See. Told you.
Now’s the time of year when the clocks go back. Next Saturday to be precise. I know I write about it every year, but that’s because it’s one of those things in life that makes absolutely no sense to anyone apart from a couple of farmers. You might ask what difference the loss of an hour makes to a pigeon seeing as none of us wear watches. Well, I’ll tell you. For a start, we’re not big fans of the dark full stop. It makes navigating pavement cracks a whole lot harder, so getting an extra hour of it suddenly is a pain in the arse. It also means less people eating in the great outdoors therefore less throwaway potential. The main reason though is depression. I’m a firm believer in the powers of Vitamin D, and with life as tough it is, we need as much as we can get.
Every year, I’m convinced I can see an increase in the number of depressed pigeons soon as British Summer Time ends. Pigeons suffering from lethargy, over-eating, tiredness, poor sex drive etc. All the classic symptoms.
A couple of years back I interviewed a pigeon called Jim. Jim had spent several years as a manic depressive, until he met Janet from the MPB. MPB, Make Pigeons Better, is a charity run out of Camden helping depressed pigeons from all over London. I decided to track them down to see if they agreed that loosing an hour overnight only makes things worse…
I’m glad to say they’re both still together and have already hatched around fifteen to twenty. They weren’t sure of the exact number. Jim hasn’t had an attack for a couple of years and now works with Janet at the MPB as a counselor.
This is a shot taken recently of Jim and Janet with some of their patients on a day trip to the Embankment sign:
That’s Jim and Janet at the top keeping a watchful eye. Apparently, these three have only just come off the high-risk register. Good work.
I asked Janet if she thought the clocks going back had any impact on the number of depressed pigeons in London:
“Absolutely. I think pigeons just find the whole thing quite confusing. One day they’re out happily tucking into dinner. Then they go out at the same time the next day, and it’s dark. I think it really throws pigeons, so those prone to depression are bound to suffer.”
Jim, looking somewhat grayer these days, agreed:
“Yeah. Totally. You can see it everywhere. Soon as it happens, loads of miserable pigeons. Millions of them, especially in King’s Cross. No-one gives a shit we get an hour extra on the ledge in the morning. Only thing that happens is the sun comes up earlier than it’s meant to. Load of old bollocks.”
So, there you have it. Proof from those in the know. You wait. This time next week, just watch out for the number of vacant looking pigeons shuffling about aimlessly through the streets of London. Anyone out there got any suggestions, let me know, and before you say it, we’ve tried staring at street lamps.
Seeing as time’s fast running out on sorting Pigeon Olympics 2012 around next year’s London Olympics, I thought I’d better get back on the case with sourcing some more contenders. A pal told me about some dude called Steve down in Kingston who’s started teaching synchronised swimming. Trying to put together a team, apparently. WTF? Seeing as pigeons can’t swim, not even slightly, I had to get down there to investigate.
Turns out he meant more ‘flapping around in the water’ than actual swimming.
Still, here is is demonstrating the ‘Open Wing Splash Back':
Not bad, although I’m not sure any of the others were quite getting it.
Most of them just stood around looking, frankly, a little bemused:
Maybe it’s more of a solo event, possibly just for Steve?
Mart just woke me up from a snooze.
“Brian! Brian! Quick! There’s a stall in Soho giving away a free bird with every burrito!”
Despite the fact it was practically night time, this was something I had to investigate. Thankfully it was just round the corner. A stall giving away free birds? No more hanging around on dusty ledges waiting for that ‘special someone’? Just go to a stall, and get one for free..? Bring it on! And you get a burrito thrown in. A free bird, and a burrito. Too good to be true, especially in the West End.
Anyway, turns out this is what he’d seen:
Twat. Saying that, turns out he wasn’t the only one to have misunderstood the misleading signage. Bill had been there for hours:
“No free birds around here, mate. Think they’ve run out of burritos too… Really fancied myself a burrito. Bollocks.”