Saturday 1 October 2016

Time for lull in gull cull mull

Published 26/07/2015 | 02:30

'If the seagulls had, according to Ned O'Sullivan, lost the run of themselves last summer, this summer we lost the run of ourselves about the seagulls'
'If the seagulls had, according to Ned O'Sullivan, lost the run of themselves last summer, this summer we lost the run of ourselves about the seagulls'

As collective fits of madness go it was a reasonably harmless one. Harmless that is, unless you were a seagull or one of their increasing number of victims. If the seagulls had, according to Ned O'Sullivan, lost the run of themselves last summer, this summer we lost the run of ourselves about the seagulls. As the ante was upped in seagull crimes during the week, you felt it was only a matter of time before we blamed them for the economic collapse. "A seagull landed on my head Joe, bold as brass, and told me to borrow more money."

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What started with a bit of harmless food-grabbing quickly degenerated into sheep-killing and knocking lads off motorbikes in Kerry. They were even snatching phones. We were just short of blaming them for coming over here and taking our jobs or organised begging.

As the week went on everyone became an expert in seagulls and we began to build a psychological profile of the offenders. According to several reports they are fans of Marks and Spencer sandwiches. Eating on the run seems to provoke them, and a child with an ice cream is a magnet for them.

But underneath all the foolishness were serious politics and this weekend the country is torn in two by a deep ideological divide. On one side we have the hang 'em and flog 'em brigade, who are calling for a gull cull. And then there are the bleeding heart liberals. They blame society. They say it is not the gulls' fault and that it is all down to the environment they grow up in. Apparently it's all of our faults for emptying the sea of fish, forcing the gulls inland in search of M&S prawn sandwiches and 99s.

Really though, the cause is irrelevant at this stage. The main issue now is how we prevent the gulls from taking over. They have already started populating our towns and cities and anyone who has seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies knows what happens next. A strong, charismatic gull will emerge, and under his or her or its leadership the gulls will start to work together to establish a new civilisation, a world where gulls are no longer second-class citizens. And then we'll be the ones facing the cull.

The stealing of the phone during the week will be looked back on by gull historians of the future as a critical moment in their breakthrough as a species. The gulls know that their biggest enemy now is Liveline and other radio shows. They know their first battle is to win control of the airwaves. And they know that for that they need phones. Already we have seen the tide turned on radio phone-ins and text-ins. Suddenly all these "people" are pushing the blame on to magpies and pigeons. The great gull propaganda war has begun. Next, fuelled by M&S chicken and stuffing sandwiches, they will take over the world.

Or else we will all totally forget this last week happened and not mention the gulls again until silly season next year. But, just in case, I'd like to say that I for one welcome our new seagull overlords.

Sunday Independent

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