Chicken (News)Feed

Monday, 20 June 2016

I did a TEXDx talk on Saturday in Clapham, London, in which I talked about some of the content of this book. Once I have a link to the video, I'll post it here in the shed.

Meanwhile, I was doing some research for a QI podcast today and suddenly something caught my eye ... a headline that read Why Did The Policeman Cross The Road? posted on The Namibian newspaper website. Thinking it might be a review that I haven't seen, I clicked. And it was better than I'd hoped for. Here's the whole story:

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THE Namibian police recently took five chickens into police custody, leaving the owners distraught.

They did not capture the suspected thieves, but they denied them the joy of getting paid. I have decided to write a letter to those good officers to congratulate them on a job well done. Some might see ulterior motives in this: That I am perhaps hoping to score a tender to turn police stations into animal sanctuaries, or maybe hoping to curry favour with the officers hoping that they will release the chickens to me. I deny all such allegations, although not vehemently.
Anyway;


Dear sargeant commander Shilumbu, Epako Police station

I feel obliged to congratulate you and your officers on a job well done. Imagine if those poor chickens had to spend the night outside like those poor criminals, who got away. Had they not run, they could have been cosying up with those chickens. Let us not forget, sir, that chickens are a local delicacy. How about that other local delicacy, the dog? Have any in custody? What saddens me is that nobody has claimed those chickens yet. This sometimes happens with humans at state mortuaries, but never with chickens. Unclaimed dead bodies are normal here, especially if they are opposition party supporters, but chickens are usually a-political. I mean aren't they? Given their traditional silence on the subject of politics.
You should know, sir: Chickens can be very stubborn. They will not give up the names of their owners voluntarily. Still, I do not propose torture. We are doing that enough with human suspects already. Honestly, do we need chickens on our conscious? By the way, are these chickens dangerous? Should they rather be handled by the Special Field Force? Did they, for example, claw at the officerswhile resisting arrest? We do not need any chickens at the up-coming party congress. We already have enough of the human-chicken variety. Try and remand them in custody.

And please ignore those detractors who claim you guys are undermining the chickens' right to free range. Free range chickens are often tough and a bit chewy. Equally, ignore those who claim this as a form of economic sabotage. Why don't you put them on the dump? Then those scavengers could have fresh meat for a change. By the way; was this your first chicken call? Bet you never had to do this for a donkey, or even a hippo, isn't it?

I am also opposed to chicken trafficking, much like you. The UN has human trafficking covered, I think. I mean look at all those cool ads designed to guilt us into worrying about something we have nothing to do with. And about chickens, don't they need to make a documentary?

You guys just might have raised the game somewhat, giving the UN a run for their donor funding.

Just to end: I probably know a couple of builders, maybe some painters etc. So if you feel the station needs sprucing up, holla at me.

I might also have a chicken pen or two in my yard (unbeknownst to the city fathers and mothers.)

I usually keep them open for those chickens sitting in parliament, but like most political prostitutes (Josie K. Ne?) I will always make room for more.

Please find enclosed a development proposal and some cash to help out with the chickens.

Yours, supremely Boni Roelf.

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Extraordinary.

Source: The Namibian

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Published
Publication date: May 2016
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