Now this is a fact I like to keep quiet, particularly in my advancing years, but it was my birthday a couple of days ago. Oh yes. Up until Facebook, no-one knew. Sadly, since I filled in my details including the date of my birth, suddenly word spread and before I knew it, every pigeon I passed was going: ‘Happy Birthday, mate’. Unbelievable. Pigeons I’d never heard of telling me to have a great day. As it happens, I did, hence the three day gap between birthday celebrations and posting.
You see, on the whole, we pigeons don’t give a flying fuck when our birthdays are. In fact, we go all out to positively ignore them. Partying can happen at any time on any day. Fact. If the opportunity arises and there’s a party to be had, a party we will have.
Another fact is that pigeons really don’t like to be reminded of how old they are. Time flies quickly enough without the greetings.
Anyway, rant over, like I say – I had a good day. Hung out with mates. Loads of them. Hit The Square around midday and pretty much did nothing else. Found a spinny around 2, and we were off. Not sure what it was, but it tasted good. Head went straight away, followed pretty soon after by the legs, in quite a big way. Happened to almost all of us, apart from Mart, but I don’t think he drank it as quickly as the rest of us. So – that was that. Not sure how long we were like that for. No-one does. Later on we did the same thing all over again in Soho Square. Blinding day, literally.
Then I log on tonight, finally, and check this out. Someone made me a cake, stuck an edible photo of me on it, and sent me a pic.
Cheers, Steve! Nice one pal.
So that’s that for another year, thank fuck.
Cheers for sending this one, Andrew!
Further evidence that the squirrel has indeed been quietly going about mastering the art of Ninja style combat.
Be afraid. Be very afraid:
Once in a while in London, something great happens. Something that somehow makes the world feel like a better place. Something quite unexpected like, for example, the appearance of a large puddle:
Pigeons, in a large puddle.
Fun can be quite hard to find these days, particularly fun of an unusual nature, so a substantial pool of water like this randomly forming just ticks all the boxes.
Well, something equally as great and unexpected happened today. Something so great in fact I instantly forgot that it had been raining and sunny and raining and sunny again, and all in the space of five minutes, something I had found really quite disturbing.
Mart comes flying over, all two flaps of it, and goes: “Oi, Bri. The Yo Yo man’s chuckin’ out the free seed on Tottenham Court Road”. I couldn’t believe my ears. Yo Yo Man? Free seed? Tottenham Court Road? Surely not. We’d often clocked Yo Yo Man, mainly because all he did was stand there all day with Yo Yo written on him and was therefore a fine though somewhat easy target for Shit or Miss.
Anyway, we got down there sharpish and there he was, loving the pigeon:
Totally and absolutely digging everything the pigeon had to give.
Check out David’s celebratory fly on the left.
Free seed chucking is such a rarity these days, pretty soon a crowd started to gather. Sadly, this made Yo Yo Man feel a bit self-conscious, and he put the seed away. Fair play. Have to admit it was starting to get a little out of control.
Nice Yo Yo Man. That’s no more Shit or Miss for you, that’s for sure. You is a true pal to the pigeon.
It’s long been known that pigeons love nothing more than a bit of a tipple whenever the opportunity arises, and I include myself in that. Often though, it can get out of hand, especially on a Saturday, and particularly when the sun comes out. Don’t know why sunlight makes one want to drink more, but it does.
Ian sent me this pic that clearly demonstrates alcoholism amongst London’s pigeon community is on the increase.
No longer satisfied with nestling into a small spillage, some have taken to downing whole pints:
The look in the eye says it all, and, judging by the positioning of the tissue, it seems like he may have pissed himself too. Always a sure sign the session has gone too far.
Ian also sent me this. It was captured on the same day outside another pub nearby:
Straight lines of any description were out of the question, apparently, and he fell off the wall shortly after it was taken.
Like I say, I can’t really pass judgment being partial to the stuff myself, but scenes like this just aren’t good for PR. The bottom line is drink by all means, just don’t let it go too far, and, if it does, go home.
However, as we all know, flying when pissed can be tricky and generally isn’t a good idea. Following a series of mid air collisions, the ‘Don’t Drink and Fly’ campaign was launched a few years ago to highlight the obvious dangers of taking to the air whilst under the influence.
I decided to go speak to Jemima who was one of the campaign organisers at the time:
This is Jemima. Sadly bloated by years of abuse of the liquid grain, she used to be quite a stunner back in the day, apparently. Obviously, I didn’t say anything. It was clear that she was quite self conscious of her appearance as she remained seated throughout the interview. Frankly, I doubted whether she was actually able to stand at all.
I asked her what had prompted her to start the campaign in the first place:
“I was an alcoholic myself. Been at it for years. Really bad. Anything I could find. Soho was great for it in those days, especially early on a Saturday morning. If was fun, at first. A social thing really, but then it became a habit. I needed the drink. I was addicted. I’d look everywhere for it and spend all my time hanging around outside pubs. Such a waste. Then one day, I fell into a puddle of Special Brew, and that’s when it all went horribly wrong. A few of us tucked into it. I can remember thinking at the time; ‘My, this is strong stuff’, but I didn’t care. It was what we did. What we all did. The next minute, I was staggering around. My feet didn’t work and I couldn’t see anything. Not a thing. So what did I do? I took to the air. It was such a stupid thing to do. I just didn’t think. I took off and the next minute, there I was lying in a heap on the pavement. I’d flown straight into a brick wall. Smack. Wings all over the place sprawled out on the pavement. It was so embarrassing, and I had no idea what had happened. That was the moment I knew it had to stop, and I’ve been dry for four years.”
I asked her how she felt now desperately trying not to reveal that I thought she looked like a bag of shit. She said, “Much better, thanks.” She also said that she had recently started counseling pigeons suffering addiction. Fair play.
I suggested re-launching the ‘Don’t Drink and Fly’ message might be a good idea, especially with summer on its way. She said she’ll give it some thought.
This week, folks…..
Got nominated for Freakiest Blogger in the 2009 Blogger’s Choice Awards. Nice.
Bring it on.
Remember Jim? The dude who was saved from the ledges of Kings Cross by the lovely Janet? Well, I bumped into Janet today and she told me that, sadly, Jim had lost the plot completely now and was back living in The Cross. I was shocked, but not altogether surprised.
I asked her to show me where he was. She said she would, but that I should be prepared because what I was about to witness wouldn’t be pleasant. Jesus Christ. She wasn’t wrong.
We found him hanging onto a crusty old ledge opposite the station with his feet all covered in shit. Just standing there he was, twitching a bit going, “There’s no place like home”.
Janet said he’d been like that for a while now.
That’s Janet on the left.
Jim was looking right at her but, judging by the lack of focus in the eyes, he clearly had no idea who she was.
“I can’t even look at him anymore”, she said. Tragic.
Then, it got a whole lot worse:
Suddenly, he opens his wings and goes, “Like a phoenix, I rise from the ashes! Rise phoenix, Rise!”, and throws himself off:
Janet could only sit and watch in despair.
Thankfully, the wings still worked and he remembered how to use them.
He returned to the exact same spot on the ledge, and just stared blankly at Janet looking as mad as a box of Frosties:
Think that was the moment Janet said she couldn’t take anymore. Fair enough.
On the basis of today, I have vowed never to visit Kings Cross again for fear it might be catching.
A mistle thrush, apparently:
Say no more. Jesus.