Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Cage With A View

From my cage I can look out beyond the budgie's cage where Biggles is usually head-butting his mirror like a drunken Glaswegian and Paolo is normally hanging upside down like a demented blue bat.
(See my third ever blog post. )
Past the telly upon which assorted irritating commercials are broadcast at twice the volume of the actual programmes, and with ever increasing frequency, is the deck. The deck is where my staff usually have their breakfast, weather permitting. Badger and I are not allowed out here on our own because there's a four metre drop to the garden below where snakes and large birds of prey await the unwary and somewhat dazed guinea pig. We're only permitted on the deck if accompanied by a member of staff, upon whose lap we are forced to sit and endure being molested most mornings.

Hanging from the deck roof are two bird feeders and a bird bath. These are a great source of entertainment. Birds are so much like humans in the way they interact with each other. There are the rainbow lorikeets, gaudily decked out in their team colours. These are the yobby football hooligans of the bird world. They arrive raucously en masse, aggressively shoving all the other birds out of their way, while jabbering and squabbling amongst themselves. My male staff says he encountered a group of Argentinian tourists at a buffet dinner in a London hotel once. They behaved in much the same way. Obviously the Falklands War didn't teach them any manners. Then there's Mary the half tame magpie. She's a regular visitor and stomps up and down with all the arrogance of a tough cop. She strides amongst the lorikeets pecking at the ones who really annoy her, but generally she treats them with dismissive disdain in rather the same way my male staff treated those Argentinian tourists.

Beyond the deck is a view across the green valley to the conical shape of Mount Cooroy. (See photo) Yes, that's conical, not comical.  Although it was pretty funny when my male staff slipped whilst climbing it and broke his leg. He had to be airlifted out, but the helicopter crashed and he broke his other leg. Then while the paramedics were rescuing him from that they slipped on some wet grass and dropped my male staff off the stretcher and broke one of his arms. But I'm sure you're not interested in any of that. To the north of Mount Cooroy I can see a sliver of blue ocean - the Coral Sea. Sometimes I see ships in the distance and I wonder what it would be like to travel on one to my ancestral home in Peru. Then I think "Nah! Sod it! I'll stay here and eat some more parsley."

In any case what if the captain was like the courageous Francesco Schettino of the doomed Costa Concordia who sailed his ship close enough to the shore for his brother to throw him a pizza for his dinner.
It sailed across the water like a Frisbee and Captain Schettino caught it like a pro. He opened the pizza box and was about to order the ship to turn when he noticed that his brother had forgotten the anchovies. Naturally enraged, Captain Schettino forgot to order the turn and BANG! Who put that friggin' great rock there?

As the ship started to sink the good Captain made sure he was the first aboard the rescue helicopter, still clutching his pizza. There was then a much broadcast radio conversation between the Harbour Master and Captain Schettino. It was a bit crackly and in Italian of course, but I've been able to translate it for my readers. It went like this.

Harbour Master:  Schettino! Get back aboard your ship and help the passengers and crew.

Captain Schettino:  Your kidding right? It's dark and wet down there and my pizza's getting cold.

Harbour Master:  You need to get back on your ship. How many dead do you have?

Captain Schettino:  How would I know? I'm three hundred feet up in a chopper with a slice of lukewarm pizza in my hand.

Harbour Master:  Get back on board your ship................NOW!

Captain Schettino:  But my piz............................Oh alright, but send me some garlic bread.

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