. We’re OK with resurrecting old threads, I just want everyone to be aware.
LINK TO COLUMN: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1096/should-you-not-throw-rice-at-weddings-because-birds-swallow-it-and-explode – CKDH

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board! Being new here, you may not know that it is customary to include a link to the column in question, like so-this way everybody is on the same page.

Thanx for the info–how is this done? Any thing else (in a similar vein) I should be aware of (never use a preposition to end a sentence with)?

The easy way is to use the globe-and-link button.

You might want to take a quite look over the Registration Agreement and the FAQ… Omission of a link ain’t any kind of big deal, it’s just easier for other posters if there’s a link to the column. Welcome to the Straight Dope, glad to have you with us.

Now to topic: I don’t think that the clergy are that devious about something as trivial as bird poop on the sidewalk. Getting donations, sure, they’re crafty as the dickens, but not cleanin’ up the sidewalks. At least, I don’t think so. I like the thought, though. The Machiavellian clergy :slight_smile:

I remember an old geological engineer mentioned his early days in the Welsh coal mining industry. The miners would sit up top eating their lunch. they still had the calcium-carbide powered lamps. They would break off a small chunk, wrap it in bread, and throw it up in the air. Seagulls would grab this treat in midair, fly away, and then explode a minute later when the stomach liquids hit the calcium carbide.

Since birds typically regurgitate food to feed their young, I have trouble imagining that they would have trouble relieving stomach pressure on demand unless it were massive and sudden (like the welsh example). I have heard the story of cows who get into the dry oats needing an immediate pressure-relief stomach opening as the oats get wet and swell; but cows also reurgitate their cude for rechewing, so that too is likely an urban legend? Rural legend?

I’ve heard/read someplace that farmers would stick an icepick into a cows stomach to relieve gas pressure.
Sounds like an urban legend to me. But then, I’m not a farmer!
Is there any truth to this?

I got you come directions :slight_smile:

Thanks, sitchensis for that information. One question: Do they sterilize the knife before poking? Seems like a natural thing to do…

That is hilarious! …and when it comes to “The Church” I don’t think anything is too devious to consider. History teaches me that…

:smiley: bolding mine…that’s another thread.

Oh, thanx a LOT, Sparky, now I gotta go LEARN somethin :smiley: Seriously, thanks for the tip.

If it were true that rice would kill birds, wouldn’t we have used it as a safer form of pesticide? The efforts that we have gone to to rid ourselves of pigeons around buildings and statues and other places could have long been avoided by just feeding them rice. I think someone would have figured that out a long time ago if this were true.

  1. I don’t think slowly exploding pigeons from the inside would be considered either humane or effective as a form of pest control. Who wants a bunch of ruptured pigeons lying around to clean up?

  2. How have I not noticed a poster called burpo the wonder mutt? I know this is an old thread but that is a fantastic name.

I know you’re not supposed to throw rice at weddings because a grain can get lodged in the bride’s ear, resulting in deafness.

Janitors don’t like rice because it tracks all over and is hard to clean. Much more direct that birds.

15-20 years after the original column, so I guess there’s been some changes to wedding customs since then.

Our minister didn’t want confetti (which was popular when I was a child) because it’s difficult to clean up. Didn’t want rice because it feeds the rats. Must have missed the butterfly thing: we had bubbles.

[Tom Leher] it’s not against any religion
To want to get rid of a pigeon. [/TL]

Good column, and nice to see that the struggle against matrimonial rice-based ignorance goes on.

In Cecil’s column, looks like the sentence “I like your column a lot” in Eloise Needleman’s letter should appear in ital like the rest of it.

Well, I’ve never seen a pigeon explode. And a lot of people feed them rice, both in Thailand and in nearby countries. (We feed the family on our balcony nice, nutritious store-bought seed.)