Sunday, January 20, 2013

Birds Of A Feather

There was huge excitement in our house today. My staff, who like to think of themselves as amateur horny-theologists (whatever they are) found a new bird in their garden. They were out on the deck with a bottle of red wine and a plate of cheese and biscuits, (Humans eat and drink the most disgusting things.) when my male staff spotted something unusual in one of the trees. Binoculars were hunted down from the dark, dank depths of wardrobes and the Field Guide to the Birds of Australia was dragged from the kitchen drawer.

My male staff had some trouble pointing the bird out to my female staff who on Tuesday is due to have her cataracts removed. "Can't you see it?" He asked with an edge of frustration to his voice. "It's right there in front of you in the big tree."
  "What tree?"
  "The big one, about ten yards in front of your eyes."
  "Well I can't see it."
  "What, the bird?"
  "No, the bloody tree."
At long last my female staff's fogged-up eyes found the tree, and then the bird, and names were bandied about as the two of them consulted the Field Guide to the Birds of Australia.
  "Clearly," said my male staff, "it's a blue boobed spangled rat cruncher."
  "Don't be ridiculous." Replied my female staff. "It's penis is far too big to be a rat cruncher. It looks more like a yellow bellied fartingale to me."
  "Actually," said my male staff indignantly. "That's the branch he's sitting on, not his penis. When's the last time you saw a penis with knots in it?" My female staff was about to say something, but my male staff beat her to it. "Don't tell me. I don't want to know. Anyway," he continued, "on closer inspection it looks more like a greater limp tailed bastard.
  "Nah." My female staff disagreed. "It hasn't got a crest."
  "Well what do you think it is then?" My female staff grabbed the bird book and flicked through the pages.
  "There!" She exclaimed, poking a large bird on the page with her forefinger. My male staff stared at the picture at the end of her finger in disbelief.
  "An emu?" He cried incredulously. "An emu? You do know you're pointing at an emu don't you? If an emu can't fly - which it can't, how's it going to get up into a tree? A ladder?"
  "I don't know, maybe someone gave it a leg up or something. ....Just a suggestion."
 "It's not a bloody emu." Said my male staff, rather harshly I thought, bearing in mind that my female staff is a blind as something that is very blind. "Actually, looking at those marking on it's wings I think it might be a greater fire-winged sausage snatcher." Thankfully, at this point my female staff's mum arrived and told them both it was a pigeon.

Talking of birds, I had an interesting conversation on Twitter with a conure last week. Conures are beautiful parrots from Central and South America. You might find this hard to believe, but this particular conure lives in the USA and is a member of the NRA. He also owns an Egyptian made semi-automatic AK47 assault rifle. He appears to be a responsible bird and locks the multi-round ammo clips away separately from the weapon. I asked him why he needed it and he said he didn't. He has it because he can, he said, and he has fun with it shooting clay pigeons and paper targets.

This kind of blew away my argument that all NRA members are fools. This particular conure is obviously no fool. However, don't you think that the NRA's suggestion that all schools should have armed guards is an admission that gun law is a free for all and totally out of control in most states of the USA. My initial argument was that a couple of million NRA members are holding the rest of the nation to ransom when it comes to gun control and that when a few powerful people impose their will on the majority it becomes pretty much the same as Soviet communism. I bet the NRA leadership hadn't thought of that. In any case, for a while the NRA website featured prominent anti-gun activists' pictures in the cross hairs of a sniper rifle with the caption "Pull the trigger". Do these people sound like the sort of responsible folk that should be allowed to own guns?

And another thing, after Australia's Port Arthur massacre the NRA were circulating a video claiming that the subsequent tightening of gun laws had made life in Australia more dangerous. It was nonsense of course. Total bush chocolate actually, and Australia's Attorney General at the time - Daryl Williams wrote the Charlton Heston stating that the video was misleading and plain wrong and asked him to withdraw it. The silly old goat didn't even have the good manners to reply. How very un-American. Say what you like about Americans, but they are almost always friendly and polite, even the more extreme members of the NRA.

I think the NRA has shot itself in the foot (Something that I would never do.) by arguing that all American schools should have armed guards. Maybe they need them, but isn't that proof that current gun legislation is too lax.
Do you mind? I'm having a bath.


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