Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ornithological specimens of identical plummage congregate in promixity

My matey Dean Johns has come up with another gem in his Malaysiakini column, titled Here's to the birds and the beast.

It’s a damn good read, full of humour, clever play of (English) words, and may even answer questions that some Muslim have concerns* over celebrating St Valentine’s Day with their sweeties or boyfriends.

* I read about this in someone's blog (maybe Jeff Ooi's?) some years ago

Instead Johns did a flowery satire (excuse my pun) on the ecological consequences of the day reserved for lovers (pssst, hubby and wifey can and should be lovers too).

Johns is at his trademark (tongue-in-cheek) best in this article, and the cream of the lot in my opinion would be the following ornithological specimen:

If, like me, you've started to think by now that St Valentine's Day sounds to be pretty much for the birds, you're absolutely right. Because it's actually with our feathered friends, or so some historians believe, that the whole thing actually started.

About mid-February, apparently, after the long, cold Northern-Hemisphere winter, all the birds start to feel spring in the air and take to pairing-off, necking, billing, cooing, building nests and so on. In other words, it's on or around Feb l4 that, as the old English proverb so succinctly puts it, 'birds of a feather flock together'.

Many centuries ago, it seems, humans took a gander at all this amorous avian activity and started thinking it might also be good for the goose. “If birds of a feather can do it”, people of medieval times must have reasoned, “we might as well have some flocking fun too.”

But even in those unsophisticated times it probably wasn't considered polite to come right out and invite respectable chicks out for a night of flocking around.

Look at word ‘gander’ in his third paragraph above and guess what it means in that context.

As for his last paragraph/sentence here – wakakaka - guess why I am guffawing.

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