Daily Archives: July 6, 2018

HOT OFF THE PRESS: What shall we do with the drunken seagull

Locals were confused when a seagull fell of a roof and staggered unevenly away.

Onlookers couldn’t understand the reason why so many seagulls had become unsteady on their feet.

Today, a fireman was alerted to the shocking truth by a a seagull who threw up on him; he immediately detected the odour of booze.

You’ve guessed it; it’s the latest of a spate of drunken seagull incidents, currently hitting the South West of England. This time rather than casually supping from half-empty beer cans which litter our beaches and parks, they’ve turned to blatant theft, mounting a cunning attack on a Somerset brewery.

An unreliable witness (me) claims that seagulls have been spotted wing-in-wing, merrily careening down the High Street, singing “Show me the way to go home”, and slurring “Ingerland, Ingerland, la la la, la la la,” before inexplicably balling their claws into fists and, shouting obscenities and clumsily hitting each other.

There are complaints that intoxicated seagulls are getting into fights outside these establishments, demanding half-eaten burgers and kebabs, then refusing to pay for them.

They muscle into night clubs and peck women’s rear ends. When they are finally thrown out, they tend to bring up their burgers, kebabs and a gallon of alcohol all over the doorman’s feet, before collapsing on the pavement for a cry. They tell anybody who will listen that their mother didn’t love them (judging by juvenile seagull behaviour, it’s no wonder). It’s best not to get involved with a drunken seagull at this stage; he’ll probably tell you you’re the only person who has ever understood him, and he’ll want to go home with you. When you refuse, he’ll punch you in the face.

I took the opportunity to interview a few fledgling seagulls outside one of the Bristol Universities. I asked them how they felt about the behaviour of their elders.

One said, “It’s so embarrassing. We are losing all respect in the eyes of the world.” She asked me to point out that the incidents of drunkenness were few and far between.

Another stuttered “If you don’t give me that can of beer in your hand I’ll peck your eyes out.” Then he fell over.

None of the others I spoke to were prepared to talk, mainly because they can’t – so most of this post is lies.

One thing is true – we have an alcohol problem in the South West seagull community. Unfortunately, I suspect that when a few seagulls discover a new attraction, word gets around. I think we’ll soon be hearing about all over the country.

The latest crowd of rowdy good-for-nothings have been rounded up by the animal police and placed in drunk tanks until they can learn to behave with the dignity we expect from the seagull population.

For the true story click HERE.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Dimpled Fingers

child poverty


Dimpled fingers
that reeked of crayon and ink,
riffled the fat book whose images depicted
thin children with unfamiliar skin-tones
from different races.

Blatant deprivation
is not pretty. The charity knew this.
Skin was scrubbed and wrapped in clean clothing.
The touched-up, sunrise smiles of these cute kids
seduced even the school-yard bully.

We opened our fists,
gave up our shillings to take an image home.
Girls chose girls, and all knew which boys
were school-yard romance material
by what gender they selected.

Oh, the virtuosity of
saving The Children Of The World
at the cost of a shilling!

My photograph girl
boasted exotic black-sheep curls,
milky cocoa skin, ebony eyes that, despite
the monochrome, shone brightly as if whites
had been soaked in my my mother’s bag blue.
Her smile suggested a regular pastime
of birthday treats, an ignorance
of hunger and misuse.

My mind reeled; beneath
a shameful pride for my ordained,
yet eager participation in the important cause,
lay a guilty sense of possession, as if, for a single silver coin
I had purchased this air-brushed ambassador for the tortured masses
whom the charity had prudently picked for prettiness;
In addition, I wriggled with a lonely wish
to know her;
to be her virtual sister.

Beyond these minor concerns
was a passionate desire to see change;
for the planet to become a safer place,
for the suffering
to cease.

My high ideals
did not admit reality;
I expected that our small gifts of charity
would banish misery and lack of subsistence
from the lives of the children
of this planet.


Years swept by.

explored the moon while Governments explored the possible profits
of war.

A millennium ended.
Technology crept, climbed and finally soared, defining our living rooms
and our lives.

Nations made threats
that ended in more bloody wars, boxing the love and spreading hate
and death.

Measuring each stretch toward maturity,
we graduated, reproduced, relocated, renovated,
decorated, celebrated, degenerated, regenerated, ruminated, educated,
succeeded, failed, grieved. Some of us ravaged, many raged
and a few he healed to make ready
for a fresh generation.

My dimples have long since creased into wrinkles.

Yet still,
after all that we have done and seen,
millions of children
suffer and die,
too weak
to fight,
too broken


Thanks go to Ivor, who inspired this poem with his recent rash of compassionate posts about the suffering of children.

©Jane Paterson Basil