Friday, July 28, 2006


So, as usual this evening I was sat in front of a roaring log fridge, with Mrs Doc, perusing my copy of Cage and Aviary Birds. I don't keep birds, but it's nice to stay in touch with what's being bought and sold these days (Arctic Redpolls this week ffs!!!!!!!!). Sure you can imagine that it's rare for me to find a genuinely funny letter in there, but today there was. Here goes:

Aussie Bird Scarer
For bird keepers having problems with sparrowhawks, I discovered that Peter Andre, the suntanned Aussie warbler, was an effective deterrant. Unfortunately, Mr Andre declined an invitation to patrol my aviary, to bird-scare by flexing his pectorals. So instead I have fixed his CDs vertically on each corner of the aviary roof, supergluing two CD discs together. As the object is to scare, not to terrify, the label with Mr Andre's profile is obscured. The rapid flashing light reflection stops every trespass from cats, sparrowhawks and other wild birds, and also efficiently dazzles the bifocal lady at number 34 who peers over the fence.
I don't want to single out Peter Andre for the credit; the same effect can be obtained from those freebie CDs that prevent you rolling up newspapers any more, such as Mega Hits from the Eighties Nobody Can Remember, Love Ballads You Thought You Had Seen the Back Of and free movies which usually star a cast of deceased actors and Michael Caine before he started shaving. All those digital recordings that would have gathered dust in a studio, and now gather dust on your book case, can at last be put to good use!

Bill Naylorof Lincolnshire - I salute you as a wit of our time. I'm inspired to get a collection of pet birds. Think I'll start off with a Pine Grosbeak, a Mugimaki Flycatcher and errrr.... a Booted Eagle.

Cage and Aviary Birds costs £1.30 weekly and is available from all good newsagents and the crappy WH Smiths in Union Street, Aberdeen, that didn't even stock Birdwatch this month.

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