venerationI am not sure that I speak for all, but I really have trouble with the concept of veneration. Remembered fondly, missed a little or appearing in very old photographs will do me just fine when I have passed my use by date. Much else would not only be overkill, but would also be entering the realms of fantasy, wishful thinking and turning the corner towards sour grapes territory so I won’t venture there.

Where I would like to venture is into the realm of bronze busts. Those wonderfully green bullet eyed, head and shoulders only type statues that adorn our cities of the world bearing constant reminders of people who had the good fortune to be somewhat famous and therefore deserve our veneration. Well, possibly well connected, well meaning, well corrupted and well anyway, I think I have used too much colour here for now so I’ll just get on with the tale.

Today, I witnessed a pigeon landing on the bald head of a venerable green bronze bust of a clearly famous gentleman who had passed his use by date some three hundred or so years ago. He was stereotypically bullet-eyed and wore a remarkably fashionable full Stalin like green bronzed moustache. The pigeon landed gracefully on his bald green head and proceeded to ruffle its feathers for a few seconds, nod its head once or twice, before proceeding to produce a profound and exceedingly liberal whitish-grey semi-liquid of such remarkable proportions that it completely ruined any chance of me venerating in any form through my fits of laughter.

From the moment gravity took its hold on proceedings, and sucked down a dribble of this copious whitish-grey semi-liquid into the venerable gentleman’s eye and tugged even harder to ensure his moustache was not spared, I started to have problems with my self control. Out of nothing more that morbid curiosity, I ventured, well staggered in laughter actually, about one hundred and eighty degrees south of my previous vantage point, and now had a clear and uninterrupted view of the rear of the venerable gentleman’s green bald head. Hardly surprisingly, there was gravity again working its butt off to produce an equally generous dribble of the whitish-grey semi-liquid that ran down the back of his head and seemingly into his green bronze starched collar.

Unsatisfied with this achievement, the pigeon ruffled its feathers once more, nodded its head once or twice again but this time with a bawbling pigeon cooing sound to accompany proceedings, and repeated the dose for the benefit of the venerable gentleman’s right ear.

My giggling, chortling and teary eyes attracted the attention of bystanders and I took this as my cue to leave the scene. Needless to say, when I die, I do not wish to spend the next three hundred years of more being venerated in the form of a green bronze bust that is shat on every twenty minutes by incontinent pigeons. Dead and forgotten sounds much more appealing.

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3 thoughts on “Veneration

  • 08/12/2009 at 11:47 am

    What a wonderfully brilliant thought. I have to say that I wholeheartedly feel I would like to be the perch for pigeon poop one day. I really don't need to be in the centre of London, I'd be content with a bust in Peckham (Hampstead maybe at a push). I've found that most of the busts in central London are for crooks anyway, the statue of General Clive between the Foreign Office and Treasury for example is amazing. It's a prime location facing Buckingham Palace, venerating a man who was an opium addict, tried to kill himself twice & was responsible for the start of the British reign in India. On second thoughts maybe there is something insurmaountably honest about this?

  • 08/12/2009 at 12:04 pm

    I've always called pigeons 'rats with wings'. So maybe it's rats on rats then Alexander.

  • 30/12/2009 at 9:51 am

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