Bird Guano

The column that isn’t over, even when the fat lady sings


READER: Have you booked your hols?

MYSELF: Where to? I can't afford anything on the green list, and the amber list seems to be saying "you can't go there, but you can if you want", I mean, what's the point?

READER: I managed to get a flight to a red country on Air Q’anon.

MYSELF: What country?


MYSELF: A US military base in the middle of the Pacific, full of cruise missiles and directly in the path of regular typhoons? Why?

READER: Well fair enough, if you don’t like missiles and typhoons, but the flag’s nice, and I only have to self isolate in the bridal suite at the Ritz for six months when I get back.

MYSELF: Well worth it then.



As you might imagine, due to the huge salary I get from International Times, I receive a lot of begging letters. Here is a recent, typical example:

My dear and esteemed Bard Guno (sic),

I am Millicent Abebi, a Nigerian princess, temporarily short of the funds required for HRH my mother's sex-change operation in Las Vegas. It is with auspicious, fawning self-abasement that I prostrate myself and humbly beseech you to deposit the sum of £105,500 in my Jersey bank account, so that my mother Empress Abebi II may become my father, and thus preserve the ancient ancestral line. The monies will be returned to you tenfold, once my husband Prince Rudolph Valentino’s recent good fortune on the stock market has been rewarded with liquidity. Thank you in advance, dear adored friend. Blessings and one dozen pairs of traditionally embroidered Nigerian socks made from recycled tractor tyres are in the post. Your obedient and timorous supplicant, Abebi Qualitistreit Abayomrunkoje III


READER: Careful, that sounds like it might be a scam.

MYSELF: Do I look stupid? I sent the cheque and as soon as I receive the socks I intend to cancel it.



Due to a Facebook messenger spellchecking error, a stand-up chameleon was booked to appear at the Hastings Comedy Amphitheatre last week. The packed audience gasped as the curtains opened and there appeared to be no-one onstage. The chameleon, standing in front of a painted backdrop of the Folies Bergére, was completely invisible until the scenery changed to a view of 19th century Berlin, when it appeared briefly before blending into one of the columns of the Brandenburg Gate. Despite the mix-up, the curious act was received with generally polite applause although several customers requested a refund claiming there were “not enough laughs”.



I was invited to attend Upper Dicker’s famous Tiatro Magnifico the other night, where they premiered Gaberdino’s latest light operatic opus, La Vita Salsiccia. All the big nobs were there, including Hastings MP Sally Ann Hart, who demanded my autograph in exchange for a kiss. 



MYSELF: It's OK I didn't kiss her.

READER: No, it's not the kissing. It’s just that I hate opera! All that bloody foreign singing!

MYSELF:  Nonsense, you just haven’t given it a chance. Opera is much more accessible than you think. Allow me to give you a little flavour of it here.

READER: (covering ears) Lalalalala!



Scene 1. High St, Napoli 1797. Exterior, Day.

Cloudy with sunny periods.

Olivia, daughter of Leonardo III, Archduke of Salmonella, has received unsettling news from a distant uncle, whose stained glass window-cleaning business has collapsed after Napoleon’s triumph in Venice.

She runs to the house of Aramis the greengrocer, her lover, who appears on his balcony as she sings the ear piercing aria, La Mia Fondo Sembra Grande In Questo?
Aramis is enchanted, but as he reaches for his accordion, he slips on some discarded grape skins, causing him to plummet from the balcony and land on top of Belladonna, the Rubenesque roast chestnut seller.
Devastated, Aramis and Olivia struggle to carry the limp and unconscious Belladonna to the house of Lucidus the eccentric coiffeur. Lucidus sings the barber’s chorus from La Follico as he welcomes them with a basket of frutta di cera and with the help of Aramis wedges the comatose Belladonna into his barber’s chair whilst he prepares lunch.

After the cheese course, he attempts to revive her by perming her hair but Olivia panics and flees to her husband Bruciato’s ostrich farm on the Strada Trampolino only to find that her favourite ostrich Oswaldo has escaped and fled on the very morning he was destined for the slaughterhouse.

The two servants Alloro and Resisente enter singing the poignant Per Uno Struzzo Perduto:


English translation:

I saw an ostrich, he saw me,

and looking up he turned to flee,

with all the speed that he could muster,

like a mobile feather duster.


Distraught, Olivia decides her only option is to become a singing nun.


Scene 2. Il Convento di Canto, Puglia, 1797.

Interior. Afternoon. Light Drizzle.

The madre superiora and a chorus of Tuscan sailors on shore leave welcome Olivia with a rousing song: Eccoci Qui, Eccoci Qui, Eccoci Qui.
As the orchestra swells, dancing nuns enter, pick up Olivia and carry her shoulder-high to a frugally furnished room, where they dress her in sackcloth, shave her head and sew her lips together.


READER: What? Hang on! Wait a minute! They sew her lips together?

MYSELF:  Just until she gets used to her vow of silence.

READER: Oh my Lord! I take back everything I said. I’m in bits, what happens next?

MYSELF:  Well, she remains mute, and bald until the intermission.

READER: Goodness, how tragic. What happens after that?


READER (shouting): I said, Goodness, how tragic. What happens after that?

MYSELF (signing): points to mouth, shakes head, makes cut-throat gesture.

READER: Are you telling me that you’ve taken a vow of silence, just as I was getting interested?

MYSELF: Smiles. Nods. Holds up two thumbs.  




Vita Da Salsiccia!




guano poundhammer

From the album Domestic Bliss

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By Lobbytroll



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