Evil black eyes fixed me with a steely stare and it was definitely game on.
The battle for survival had started and there was only going to be one winner.
The scene of the showdown was City Square, at lunchtime, after it was reported that so-called experts had come up with a way to stop gulls stealing food – by staring them straight in the eye.
Apparently they are much less likely to take food when someone is looking at them, researchers found.
But these were English experts from the University of Exeter, dealing with English gulls.
Scottish gulls, particularly from Dundee, are made of sterner stuff. Much sterner.
I was testing the theory of going eyeball-to-eyeball with the city’s menacing gulls.
And, despite hailing from Paisley, where a death stare is a regular occurrence at weekends, this was a scrap I was never going to win.
I honestly would have fancied my chances more in a first-to-blink contest with legendary Scottish midfielder Graeme Souness, known as much for his tough-as-teak tackles on opponents as his ability to pick out a team-mate with an inch-perfect, diagonal pass.
But this showdown, nose-to-beak was worse. Much worse.
It was Dundee’s version of The Hunger Games, the movie set in a dystopian future where rival districts send a young competitor out to fight to the death and the winners are rewarded with food, supplies and riches.
There were no riches on offer near the Caird Hall, just two packets of sandwiches, one cheese and one ham.
However, to the two combatants it was top stuff.
I maintained my stare as the gull edged closer and closer to the morsel of crust on the table. I didn’t blink, not once.
Then, suddenly, out of nowhere three massive gulls swooped from all angles to rob their rival of the prize. You blink, you lose.
I had covered my eyes and my head. My bottle had crashed. I feared for my life. One of the gulls, the prizewinner, flapped those enormous wings and I was gone. It honestly seemed to be as wide as the table.
Before the carnage had ceased, another hurtled in on the blind side and pierced the closed sandwich packet with that terrifying beak and made off with it in one movement. Terrifying.
Yet those pesky Exeter researchers claimed they found most birds will not take food when close to humans. Rubbish. Just ask Dundonians.
One man openly admitted during my experiment that he regularly eats in the office.
Claire Henderson, 55, from Broughty Ferry, said of staring: “That’s not going to work. Just last year at the Wellgate I saw a guy who had been hired with a Harris hawk to frighten them off but he’s not there any more.
“I don’t know how you solve the problem. Even putting a big net over City Square would probably kill them and that’s not allowed.
“One colleague out eating the other day said it was like Jurassic Park when they all flew down.”
Susie Clark, 57, also from Broughty Ferry, tried to stare down a gull, albeit without food, and admitted: “It didn’t work. They are more aggressive now than ever.”
Meanwhile, Sandra Scrimgeour, 57, from Dundee, was with her two-year-old granddaughter Zahra when a snatch squad of gulls tried to grab the McDonald’s Happy Meal box from their table.
She said of the theory on staring them down: “They don’t even look at you, they just look at your food.
“A couple of weeks ago one swooped down and took the cheeseburger out of Zahra’s hand.”