The pigeon – a humble bird, a symbol of world peace, favoured pet of boxer Mike Tyson, and the scourge of statues and old buildings everywhere. If you happen to live in a decent-sized urban area, you cannot escape the hordes of grey, whirring birds as they flutter from one pavement to another, often leaving behind liberal doses of brown-and-white kack in their wake. Over hundreds of years, the itinerant members of Family Columbidae have become synonymous with city life. The Italian canal city of Venice is believed to have to world’s highest density of feral (wild) pigeons with three birds for every Venetian, each producing on average 12 kilos of excrement a year. A considerable amount of pigeon poo. In London, where 30,000 fat-necked, knobbly-kneed birds draw a nearly equal amount of tourists to feed them every month, bags of bread and stale sandwiches are their order of the day. Here in Stratford, in east London, the local birds have no qualms about even dining on flesh from chicken-wing-and-chip takeaway boxes. Pigeons are practically dustbins with wings, and while traditionally their hand-reared ancestors ate grains, the urban feral pigeons have an indiscriminate “open-door, open-beak policy” when it comes to roadside snacks.
Councils and health-and-safety officers revile the pigeon as a depositary of diseases but in reality they should not be under-estimated. They are smart enough to hop aboard an Underground train to travel to various stations to find a crumb or two, as this BBC video demonstrates. They will wait around outside schools during lunchtime to squabble over chips left behind by pupils. They have a homing instinct more in tune than some London taxi drivers. Indeed one (computer-generated) pigeon has even been enlisted to help sell personalised greeting cards (Funky Pigeon).
With our feathered friends living so close to us, it would only be a matter of time before they flew into the 21st century. Their beady eyes have not only figured out where all the bakeries and burger bars are, it seems they have even acquired our sense of humour.
Meet Jon Pigeon. Yes he is a pigeon, and he has evolved enough intelligence to acquire a laptop…and a Twitter account. His witty, expletive laden comments on life on the wing, and the annoying pestilence of humans he has to put up with, has earned him nearly 68,500 followers on the microblogging site. He has been dubbed the “bluest rat with wings in Twittertown” by Shortlist magazine.
Along with his laddish personality, Jon Pigeon has acquired a taste for the finer things in life. His favourite soup-de-jour is strawberry milkshake, while main course is veggies and mince, with a dash of cider (most likely White Lightning).
He is an accomplished stuntman. His favourite stunt is the one where he flies about a foot from his perch and lands. That is it really.
The victims of his mid-air defecations read like a who’s-who of the celebrity world. Melanie Sykes (Anglo-Burmese television presenter and star of Boddington’s beer adverts), Maria Fowler (soap opera actress; EastEnders), Brian Blessed (booming voiceover artist and erstwhile star of Strictly Come Dancing) and TV presenter Brian Dickson have all had the privilege of been crowned with one of Jon’s nutrient rich guano deposits. Despite being a master of humorous wit, the Twitterati’s most famous airborne legend does not enjoy a cordial relationship with human comedians. He has proudly claimed to have splattered on Alan Carr, Shappi Khorsandi and Danny Wallace of ‘Join Me’ fame.
Jon is also a formidable globetrotter by pigeon standards. He once flew south over the river Thames and landed in Brixton where he noted that the bananas in this far-flung part of the world were called ‘plantains’ and the music was sort of ‘slow’.
His pet peeves are being chased by toddlers and idiot mates who cannot tell the difference between a map of Spain and a chicken nugget on a tissue.
In honour of what could be the United Kingdom’s most notorious flying jokesmith of 2013, this blog brings you the best of Jon Pigeon’s tweets, as chosen by Metro’s TV critic/reviewer Keith Barker-Main and the Half-Eaten Mind’s very own editor and blogger Vijay Shah.
Just be sure to take a strong umbrella when you step outside, after reading this. Avoid trees. And KFC. Any fast food shop more or less…
JON PIGEON on APPEARANCES…
- Got a Petit Filous Pot stuck on my head. Feeling a bit self conscious about the situation.
- Found a Cravat. Made of Cravat. Wanted to wear it. Yep. Pretend Like I am Jon Downton Abbey Pigeon. The Cravat is F***ing Massive.
- Found a Sock. Made of Yellow Sock. The Sock has got a Hole in it. Yep. Wearing it as sort of Tank Top. In Yellow. Very very Sexy. Too Sexy.
- Found a Bikini Top. Didn’t put it on. Not wearing it. Yep. Pretending like I am a Jon Kate Middleton Pigeon. Doing the Face.
JON PIGEON on CRAPPING on EVERYTHING…
- Shat on a Wedding Dress and basically ruined the Bride’s Whole entire life there.
- Shat on a Bouncy Castle and Basically ruined it for everyone there.
- Shat on Kate Middleton. Yep. Twice. To protect her modesty.
- Shat on Anne Robinson. Yep. The S**t went on her Glasses.
- Shat on Chris Moyles and basically ruined his last show for everyone there.
- Shat on a Queue of people outside an Apple Store.
- I am on the Toilet. Yep. The Toilet is called MITSUBISHI SHOGUN 3.0 V6 GLS.
- Shat on a Teenager because he keeps saying BRRRAP. BRRRAP.
- Shat on a Teenager because he said he was a Gangsta. Yep. He had just got off a Bus.
- Shat on a man because he is wearing women’s jeans.
- Shat on a Teenager because he is wearing Pink Jeans.
- Shat on a Teenager because he is wearing a White Tracksuit.
- Sneezed and Shat at the same time and nearly killed a Cyclist there.
- Here’s the Situation. I am at a Petting Zoo. Shat on an Overweight Rabbit. Yep. A Pygmy Goat saw me. He looks quite Violent. I am in a Tree.
- Shat on the England Football team and basically improved them for everyone there.
- Jay-Z has Got 99 Problems and My S**ts are One.
- There will be a Short delay in Tonight’s S**ts while we have some Adverts. Sorry about that.
- Shat on Coldplay. Again. And the Piano. And the Drums. Yep. And that Spinning woman. Twice.
JON PIGEON on CRAP LYRICS…
- My Biscuit brings all the Birds to the yard. And They’re Like, It’s Bigger than Yours. Damn Right. It’s Bigger than Yours. It’s a Hob Nob. (après Kelis)
- Some people think I’m Biscuits But I just think I’m free Man, I’m just livin’ my life There’s nothin’ crazy about me. (après Dizzee Rascal)
- It’s not about the Biscuit, Biscuit, Biscuit We don’t need your Biscuit, Biscuit, Biscuit We just wanna make the Hob Nob. (après Jessie J)
- Mamma mia, here I go again Biscuits, how can I resist you? Mamma mia, does it show again? Biscuits, just how much I’ve missed you. (après ABBA)
- Don’t stop me now I’m having such a Good Time. I’m having a Biscuit, Don’t stop me now If you wanna have a Biscuit just give me a call. (après Queen)
- I have Written a Song about Shoes. Yep. The Song goes SHOES. SHOES. SHOES. SHOES. SHOES. SHOES. SHOES. SHOES. SHOES. SHOES. SHOES. SHOE.
- Loop de Loop. Barrel Roll. Loop de Loop. Barrel Roll. Barrel Roll. Loop de Loop. Barrel Roll. Lose my Bearings. Bounce off a Caravan.
JON PIGEON on FERAL PETE…
- Feral Pete has been Shat on in a Friendly Fire incident.
- Feral Pete told me he Had Illegally Downloaded Ed Sheeran. Yep. He had Stolen a Carrot from Tesco.
- Feral Pete has Convinced a pair of Bats that the Police needs help solving Crimes. Yep. I’m not entirely sure they can even use a Computer.
- Feral Pete told me he had found The Moldovan National Football Team. Yep. He showed me a Dead Badger by the roadside.
- Playing Hide and Seek with Feral Pete. Yep. He is Probably going to regret it in the Morning though. He is on the Eurostar. I am in a Tree.
- Trying to explain to Feral Pete that the ParaOrchestra do not actually play on Broken Instruments.
- Having an argument with Feral Pete. Yep. He is saying How can Andy Murray get the American Open if it was never Closed in the first place?
- Feral Pete said he wanted to go Raving. Yep. Then he ate a Lemsip and fell asleep in a Hedge.
- Feral Pete has been sat on an Egg all day long. Yep. It Hatched into a Racecar and he has to put the stickers on. He is F***ing Livid.
- Feral Pete has done a sort of Tribute to the Cabinet Reshuffle. Yep. He was on a Shed over there and now he is in a Tree over here.
- Feral Pete has Sellotaped Spoons onto both of his legs. Yep. Said he wanted to be a sort of Feral Pete Pistorius. So far he just Falls over.
JON PIGEON on HELPFUL ADVICE for HUMANS…
- If you do not want to be a Target for Pickpockets, do not Put anything in your Pockets. Pickpocket Safety Advice there.
- If you are at a Party but do not know how to Dance, just sort of Wave your arms around and occasionally move your legs. Party Advice There.
- For a Long and Successful Marriage, Never tell your Wife she looks like a Truck. Unless she actually is a Truck. Marriage advice There.
JON PIGEON on LEARNING about HUMANS….
- Turns out that a Smear Test is not actually an Exam for Window Cleaners. Frankly Livid about this.
- Turns Out Sky News actually has very little news about The Sky. Frankly livid about this.
- I am on a See-Saw. It is S**t.
- There is a Pensioner talking to me. I have literally no Idea what he is saying. I think he is Australian. Or Welsh.
- I am on a Lorry. Yep. Wanted to pretend like I am a Notting Hill Carnival Pigeon. F***ing Regret it now Though. I am on the M1.
JON PIGEON on INTER-SPECIES RELATIONS…
- Just watched a Cat fall out of a Tree. It was f***ing brilliant.
- F**k Yeah. Landed on a Cat.
- Having an Argument with a Swan. Posh Bastard.
- Having an Argument with a Peacock. Poncy Bastard.
- Convinced an entire Flock of Sheep to start Digging a Hole. Yep. The Hole is f***ing Massive. The Farmer is going Mental. I am in a Tree.
- There is no f***ing way a Cow can jump over the Moon. I have seen Cows.
- Teaching a Goat how to Skateboard. This could be F***ing Incredible.
- Ginger Pigeon! Ginger F***ing Pigeon! F***ing Ginger F***ing Pigeon! Trying not to laugh.
JON PIGEON on STUFF HE FOUND….
- Very Exciting News! I have Found an iPhone 5! It is Smaller than I thought. And Lighter. Yep. And is called NATURE VALLEY OATS ‘N HONEY.
Follow Jon on Twitter: @PigeonJon
“Cities Tackle Surge in Global Pigeon Population” (David Crossland, Spiegel Online International) LINK
“In Defence of Pigeons” (BBC News UK) LINK
BBC Nature Wildlife
World First: Jon Pigeon Interview (Shortlist.com) LINK
The Official Jon Pigeon Twitter page (@PigeonJon)