Don’t Drink and Fly
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.