With the last votes being counted at great speed by inky-fingered civil servants, you’d reasonably expect today’s topic of conversation to be Tony Blair and his prospects for the next four years. But no, the subject that’s gnawing at me today is…old birds. For the past couple of years I’ve had a question that no-one has been able to answer for me: ‘Where do old birds go?’
You see rheumy-eyed old dogs, cats with wooden legs, patchy-haired horses and knackered rabbits but when do you ever see an old bird? They fly in formation, they peck around in packs – all in the peak of physical fitness. You never see a pigeon with heart problems or a gammy hip. The only time you see a bird that would fail a late fitness test is if it has been involved in an RTA. So why is it? Even Elton John’s lyricist, Bernie Taupin, agrees with me. Here’s a line from ‘Birds’ of the ‘Songs From The West Coast’ album. ‘How come birds don’t fall from the sky when they die? How come birds always look for a quiet place to hide?’
So, although there may be some slightly more important issues to discuss, I just throw out this query. Where. Do. Old. Birds…Go?