Food by VICE

Please Stop Throwing Pizzas at This British Pond

Dozens of "pizza bases" have inexplicably appeared on the shores of Bradmore Green Pond, throwing locals into a tizzy.

by Hilary Pollack
Feb 8 2018, 3:43pm

Photo by Jennifer Shannon

As the human race struggles to make sense of its time spent hurtling through space on this big wet rock, we're forced to reckon with so many unsolved mysteries of our world. Should I eat a Tide Pod? (No!) Why are all the mangoes in America so bad? (It's a conspiracy!) Can people have sex with aliens? (Unclear!) And most importantly of all, who keeps throwing dozens of whole pizza crusts at this quaint duck pond in an English village?!

Old Coulsdon is a village at the very southernmost tippy tip of Greater London. It has two pubs and three dentist offices, as well as a few churches. It's also home to a very nice pond, which, according to the Croydon Advertiser, has been recently plagued with serious pizza problems.

Since January 7, some prankster, irate pizzaiolo, wasteful dumpster-diver, or perhaps just misguided duck sympathizer has been visiting Bradmore Green Pond in the dead of night and littering its grassy shores with "stale and slightly mouldy" pizza crusts, or as they're fond of calling them in the UK, "pizza bases." On that date in early January, a park visitor stumbled upon no less than 27 of these crusts scattered around the pond sans explanation.

But the pizza massacre wasn't an isolated incident. Locals have reported seeing pizza crusts popping up around the pond in numerous instances since, and have become concerned that they'll attract rats and foxes and over-fatten the pond's ducks, toads, and turtles.

On Saturday, a man named Graham Page spotted a man throwing pizzas into the water from his car—a silver Toyota Yaris, mind you—and, believing him to be the repeat pizza offender, confronted him.

"I pulled up and said to him from the car window, 'The ducks don't like that, it's not good for them', and he told me he could feed the ducks whatever he wanted," Page told the Advertiser. "So I got out of the car to talk to him and told him that the community have been working hard at keeping the pond nice and clean but also that this is the second time someone has thrown pizza in there.

"I explained that it was littering and fly-tipping and asked him to pick the food up. He was calm at first but when I said that he told me he had permission from the police to be there and told me to f*** off."

Wow! Despite the strong words exchanged, the man, who claimed to work at a local pizzeria, eventually picked up the doughy disks at Page's insistence, then took off. (Fly-tipping, by the way, is a British term for dumping waste illegally.)

As noted by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, bread can be severely detrimental to the health of ducks and other fowl, as it can potentially leading to a condition known as "angel wing" that deforms the birds' wings and interferes with their ability to fly. They can also acquire lung infections from the mold on spoiled food.

While the first thing most people grab for a rowdy session of duck-feeding is a loaf of bread, the RSPB says that this is very bad, and that you should never feed ducks bread, chips, crackers, cereal, sweets, or any expired food. Could you sleep at night knowing that you were responsible for giving an entire flock a bad case of angel wing?

While this video of a baby duck eating Pizza Hut may look very cute, it's really a potential precursor to tragedy:

And if you see a man hurling pizzas at Bradmore Green Pond with the reckless abandon of an Ultimate Frisbee champ, tell him to kindly knock it off. That pizza could cause a quackless spring.