For centuries, throwing rice at an Italian wedding signified wishing the newlyweds prosperity and fertility. At the same time, however, it inadvertently contributed to the fertility of the pigeon population in and around St. Mark's Square in Venice, where over 40,000 of them regularly attend services. Consequently, the mayor, Massimo Cacciari, is considering a ban on throwing rice as part of his initiative to reduce the "burgeoning pigeon population."
The city has already introduced birth control pills (their aculpa) into pigeon feed, but to no avail. The little heathens keep eating the rice.
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