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All B*ll*cks and cormorants!


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"Honestly! You and your search for 'the perfect fly'..." "Honestly! You and your search for 'the perfect fly'..."

Cliff watches the TV News and comes to a conclusion...


Another week over, stretched-out on the settee, I settled-in for an uncomplicated, good old British night in front of the TV; the fridge had done a wonderful job of feeding me and now it was the tele’s turn. Six-thirty: I’d missed the latest news on global warming, famine, hi-tec dustbins et al and had to content myself with the news ‘from where you are’.
‘Good evening, I’m Rizla Fagg-Paper’ (She swivels to face the camera to her left)
‘More than three million London commyeeters face the possibility of developing a serious lung condition following the discovery of asbestos roof tiles less than two hundred metres into the tunnel at Chancery Lane cheeb station. The three tiles, each measuring a hundred by eighty centimetres, were found by workmen renovating the sixty-seven year old bore which links Holborn with St Paul’s. Campaigners for a Safer London fear that microscopic particles have been steadily dislodged by the familiar underground air-rush since the beginning of the second world war and that today’s cheeb-travellers could face severe respiratory problems almost three quarters of a century on’.

That’s lovely, I thought. It’s a long time since I made the daily slog to WC.2 but…well, aren’t these nasty little fibres supposed to hide out in your alveoli for fifty years before launching their attack? (Mild concern)

‘Fears that over five million Londoners living within the M25 ring road could face massive disruption on their roads were voiced today by the leaders of Drivers for Justice, the Southgate-based group dedicated to freeing-up the Capital’s already-congested arteries; plans to shut-off a twelve mile section of the motorway between jenctions twenty-two and twenty-five threaten to bring major problems to residents south of the river. We went into the streets of Croydon to see what local residents thought of the prospect….’

Bugger! That’s where our head-office is moving to. Don’t tell me I’ve got to face a massive jam every Friday morning… (Considerable concern)

‘Hundreds of thousands of homes in Barking and Dagenham could be affected by an explosion in the rat population according to a special survey carried-out by the BBC’s ‘Sewer-Watch’ team, headed by celebrity zoologist, Bill Eveney. Bill predicts that the council’s decision to limit rubbish-collection to just once per month could give rise to the incidence of Weil’s disease and an increase in other rodent-borne conditions’

Sh*t! That’s getting a little too close to home! With any luck, they’ll find Rainham so agreeable that they’ll all stop there. Johnny Gilbert got Weil’s disease…lucky to have pulled through…sod that… (UNEASY FEELING…GROWING SENSE OF INSECURITY)

‘But there’s good nyeez too this evening!’ (Rizla reverts to camera 1) ‘After almost one hundred years, the cormorant is making a come-back on the Capital’s main river’ (Footage of the Black Death flashing at tourists on Westminster Bridge)
… ‘Ornithologists who have been studying the birds’ movements for more than ten years say that the return of the birds is a direct reflection of the improvement in Thames water standards. The cormorant, not seen in the capital in living memory until recently is, once again, setting-up home along the river from the estuary at Southend on Sea right through to Putney and beyond. Let’s go over to Rupinda Unprananzebul who’s on the jetty at Westminster….Rupinda, good nyeez, but why exactly have these birds decided to take up residence once again?’

(Rupinda delivers comforting smile) ‘Yes, Rizla…after years of strict monitoring, the Thames in London is now home to a thriving population of fish – the staple diet of these impressive birds. Thanks to strict anti-pollution measures, we can now expect to see these birds successfully nesting once again – back where they belong’.

What? Back where they belong? They’re all up the Thames ‘cos there’s bugger-all left in the North Sea! I don’t suppose the cormorant ever felt the need to commute into town; he had all the sprats and herring and mackerel he could get down his greedy throat until pollution and unrestrained commercial fishermen did their worst…cormorants ain’t townies for Pete’s sake! They ain’t supposed to be here! Hang on…what’s this?

‘Excyeez me, Madam, what do you think of the cormorant’s return to the heart of Westminster?’ (Microphone thrust in old dear’s face)
‘Oooh, has it? Well, that’s wonderful!’
(Rupinda continues…) ‘Excuse me, Sir; are you aware of the cormorant’s return to the Capital?’ (huge suggestive smile coupled with encouraging nodding of head)
‘Well, yes…it’s got to be a good thing, hasn’t it!’

Suddenly, my shroud of anxiety lifts! Life ain’t so bad after all! The asbestos…the road-works…the marauding rats…all subjects I know little about…they’re probably ALL b*ll*cks!

Cliff Hatton.

Read Cliff Hatton's books from Medlar Press
Not only is Cliff Hatton a great writer for FishingMagic and other journals, he is also a highly talented cartoonist and has a number of books published by Medlar Press. They include: All Beer and Boilies, All Wind and Water, and soon to be published - All Fluff and Waders.

Visit the Medlar Press site by clicking here and order your copies now!

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