Bird Guano

The column which frequently looks at gift horses, but not in the mouth


MYSELF: Have you ever had PPI?

READER: As a matter of fact I have. A particularly bad strain as it happens, which tends to recur during spring tides or when Aries is cosying up to Saggitarius and making a noise like a chicken. I caught it during a skiing holiday in Malta.

MYSELF: Malta? Are you sure? I’m pretty sure you can’t go skiing in Malta.

READER: Correct. The whole trip was a disaster. I didn’t read the small print.
MYSELF:  A lesson we can all learn. What are the symptoms of PPI anyway?

READER:  Runny nose, aching joints, existential angst and the urge to lash out at someone with whatever comes to hand.

MYSELF: The reason I ask is because I recently received this letter, titled “Have You Ever Had PPI?”  It was hand-written with a quill pen on 300gm violet-tinted rice paper and reeking of Eau de Cheval by Hugo Boss:

Dear fill in name here,

Not everyone can be astute, alert, or even mildy intelligent. That is no reason to miss out on free money, and where free money is concerned, you need look no further! Just relax, put your feet up, pour yourself a beer and let us do all the work. In practically no time at all, once terms and conditions have been applied (no need to strain your eyes on the small print!), free cash will be pouring into your bank account like honey. Listen! Can you hear that lovely happy tune? Everyone enjoys whistling, particularly when it is barely recognizable as an actual tune, and is accompanied by the ukulele played in the style of Mr. George Formby. We at Ratatuie Cruickshank & Windfarm, take our responsibilities as guardians of your household budget very seriously, which is why we decided to write to you in case you hadn’t heard any of our desperate radio commercials claiming that we will send you a small percentage of what you are owed by swindling banks. Simply fill in our simple online questionnaire and tick the box allowing us to sell on your details to a variety of other financial service providers and ambulance chasers.  

READER:  Sounds like a win-win no-fee situation, what are you waiting for?
MYSELF:    Godot.


New Zealand’s answer to Encyclopaedia Brittanica, has an interactive user interface which means that misleading or false information is often allowed to creep in undetected. I saw this one recently, can you spot the erroneous entry?

The Budong resembles a huge haddock, but with a pressurised exoskeleton enabling it to withstand the enormous forces at work deep under the ocean. This exoskeleton also allows the giant fish to exist in outer space and over the years the Budong has forged a symbiotic relationship with the Soyuz Space Station, where, tethered to the hull, it feeds on discarded condoms and rehydrated Pizza. In return the grateful Budong allows the astronauts to hack off the occasional fillet for lunch.



Hastings & St Leonards Warriors' journey to the top flight continues after new owners Mexican Drug Conglomerate Steenkin’ Badges pledged unlimited money for new players. Ruud Gouda, new signing from AFC Maasdammer made an instant impression during Friday’s Lillette's Cup fifth round tie against Upper Dicker Macaroons FC. Following a red card for fouling ‘Roons centre back Bill Doppleganger with a savage upper cut in the penalty area, he was escorted from the pitch just before the final whistle. On the way to the dressing room he managed to head butt the referee and bite both linesmen. Upper Dicker striker Dave Babcock's unstoppable spot kick took the final score to 8-0, ensuring the Macaroon's safe passage to the quarter final.

After the game, Todd Studebaker, spokesman for Pharmaceutical Solutions Inc, Warrior's new US sponsors., downplayed the incident:

"Hey! Let's not make some kinda mountain outa some kind of a molehill here!” he told us, “Ruud Gouda is no ordinary player, he’s a highly strung professional who needs to be handled with kid gloves. He's more like a Stradivarious, or a high performance sports car. Sure, Bill Doppleganger may never play again, but let’s face it, if the the sun hadn’t got in Gouda’s eyes he would never have have lashed out. He was like an accident waiting for someone to happen to. The ref should have kept his mouth shut instead of winding him up. This kind of hysteria would never happen back home. Only last season, Tom Grabowsky, quarterback for The Boston Stranglers, murdered defensive coach Louis Van der Smoot for putting itching powder in his jockstrap for a prank, yet no one made a fuss. You British are a bunch of girls."



I received this rose-scented letter, hand delivered by a professional boxer, from Russell Brand’s soliciters Milqueflote, Taxidermy & Paradigm, after I was overheard (allegedly) reciting a rude limerick about him in a pub:


     Sir, We hereby serve notice that in our legal opinion, the phonoaesthetic comic rhetoric with which, it is alleged, you have associated our client Mr. Brand, the self-appointed protector of the circuitous, and sworn enemy of the apothegmatic, amounts to a clear a case of aggravated slander with undertones of malice and aforethought.  May we remind you that our client’s hitherto unsullied reputation as an unswerving upholder of circumlocution and a staunch defender of humbug and windbaggery is indisputable. Arguably Mr. Brand’s garrulously expressed philosophical platitudes may be the only barrier between obfuscatory monosyllabicism and pleonastic tautology……the letter goes on for about 350 more pages and quotes 200 character witnesses,  including a tramp called Cyril who once sold Russell some freeze dried sheep's milk, claiming it was high grade polynesian crack cocaine.


READER:  Well it serves you right, you’re far too quick to judge. People like Russell  Brand and David Ike are simply encouraging young people to be more politically aware, by giving them the plain facts and telling it like it is.

MYSELF:  David Ike says that the Russians are all communist mice, who control the world’s governments, so I suppose I shouldn’t scoff. After all if he wasn't the tracksuited guru of gobshite he might be shoplifting or writing science fiction, so perhaps we should be grateful.



Recently, in this column, a Mrs Borogrove submitted an unusual enquiry about daffodils. Since then, there appears to have been an outbreak of daffodil related incidents in supermarkets up and down the country. The worst was at a branch of Paupers R Us in Chipping Norton, where five people died as a result of eating daffodil petals, which they mistook for blancmange flakes. In Beyondenden, Kent, a Mrs. Bette Noir was electrocuted after attempting to screw a daffodil bulb into her bedside lamp. The Surgeon General has asked that in future, all daffodils carry a prominent label stating that they are for floral purposes only.


Sausage Life!




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From the album Domestic Bliss

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