Monday, 27 October 2014
Depressed Starlings turning to heroin
Arthur Balsam, a pharmacologist from Reading, said “We’ve long wondered why Starlings formed large flocks at this time of year. We even gave them a beautiful, evocative collective noun – we called them murmurations. When all along we should have been referring to them as downers.
“What we’re actually seeing is a huge self-help group of depressed Starlings gathering to try to talk about their suicidal, black feelings, and to help one another to deal with them. The timing’s significant too – these flocks form at precisely the time of year when the days shorten and it’s all getting a bit dark, miserable and depressing out there. Coincidence? I think not”.
Tom Logan, a bipolar Starling from Taunton, added “Black! Black! It’s all so black. They make me eat pins”.
Some Starlings have been finding a little relief from the black dog of depression in the form of Prozac-infused leatherjacket larvae. Arthur Balsam continued, “People are taking so much Prozac these days, the active compound is found at residual levels at sewage treatment works. Which means it gets into the invertebrates found there, so Starlings that hang out near sewage farms tend to be a lot more happy-go-lucky. They’re doped to the eyeballs on Prozac.
“Whereas other Starlings are turning to harder drugs to temporarily escape the desperate nihilism of their pointless existence. Heroin’s their drug of choice – they’re scoring it in the inner cities and shooting up in the countryside. The Somerset Levels are knee-deep in used needles at this time of year.
“Those Starlings are really putting the vulgar back into Sturnus vulgaris. The dirty skag-hounds”.