Bird Guano

The column which likes to listen to the radio with the sound off


READER:  How’s your new novel coming along?

MYSELF: I finished the first draft and I’ve just started getting encouraging replies from publishers. Here’s just one of them:


Dear Ms. Guano (sic),
thank you for your submission. I am returning the advance manuscript of your projected novel The Tattooed Lady with the following comments added by our chief reader:

 1). Dan Fortune, the corrupt detective inspector, is not a believable character, particularly on page 43, where we are asked to picture him alighting from his personal helicopter on top of the Guggenheim Museum in New York with Lord Lucan, yet only two paragraphs later he is in Kabul hocking a stolen Toulouse Lautrec painting in order to buy opium.

  2). Dame Horsedrone-Milquefloat, the "lady" of the title, is clearly established as a member of the upper aristocracy, yet at the beginning of chapter three we are asked to picture her playing darts. The reader's suspension of disbelief is further tested when she suggests to the chief murder suspect Lord Haha, that he take part in a charity bungee jump from a huge crane suspended 200ft over the Victoria Falls dressed as chicken.

 3). I remain unconvinced by the ending, which implicates not only Lord Haha, but also Michel le Marécage, the sous chef in the restaurant car, Nanook Xeno the sword-wielding eskimo from chapter eight and the menacing figure in the gas mask who haunts the corridors of Dame Horsedrone-Milquefloat's country residence, Laundry House.

Although your proposal does not conform to the coming season's retail profile my view is that with a small degree of major rewriting there could be a smash hit summer holiday blockbuster in there just waiting to burst out.
Sincerely, Lou Mogulstein, commissioning editor, Lacklustre & Lacklustre (publishing) Inc.


READER:  Very encouraging. I expect you’re already working out what to spend the huge advance on.

MYSELF:  I’m going to start with a Harley-Davidson



Recently appointed French manager of Hastings & St. Leonards Warriors FC, Gus Toylet, (pronounced Toy-lay) has had his contract terminated after only one game. The controversial former coach of FC Lautrec Épagneuls, whose radical ideas for the future of soccer include Trampoline Football, featuring twenty five metre wide goals, and the appointment of female referees wearing burkinis, was sacked after being caught in an elaborate sting, secretly taped by Hastings Observer journalists disguised as nursery rhyme characters. We obtained this edited transcript of the recording from a source within the Observer who would only identify himself as Jack Sprat. We apologise for the poor sound quality.

TOYLET:  Good morning gentlemen, apologies for my informal dress.

HUMPTY DUMPTY: Good morning. We are from a middle eastern betting syndicate, and we would like to offer you £1,000 to put itching powder in your goalkeeper’s jockstrap before next Saturday’s game against Cockmarlin Thunderbolts.

TOYLET:  Make it £1,312 and you’re on.

LITTLE JACK HORNER: £1,312? Why such a precise figure Mr. Toylet?

TOYLET: Toy-lay if you don't mind. It’s what I owe the bookies after my debut game against Upper Dicker Macaroons. The result was all sewn up until midfield enforcer Nobby Balaclava accidently scored for us in the 89th minute when a miskick by Craig Cattermole glanced in off his toupée. Had things gone as planned, I can assure you I wouldn’t be sitting here discussing bungs with a giant egg and man dressed up as a boy with his thumb in a pie. I mean, for all I know you might be undercover journalists.



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unqualified advice for the terminally confused


Bullion (n) 1,000 mullion

Receipt (n) To change the position of a dinner guest.


Unqualified advice for the medicinally challenged.

Dear Doctor G,

having trawled the Internet with my symptoms, I have come to the unhappy conclusion that I may have ants in my pants. Is there a cure?
Marigold Lockjaw, Smithereen, County Cork.

Dear Marigold

the only known remedy for the condition braccae formicae involves the introduction of a giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) directly into the trousers, which, depending on the degree of infestation, will consume the ants within a day or two. Afterwards, the anteater may be slaughtered and mounted by a qualified taxidermist, or kept as a pet. Please note that the Armadillo, another ant-feeder, is not a suitable substitution, due to its viscious temper and sharp pointed claws. The same applies to termites, which will eat the ants, but quickly establish a colony of their own in your pants. I hope this advice has been useful, and wish you and your trousers a happy and prosperous ant-free future.



The new 14th hole at Hastings internationally famous crazy golf course is already causing controversy. Called simply Krakatoa, it consists of a fibreglass volcano which erupts when the ball is successfully propelled into a small cave at the bottom,causing it to expell gobs of molten lava and noxious plumes of gas. Labour members of the town council claim it is in contravention of health & safety laws, whereas conservative members are of the persuasion that it encourages natural selection. 
Krakatoa replaces an old favourite, The Pit & Pendulum.



Craft Beards, the gluten-free barber franchise which opened its first branch last week, had bewhiskered hipsters queuing around the block after announcing their introductory half-price offer on facial topiary. Customers were invited to have their face-fuzz expertly teased into 20th Century US Presidents, Classic Art Deco Buildings, or any character from Frozen, for the bargain price of £25.
Hipsters of the more hirsute variety were delighted to see that the price of Craft Beard’s most exclusive and luxurious beard-theme, Gazelle Pursued By Jaguar was, for one day only, slashed from an eye-watering £500 to a mere £75.



The primary source of chemtrails, the fictitious vapours thought to effect the intellectual processes of gullible idiots, has “almost certainly” been found, East Sussex police chief Hydra Gorgon told IT this week. A team of detectives, having worked on the baffling case for several months, have finally traced the deadly imaginary gas to the laboratory of Hastings boffin Professor Gordon Thinktank. The lab's still-smoking chimney stack was under armed guard yesterday and surrounded by scene-of-crime tape.
From a cell in Hastings police station, where he was remanded in custody by magistrates, the undeterred scientist has kept himself busy applying for patents on two of his latest inventions: Bright orange toupées with flashing lights for bald exhibitionists, and a new type of confectionary for combating obesity, which he calls Schrodinger’s Cake. The professor claims that not only can you have the cake, but you can eat it too.


Brexit Through the Looking Glass
Patrick Carabine

All Mimsy were
The Boris, Gove,
Priti, Jacob (Slithy-Tove),
Their Ja ist nein
their grosse ist kleine
their je ne sais quoi
Their no’s are yesses
feeble guesses
beamish boys with
dyed blond tresses
Four Brexiteers
2 gins, 2 beers
Eton messes
pigs in dresses
wallowing in
their worst excesses


Sausage Life!