I like this poster. I found it just now. But, for me, it should read ‘Nightmares At Work Mean Peaceful Nights Later’.lossy-page1-399px-Day-dreaming_at_work_means_nightmares_later^_Try_harder_today..._For_the_U.S.A_-_NARA_-_535090.tif I don’t really care for the idea of bombs heading for my private parts as I enjoy my peaceful nights, but the overall design and the sentiment appeal as an example of wartime propaganda.

See, I’m distracted already.

You know how it is. You are writing something intense or disturbing or nasty and you have to turn away from the page and look for distraction. Those of us who write horror, crime or thrillers and are still relatively sane, do this a lot.

The darkest parts of human nature and the nature of reality are the memes of such lost souls.

Right now, the darkest coffee and the nature of caffeine have assumed more immediate importance , so away with you, Richard Dawkins: you and your foolish memes.

Then we come to the rub.

There are only so many cups of coffee one can ingest before the trembling begins and you can’t see the keyboard, let alone punch the keys to produce anything resembling coherent text. That’s not exactly true. I don’t need coffee to achieve incoherence.

But, I’m proud to say, I’m rarely distracted by anything when writing and… look, a wood pigeon! Never seen one of those before. 800px-Common_Wood_Pigeon

I muse on the smallness of a pigeon’s head and the hugeness of its droppings. If people did droppings in the same ratio we would need much bigger toilet paper… and possibly a wheelbarrow, when performing our ablutions.672px-Wheelbarrow_(PSF)The pigeon is making that repetitive, idiotic, cooing noise and it’s copied by another identical pigeon sitting about ten yards distant. The notes, tone, cadence and duration are exactly the same.

1st Pigeon: Hello.

2nd Pigeon: Hello.

1st Pigeon: Hello.

2nd Pigeon: Hello.

1st Pigeon: Hello.

And so on…


1st Pigeon: Good morning, Clarence.

2nd Pigeon: And a glorious one too, Edgar.

1st Pigeon: I believe I may have solved the mystery of quantum string theory, yesterday evening, after a particularly fine supper of organic corn.

2nd Pigeon: Really? That will be one in the eye for the collared doves, clever buggers.

1st Pigeon: It will. Kings of theoretical physics, huh! I say, can you see that chap over there, looking at us in a manner that quite disturbs my equilibrium?

2nd Pigeon: Ignore him. He doesn’t have a gun. Or organic corn.

1st Pigeon: I wonder what goes through their brains?

2nd Pigeon: Not much, I would imagine. Such tiny heads and huge bodies.

1st Pigeon: And a distinct lack of wings.

2nd Pigeon (nods) Indeed. It’s like being disabled, or rather un-abled, as we must say nowadays. Always last for the corn, I should think.

1st Pigeon: Sad.

2nd Pigeon: They can’t even speak properly – just that incessant noise, exactly the same each time, in note, tone, cadence and duration.

1st Pigeon: True. Ah well, can’t stop here chatting with you. We’re helping the crows mob a quite disingenuous buzzard – she has simply awful social habits – at nine-thirty.

2nd Pigeon: Isn’t that rather dangerous? Crows and buzzards are much more acrobatic than you, my friend. You are rather…ahem…portly?

1st Pigeon: What’s life without a little danger? Even for us fatties. Better than that poor sod down there. He spends all his time in front of a computer, writing crap, instead of dropping it on cars, as normal people do…

And so on…

Now, the horrific calls and I have to threaten reality once again with vague gestures and an empty coffee cup, so the anthropomorphised distractor pigeons will have to wait their turn.3164460404_0f9eacb7a4

About J.D.Hughes

Disclaimer: The profile photo above was taken when I was (briefly) young and cool. Writer, director and recovered ne'er do well. Simply delightful, but quite unhinged supernatural thrillers, NORTHMAN & AND SOON THE SONG on Amazon and several short stories, all of which contain The Meaning of Life. Or one of them. New novel to be published mid 2020, but on current performance might be posthumously... Likes dogs and probably was one in a past life.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to DISTRACTION #1

  1. Funny and true – my favourite combination!


  2. Distractor pigeons–I love it! How completely true, although in my neighborhood it’s mourning doves making the commentary.

    Sometimes we must simply write though the tears, especially if we are working our way through the human condition. (Or the inhumane.) But when you are in the midst of slogging through the worst parts of what humans are capable of, it helps your own sanity to take a break and find some bit of hilarity to focus on–pigeons and quantum physics works for me!


    • J.D.Hughes says:

      Sound as though they might be suitable for Harry Potter. What were those whispy things from Askhaban called? I might have to resort to throwing a cat at them, or encouraging our solitary resident sparrowhawk to befriend one or two of them…


  3. Paula Cappa says:

    Love this post! Especially the Molenda cartoon.


  4. Terry Tyler says:

    I don’t understand the pigeons round here because they’re all broad Geordie. I used to ‘allow’ myself to be distracted by spider solitaire, so I took it off my laptop. Now I just stare out of the window and observe cloud formation. Or just stare out of the window.


  5. J.D.Hughes says:

    You mean you’ve not gone native, T? Try Coo-coo-why-aye. You need to get a few decent distractions, ones that you can justify to that internal critic who says work, work, work. I’ll send Clarence and Edgar, forthwith. Expect much poop on your windowsill, but an increased awareness of quantum theory.


  6. robertashaw says:

    The pigeons here hang out with my little sister’s chickens – they share seed and other feed and sometimes the coop when a particularly curious and courageous fatty decides to waddle into the chooks’ lair. They don’t talk to me though, they leave that to the magpies and crows, which are quite vociferous.


    • J.D.Hughes says:

      Are yours wood pigeons or feral pigeons? The feral pigeons are not worth talking to.
      We have noisy magpies, too, Roberta, but they never discuss quantum physics or even genetically modified food, so we tend to ignore them as well. Locally, the Greenfinches are considered intellectuals.

      Or it could be just me. 🙂


  7. OK, I love topics like ‘what’s the value of a big brain’ (or a small one). I think that small pigeon brain makes the body more efficient, less distracted by things like emotion, planning, creativity–pesky stuff that distracts too often from the purpose of our being: to survive (sometimes measured by the size and nature of our scat).


    • J.D.Hughes says:

      You may well be right, Jacqui, but perhaps sacrificing brain power means relying on instinct. I once watched a shooter fail to hit the same pigeon three times. The bird saw the shot coming and made a tiny adjustment to its pin feathers to allow the shot pass harmlessly. The shooter got it eventually by using both barrels of a 12 gauge, spreading the shot to give the bird no chance. If the pigeon had been intelligent it would not have flown for the fourth time, but I think it had an overriding instinct to repeat a successful pattern, not realising that patterns don’t always stay the same. I learned quite a bit from that pigeon.


      • I think it absolutely means relying on instinct. To me, it’s that gut feeling that we-all try to ignore.

        Interesting story about the bird. I wouldn’t have thought that was possible.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s