Friday, 17 October 2014
Shetland about to go critical
Professor Arthur Balsam, currently studying the fabric of matter itself at the Large Hadron Collider at Cern, said “There’s a very real danger that things are going to get seriously fucked up this weekend on Shetland.
“It’s like the perfect storm – a conjunction of circumstances that may cause the archipelago to go critical. There’s a powerful south-easterly weather system due to strike Shetland over the weekend, potentially bringing with it a deluge of Siberian vagrant birds. Already present on the island are a number of serious birders – and I can’t stress this enough, they’re the worst kind of all.
“Normal birders are faintly nerdy. Serious birders on the other hand are much further up their own arses. The ones who go to Shetland are terrifyingly unstable – a combination of intense focus and dangerously laddish bravado. All this talk of ‘crews’ and ‘scoring’ is merely symptomatic of a syndrome we know as Avian Twattishness.
“All it could take is one hair-trigger causal event to set off an unstoppable chain of reactions that could signal the birth of a supermassive black hole that engulfs us all. Consider if you will the following scenario:
“A local who takes himself entirely too seriously as both a photographer and a finder of rare birds happens across a Siberian Accentor. He puts the news out to his ‘team’ first, and then to the local grapevine, and eventually the national news services. Serious birders converge on one point, all taking photographs of the accentor and posting them online in an orgy of self-indulgent proof that they were there.
“Meanwhile said local puts an article online ostensibly bigging up Shetland as a birding destination, but mainly lauding himself. He uses the phrase ‘find tackle’ to describe the act of chancing upon a rare bird. A nation’s birders simultaneously curls its toes and does that little wince you do when you eat a bad olive. All that concentrated embarrassment tears a little hole in the fabric of time and space, and before we know it we’re in deep trouble, going critical.
“Or as we prefer to say here at Cern, going Unst”.