... Bird is the word!*
Morning surgery started a bit late this morning, so this post is by way of an apology to the punters. Not that any of them read this blog so far as I know, so if you see them you'll have to tell them for me.
"Why so late starting?" I hear you ask.
"Has there been some life threatening medical catastrophe that claimed your attention?" er... no.
"Perhaps you had to stop good samaritan like at the site of an accident?" well... not exactly.
"Well we're sure you must have a good reason so please tell us why don't you?"
I thought you'd never ask.
The lanes between Borchester and Ambridge have been idyllic this week. (Except on Tuesday night when torrential rain turned them in to rivers for a good six hours, but that's another story...) This has made the drive in to surgery a real treat, and the drive home even more so, Tuesday excepted obviously.
This morning was no exception. I was about half way here, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" thundering out of the stereo**, not a care in the world. Suddenly the sun was blotted out as a fell beast passed overhead. The temperature inside the car must have fallen by a couple of degrees easily, and then the fell beast landed forty yards or so ahead of me in the middle of the single track lane. The earth shuddered at its impact. I'm sure the cd skipped a beat or two.
Easing off the throttle I ended nose to beak with the biggest pigeon I have ever seen. I refute utterly any suggestion that there was a slamming on of breaks and a wailed expletive to accompany Dave Gilmore just as he was getting to a good bit. Those streaks of rubber were already there, honest...
Somewhere in the background the soundtrack changed. There was a frantic strum of a guitar, followed by an Ennio Morricone tinkly music box effect, then the wailing trumpet of doom. We were in a stand off of epic proportions. (Just as well there was no other traffic on said lane this morning really.) Now, a word of advice should you ever find yourself in a similar position. Never try to outstare a pigeon. In the first place, they are stupid. In the second, they don't blink.
So, all dignity now in tatters I started up the engine again -- what me stalled?-- surely not. Then, to compound the humiliation, I indicated to pass the pigeon! As I vered right to pass it, it waddled right staying just in front of the car. I cancelled the indicator and pulled back in. It waddled left and stayed, as though fixed by tractor beam, directly in front of me.
By now Signor Morriconi's trumpeter had passed the impossibly high, impossibly long note, and the strings and massed guitars were hammering out the reprise of the theme tune. I indicated and pulled out again. "It" wadlled ahead of me matching course precisely. I have now determined that pigeons waddle at a stately 1.5mph if you are interested.
It was like stepping back 100 years to the time when motor vehicles had to be preceded on the public road by a man carrying a flag. Beetles were strolling down the side of the road overtaking me and thumbing their proboscises in disdain. Or at least they were until one became breakfast for the Pidgeonator.
Ha! It was distracted. I knew better than to signal my intent by now, so, taking my life in my hands I vered sharply past the thing, gunned the engine and sped past it, and on to victory.
Roger Waters sang "How I wish you were here!". The day was back on track. Civilization was saved once more. And only ten minutes behind.
And what have we learned. Well, I for one am not cut out to be a pigeon fancier. It's good to know these things. If nothing else it's one more hobby to cross off the list of potential diversions come retirement.
* Prizes for the nearest contestant in the "How old is Dr J?" sweepstakes.
** (I seem to have caught this form Greavsie) That's the last clue you're getting.