Thursday 23 October 2014

Those clever crows see us for the birdbrains we really are

Published 02/06/2014 | 02:30

'Eamon Gilmore, who made the mistake of being too patriotic for his own good, was forced out of office. History will be kinder to him than the reactionaries.'
'Eamon Gilmore, who made the mistake of being too patriotic for his own good, was forced out of office. History will be kinder to him than the reactionaries.'

There's these birds singing away in the wood and the song they are singing has a familiar refrain. I'm sure most of you can't understand a single word of bird, but I can. There are those of you who can identify which bird is singing and will guess that it's a mating call, but do they know the lyrics? Well I do.

This is Wednesday before the Monday of today. I'm writing the column in advance of Writers' Week because I'll be too wrecked to write it on Sunday morning, which is the usual time for sending in the piece. I have written some truly horrendous articles on the Sunday after Listowel Races and Writers' Week. So for the first time ever, the piece is written in good time.

Deadlines are good for people like me. I'd put off collecting the Lotto if I won it. It's a disease, but then when a real emergency occurs the years of leaving everything to the last minute stand to me and I am easily the calmest man. Planners aren't great when the plans go astray. They have no practice at f***ing things up like I have. So there you have the clue as to what the birds are singing on this bright, beautiful morning.

But before I tell you, there's something bothering me. Do birds get electrocuted or nuked by cancer-inducing vibes when they gather in high-wire conclave. Would the best thing be to clap your hands and roar 'go on birds, get off that wire or ye will be roasted alive'?

There's this oul' lad who used to live out the country. He's a rough man and so I barred him from the pub for ignorant behaviour in general and specifically for putting two dead crows up on the counter. I'd be fairly sure he poisoned them and so it was not unreasonable to ask him to leave and to take his crows with him.

He left but the crows stayed and I had to use the mother's floral oven glove to throw them out. It was the first time ever I barred dead crows from the pub. I did bar a small bird once when he ran in to escape a hawk, probably. The bird was really scared but I was even more scared of him. Norette from Abbeyfeale was in the bar having a drink and she went upstairs after the poor little bird and took him up on her hands, oh so gently. She barred him out for me and I promised to write her up in the paper as a thank you. Norette has a wonderful beauty shop called Heavenly Day Spa in Abbeyfeale. That was about 10 years ago, which sort of shows you how bad I am for putting things off.

Anyway I'm not scared of humans, so I ran up the street after the ignorant man and emptied the dead crows over his head.

Later, I heard he tied the dead crows to a scarecrow's arms so as to scare off the other crows who were trying to pick at his vegetables. The man wasn't just cruel and ignorant, he was stupid as well. Crows are really smart. Hang around any fast food joint and you'll soon see just how clever they are. Crows can take a burger out of one of those Styrofoam capsules, pick away the paper, remove the pickled gherkin and eat the rest. I'm sort of figuring out, wearing my ornithologist's hat, that pickled gherkins are bad for birds, or it could be that they just didn't like the taste. Hey, and remember, the crows didn't have any hands, just a pointy beak, and there's probably a few drunks trying to draw a kick at them while they're operating on the burger.

So how is it then that the ignorant man expects the tying of two dead crows to a scarecrow's arms will scare away other crows? The logic is clear – 'you're next' – but the logic is flawed. The crows surely have never seen a real man going around the place with two dead crows tied to his arms. There's the fact that real people never stay still in the same place for any length of time unless they are sitting or standing for an artist and surely there is only just the few paintings going on every day so they wouldn't have seen too many artists at work.

I'd be pretty sure the crow killer was eating bacon and no cabbage for the next few months and good enough it was for him, too.

People are very odd. Just look at some of the eejits we voted into office. Some of them are only in politics because they're fit for nothing else. Smart people will stay out because of all the abuse they get from the people and the papers.

We expect our politicians to be half saint, half crook. Eamon Gilmore, who made the mistake of being too patriotic for his own good, was forced out of office. History will be kinder to him than the reactionaries.

It seems to me we are more likely to vote for lads with two crows hanging off them provided they give us more money we don't have.

The song the birds are singing is the same every time... people are very odd ... people are very odd ...

And sure you know that, now that you know the lyrics, you can sing it yourself.

Irish Independent

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