Friday, August 21, 2009
Ledge and Nobby and the Birdwatching Couch of the Gods GCMG (Hons.)
"Nobby, that's not a straw-necked ibis is it?"
"Nah, it's a run of the mill white ibis. The straw-necked would have black under the wings. You know that that regular white ibis there is related to - pretty much the same bird really - as the Egyptian sacred ibis? The Egyptians thought he was a big deal and made a god of him and everything... But here they're famous garbage fiends."
"Yeah, I fucking hate 'em."
"Yeah, yeah, but that's only because they're in your garbage. They should be in the wetlands but there aren't any because we drained 'em dry - took all the water for cotton, drove all these Egyptian god birds out, and now they're here rooting through the garbage. If we hadn't fucked the wetlands, they'd still be there and we'd all think they were tops. Dig it - our very own god birds!"
"Yeah, I guess."
"And think of the tourism!"
"The bloody... I don't know, the religious birdwatching tourism mate. Jumbo-loads of Egyptians all arriving to check out the god birds! It'd be huge. Peace and fraternity between Egypt and Australia - ripples spreading through the Muslim world - Muslims and Christians realising that there's barely a hair's breadth difference between their religions. Lots of talk about mutual respect based on each other's fine appreciation of these, you know... psittacine symbols of peace-love-and-understanding etc. etc. There'd be pollies giving speeches, ribbon cutting, handshakes, all that. And that'd be just the first domino to fall in a shattering cascade that becomes a new global fraternity united in its celebration of selflessness, compassion, and, I don't know... 'striving to know the mind of Buddha' ...kinda thing. And birdwatching! Anyway, it'd be huge and the whole world will give thanks to the two brilliant geniuses who first came up with the whole idea way back in, um, what year is it? We should write it down. Posterity and all that."
"2009. And psittacine? Isn't that parrots?"
"Whatever, we'd all be familiar with whatever they're bloody called. They media would go nuts with the thesaurus and find out all the appropriate words. You know, sub-editors making themselves look clever etc. But yeah, psittacine is parrots."
"Never mind psittacine - Thoth, mate."
"That's the ibis god in Egypt. The hawk's head guy was Ra, the dog was Anubis, and the ibis was Thoth."
"And what was his gig? God of, um... I don't know, poultry products?"
"No idea. I know their names but that's about it."
"See, there's your problem right there Ledge. You've got all this useless knowledge and you don't even do the crossword. Being able to do the crossword is the whole point of useless knowledge. Anyway bugger that. Back to us as bloody geniuses, with this ibis caper the whole world will go nuts with peace, love, and understanding, and we'll be as famous as, I don't know... Henry Kissinger, ha!"
"Henry Kissinger!? Fuck him! I want to be as famous as Mick Jagger and run mad with Bianca Jagger and a whole conga-line of glamorous sixties star-fuckers."
"Sure ...Bianca Jagger ...well actually, you could do precisely that mate. Because she's like sixty now and she'd be keen-as-mustard to leap right on top of you. Hell, anyone. And all those Russian grandmas... you know like that woman (was she Russian?) who was sixty something and was mad to have kids, and got a sperm donation, had a kid, and then died three years later - like that. There'd be all these Russian grannies all looking to jump on top of what's left of your superior world peace sperm. And then, um... die and leave you with the kids."
"They'd be like ninja mate, flying out of the corners of ceilings, flinging ropes with hooks, and you'd be all trussed up, and they'd leap on you and perform all kinds of half-Russian, half-Japanese chop socky on your bits. It'd be hellacious. I wonder what the Russian for 'Hi-Yah!' is?"
"Russians? Forget the Russians. Bianca Jagger! She could truss me up. I'd put up a bit of a fight but then Bianca would get the better of me and I'd just have to let her go nuts."
"What? Just her on her own? Surely she'd have a bunch of famous ninja granny mates to pile in. Who'd be in there? Catherine Deneuve I reckon."
"Phwooar, not bad. Charlotte Rampling."
"Good one. How about Julie Christie?"
"The main thing is you wouldn't succumb too cheaply. Look - here's your fearful, yet resigned Toshiro Mifune face. What do you think?"
"Well, that was a bit mad. I don't know that chicks would dig it. Perhaps number three."
"Ah, you know your Toshiro Mifune obviously. And that'd be you mate - selflessly doing your bit for ageing thinking-man's-crumpet the world over."
"Fantastic. How did this come about again?"
"Um... we restored white ibises to their wetland and with the resultant good will between Egypt and Australia brought about world peace, with everyone so rapt with us that we (rightly I think) copped a relentless Mick Jaggering for our troubles."
"Ah, I love it when we solve the world's problems."
"As opposed to when we don't. How's that latest government ad campaign going?"
"Groan. It's fucked, completely fucked. I can barely stand it. You should see the shit that I have to make look pretty. You know what I'm doing? It's that fucking bullshit Aboriginal intervention thing."
"You're not are you? Jesus, what a nightmare. Still, how would we know the rightness of white people stealing back Aboriginal land if you didn't make it look pretty? Not forgetting it could be worse - you could have been on that 'Dob in your Wog Neighbour' thing of Howard's."
"Yeah well, funny you should mention it, Gerry wants me to pile in on some 'Keeping Australia safe' thing. I told him I couldn't do it. Two months is a plenty long enough gig, and then that's it's, I'm out of there. Otherwise I'd be there for bloody ever. Really I only did it to help him out."
"And for the money Ledge."
"Yeah, Yeah, but the shed hasn't got a roof. Jesus."
"Yeah, well, a roof on the shed would be good. It's useless at the moment. Anyway, whatever, from the big wheels of world peace, to small cogs in the advertising machine leading us to hell, it seems we've fallen again Ledge."
"Well, as fallen men there's nothing for it but to fall further Nobby. What say I roll another joint?"
"Mate, that's the best idea since that chap..."
"Nobby! Don't move! Stop waving your hands about. There's our new resident lyre bird right there next to that white gum. You see it? You're in for a treat - it's going to do the full song and dance right there in front of us. It's just burbling now but he'll go through the whole routine in a minute. It usually does kookaburras followed by magpies and currawongs, and then those stupid peewits, and then it does Faandi."
"Yeah, after school Faandi always stands on the verandah and always yells the same thing at it and now it mimics him too."
"What does he say?"
"Shhh, here it goes..."
"Ook ook arp, arp, arp, arp! Aarp! Curra WONG! Curra WONG! Pee Wit! twitter, twitter... Silly Sausage! Silly sausage! That's right!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha..."
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha... oh man..."
"Ha ha ha... perfect... I just about died... and Faandi stands there yelling 'silly sausage' at the lyre birds?"
"Yeah, and they say it back at him. It's hysterical."
"Ha ha ha ha, it even said, 'That's right!' the same as him. God, that's bloody marvellous."
"It's great isn't it?"
"Yeah, fuck the world, that was just perfect."