A Sunday Photo Fictionsubmission. Thanks to Al Forbes for the picture. I’m rushing this a bit because I suspect I won’t be the only person with the idea, or the title. Some of the humour’s a bit obvious, so apologies-it actually started out serious but then it all went pear-shaped. Finally, to any Americans reading: you may have given us line-dancing (I’m guessing, btw), but you also gave us Pavement and the Beach Boys so I’ll let it slide.
He sits, watches the fat tourists, stuffed into badly-printed t-shirts, taking photographs.He should pose, he knows; they’ve paid enough to come here after all. But, in the end, it all seems so…trivial. The tourists would be entertained whether he did anything or not; he’s a cog in the machine, and a minor cog at that. They may as well replace him with an animatronic dummy and have done with it. Maybe they will. Sometimes, he thinks, he’d like to fly away to Africa, like the swallows do. Only, he can’t since they’ve clipped his wings.
It seems odd, really; with the future of the country supposedly depending on his staying put, you’d think they’d want to keep him sweet but…no. At least the Beefeaters get nice uniforms and breaks in accordance with EU regulations. Sometimes, he hears from the pigeons, they manage to sneak their ridiculous outfits home, indulge in a spot of role play with the missus, though that kind of behaviour’s probably courting a verbal warning as a minimum. At least it’s a perk, he thinks. These days, he’s lucky if the visitors chuck him a few scraps from their overpriced baguettes. The yanks fought a revolution to free themselves from the shackles of British oppression; surely they can ignore a sign reading ‘do not feed the birds’. But then, perhaps he’s expecting too much from the country that gave the world line-dancing. Maybe he should join a union, he thinks. There’s a Crow in the RMT, he hears; perhaps he should give them a call.
Still, it doesn’t have to be for ever. He’s got options; he could be about to her headhunted. Chap called ‘Eck’s been visiting him, telling him there might be an opening in Edinburgh come the Autumn if he’s prepared to vacate his current position.