Bird Guano

The column which thinks taxidermy is the new tattooing


READER: I’m having a tattoo as it happens

MYSELF: Where?

READER: Where else? At Sailor B Wear, the coolest tattoo parlour in town.

MYSELF: No, I meant where on your body?

READER: Oh, erm…….I haven’t decided yet. Somewhere discreet, somewhere no-one would normally look.

MYSELF: Your face?

READER: Very funny. I’ll pretend I never heard that.

MYSELF: I’ll pretend I never wrote it.




Upper Dicker Kitchen Museum 27th Jan – 3rd March

From cruel Victorian chicken-pruning scissors to the mighty shears employed in the topiary of the labyrinthine hedges of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court maze,  Upper Dicker’s Kitchen Museum presents a fascinating look at the history of a little-explored subject. In this international travelling exhibit, majestic Ming Dynasty nail scissors made for the empress of China and inlaid with ivory cut from the tusks of the imperial elephant, rub shoulders with the US army-issue electric clippers which dispatched Elvis Presley’s famous quiff in 1958. I urge all scissor fans to attend this compulsively interesting show, if only to gargle with helpless laughter at the tiny ornate eyebrow scissors of Marie Antoinette, or gasp in amazement at the eormous Proboscis Monkey nasal hair trimmers carried by Georgian explorer Sir Eric Rumsfeld-Barbican’s footman during his early explorations of the Mongolian interior. All in all, to anyone fascinated by the world of scissors, The Upper Dicker Kitchen Museum would be an essential destination, were it not for the current restrictions. Upper Dicker Kitchen Museum is closed until further notice.



The Cunning Mandolin by Rob Dulle.


Rob Dulle, much-published novelist and poet in residence at Sunderland University’s Mackam College, has a lofty reputation to live up to. This, his latest opus, will be warmly welcomed by his fans as a masterful return to form, following his detour into magical realism and Arthurian fantasy in the 2017 deckchair blockbuster Pearls on a Random Brooch.

The Cunning Mandolin is however, a novel with Dulle written all over it. All the familiar tropes are here, from the curious stammer-afflicted cocktail waitress with a grudge against Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Mexican pool cleaner suspected of money laundering and poultry bleaching. Chapter one begins with all guns blazing; an unidentified body is found gagged, bound and concealed in a septic tank at the residence of high court judge Justice Cyril Hyphen-Hyphen who had recently convicted popular TV ventriloquist Charlie Chutney on charges of putting libellous words into other people’s mouths. Unconventional private investigator Melton Mowbray (who also appeared in Dulle’s DIY novelette The Lady Varnishes) has a hunch which takes readers on an improbable wild goose chase involving herring forgery, a plot to invade Albania by post and a pair of Scandinavian pub quiz cheats. Recommended.





Guano Poundhammer


click image


unqualified advice for the terminally confused


BLIMEY!Fascinating items from around the globe


JAPAN: Turkish plumber Mustapha Habababa murdered Yoko Nagasaki, a Tokyo cinema usherette, after a simple misunderstanding. The Turkish word for hammock is exactly the same as the Japanese word for ventriloquist.

UK: Barnacle Bill, a 4-year-old Bedlington terrier brought 27 miles of the A324 to a standstill when he mistook a 45-tonne articulated lorry containing toxic waste for a tennis ball.

NEPAL: A woman in Pangapanga, arrested for playing the accordion whilst menstruating, has had her left foot amputated and turned into an umbrella stand for elephants.

USA: A 72 year old man in Nosferatu, Texas, has divorced his wife of 47 years, after discovering her secret hoard of over 53,000 Bombay tram tickets concealed in hollowed out pumpkins.



According to entrepreneur Sir Leonard Pastry, Hastings & St.Leonards Warriors FC’s recently appointed director of football, the Covid-stricken club will be looking forward to the rest of the 2020/21 football season under the dynamic stewardship of his Pink Panther Entertainment Group, an internationally established company with its finger firmly inserted in a number of lucrative pies. “Unlike most other football clubs, the current pandemic restrictions have made little difference to the Warriors’ average match attendance,” Sir Leonard told me over socially distanced Oeufs Caledonia in the newly decorated Covid ‘n Coffee Players Lounge, “and going forward, we have ambitious plans for the club’s post-pandemic future.” Through a metal grill in our table’s six-inch Virus-proof glass panel, the pink-masked entrepreneur outlined his plans: “For example”, he told me, “my wife, Lady Cruella Pastry, who is a keen self-publicist, will be marketing her range of upmarket nail polish, Talonne, in several shades of pink. Its unique pyramid-shaped bottle, with the distinctive staring-eye cap will be embossed with the club’s new logo, a pink panther with three legs, representing The Isle of Man, where I keep my money”.

There have been reports however of unrest amongst the playing staff concerning the Warriors’ new flourescent pink strip which claims to combat floodlight failure. Welsh wizard Craig Cattermole told us: “Where I come from, men are men and have well-modulated baritone voices. Since I moved to The Warriors from crack South Wales club Caerphilly Sentimentalists, I have naturally become more urbane and sophisticated, and will occasionally eat quiche, but I draw the line at wearing pink.” Goalkeeper Tim Smegma was more pragmatic, adding: “As a goalie, I get to wear a different coloured shirt from the others, so I’m not really all that bothered. However, I do refuse to eat quiche as a matter of principle.”

Critics have pointed to a recent sports-related endeavour undertaken by the businessman which also attracted some notoriety. His much-trumpeted event The 2020 Pink Panther Charity Celebrity Crazy Golf Tournament fell flat on its face when the only “celebrities” to turn up turned out to be none other Sir Leonard himself and his chauffeur Frank “Lardy” Goosefat, a former gangland enforcer and Olympic Crazy Golf medallist.



Domestic Molecule down 3 (48)

Argumentative Calliope Shortfunds down 5 (57)

Marigold Mustard Futures down 44 (12)

Moose Derivatives up 37 (85)

Ham Stallions up 42 (77)

Rumplestiltskin Clown Shoe Trade-offs down 6 (2)


Sausage Life!




colin gibson
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