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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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Comments (10 posted):

Alan Tyler on 11/10/2010 11:20:59
Gave me a chuckle, especially the "Cheeb" pronunciation! Not come too far since "Yellexawndra Pyellace", have we? Auntie Beeb, bless her, we all want her to change just a tiny bit - unfortunately, we each want different bits to change in different ways, so on she sails, more essentially our "ship of state" than our elected representatives could ever be, bum-first into the future. If only the ol' girl wasn't so daft...
geoffmaynard on 11/10/2010 22:37:27
Wonderful stuff and so accurate... but I wouldn't swap Auntie with all her faults for any other news provider. It's the closest thing to fair and unbiased as we are ever likely to get and her mistakes are usually genuine ones.
michedw91 on 11/10/2010 23:57:46
i dont mind them in coastal areas but in rivers and lakes they are a big pain i call them the black death or the black barons as they they eat more than enough fish that they need god knows why and in the dorset stour big roach are in decline because of there arrival so i think shooting them needs to start again
johnnyfby on 12/10/2010 12:57:31
A friend of mine fishes a local river near me, which is enclosed land. 65 cormorants so far this year. Good lad.
Paul Boote on 12/10/2010 13:02:00
but I wouldn't swap Auntie with all her faults for any other news provider. It's the closest thing to fair and unbiased as we are ever likely to get and her mistakes are usually genuine ones. Definitely. Sad to see a hack in the Manglers Wail this week (free read, never buy it) opening his piece about angling on TV with "the bloated BBC". You will be wailing, sonny, when some lean, mean, truth-lite, cost-cutting outfit gets handed the hugely demanding and important task of informing Britain and the World.
Cliff Hatton on 12/10/2010 13:12:43
Geoff's and Paul's comments here prompt me to emphasize that the piece was of the 'Humorous' genre, though it does highlight the sensationalism with which much of the 'local' news is sometimes varnished. I can certainly see a journalist's dilemma: having to produce a report sometimes at very short notice, but not infrequently - particularly in the matter of fishing - they really do fail to do the most basic research, it would seem. The above article was prompted by a piece on TV just recently which highlighted the problem of angler's line which had become snagged on rocks somewhere in the south-west. The reporter stated that "Just a few inches of this stuff can be deadly". Very emotive, but hardly accurate. I don't actually cite the BEEB, but seeing as others have, I'll readily praise Auntie for the bulk of what it does.
904_cannon on 17/10/2010 20:44:17
My club has a licence to shoot these lovely feathery creatures. The problem is our farmer friend who does the shooting cant count to more than two, then he's often forgotten the two and has to start again. The local EA fisheries people decided to do a cormorant count on the river Wear in Durham City. The month of May was chosen; result, we don't have a predator problem :rolleyes: They seemed to overlook the fact that most of the cormorants were taking their summer vacation about 12 miles away on the coast, all dressed up in the breeding plumage.
Cliff Hatton on 18/10/2010 22:25:31
"They seemed to overlook the fact that most of the cormorants were taking their summer vacation about 12 miles away on the coast, all dressed up in the breeding plumage". Looking for a shag presumably, John.
geoffmaynard on 18/10/2010 22:42:51
Except for those ones which are divers ;)
Cliff Hatton on 19/10/2010 11:15:25
Apropos 'All Bo**ocks and Cormorants' and the very misleading TV news reports about the 'success' of the otter population..........I rest my case!

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