Pigeon Punching In North Africa (Flash Fic)

2 Sep

Pigeon Punching In North Africa
By Ray Daley

The following piece of paper was found during the demolition of a late Victorian house, under the bathroom floor. After months of detailed research, no trace of the original publication could be found. This is thought to be the only surviving proof of its existence. Only the front of the page was legible, the address had sadly perished with the passage of time, leaving the organisation and magazine untraceable and lost to time.

Page 8
Hobbies and Hobbyists—Pigeon Punching In North Africa

When one thinks of North Africa, the mind does not instantly jump to the image of a pigeon. The image most commonly associated with pigeons is that of Trafalgar Square and Nelsons Column. If pushed further, most people might usually link the pigeon to an urban landscape, that of inner cities, brick-built jungles and factory fumes on tap.

Like the practise of pigeon punching, the actual pigeons themselves are imported from landmarks across Britain. Pigeons are readily found near statues and Town Halls, because there’s nothing a pigeon likes more than a good statue to perch on. And evacuate itself on, obviously.

Many North Africans are greatly angered by the influx of immigrant pigeons, going over there and stealing all their jobs. Then those very same North Africans were asked, “Could we punch you instead, if we decided that we wanted to?”

Local North African tongues are not renowned for their ease of use but apparently almost all North Africans have readily adopted the good old British “Get Stuffed!” as a universal Lingua Franca in these cases when they are asked to be pigeon punching substitutes.

It is unknown what the pigeons think of the whole business, most of them immediately fly back to England on being released for punching purposes in North Africa.

As yet, no pigeons have been punched in North Africa.

Those wishing to try, remain confident that pigeons can be punched in North Africa (or anywhere else, come to that. They simply prefer the warmer climate of North Africa to that of England during the winter). Enthusiasts wishing to try the practise are advised to get in touch with the British Pigeon Punching Council who are based just outside of Builth Wells (address listed overleaf).

Expeditions travel to North Africa annually, and have done for the last one hundred and fifty years. Despite no-one ever having actually punched a pigeon as yet. It’s traditional.

After all, what are we as a Nation without our traditions? Probably the French.

Maxwell Q. Washington, Pigeon Punchers Monthly—September 4th 1893.



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