“We should have shotguns for this kinda deal.”
You might remember this as one of Samuel L. Jackson’s best lines from Pulp Fiction, restated a few minutes later with an emphatic F-bomb by John Travolta.
They were going into a situation. Maybe there would be four or five guys with guns up there. So they had a point.
But we need those shotguns even more.
Because we got magpies; we know that for certain.
I’m out walking my dog yesterday. She’s a good dog. She deserves a walk.
And so that’s what we’re doing, walking with the dawn, minding our very own business, when all of the hair on the back of my arms suddenly stands up and a terrible sense of foreboding and possibly even doom steals over me.
I hear the flapping of the great black wings before the cruel and mocking call of the murder bird and I drop, because in the space where my head had just been, the claws of a vengeful magpie were raking at thin air, reaching for the feast of human scalp this winged fiend anticipated enjoying back at its nest with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
It was a close call.
I should have shotguns for this sort of thing.
And, please, don’t bother with your well-meaning but stupidly dangerous defence of the murder birds’ natural prerogatives. Do not waste my time and yours with suggestions of bike helmets festooned with zip ties, or sunglasses worn jauntily on the back of the head, to create for the swooping avian carnage demon the illusion that they are being watched by their intended victim.
These monsters live for nothing more than the thrill of raking long gobbets of flesh from both the wary and unwary alike.
They care not for your pathetic attempt at trickery. It just makes your torn and bleeding head meat taste all the sweeter.
No, what we need at this time of year are shotguns, and a temporary suspension of the otherwise reasonable legal prohibitions against the discharge of such in a built up area.
For is it not within the claim of reason that my good dog and I should be free to wander the streets of this fair city without fear of violent aggression from above?
I am supremely confident you all agree.
John Birmingham is a columnist and blogger for the Brisbane Times. He is also an award winning magazine writer and the author of Leviathan, the Unauthorised Biography of Sydney, which won the National Award for Non-Fiction. He amuses himself in his down time by writing novels which improve with altitude.