WHAT DOES THE DOCTOR THINK THIS MONTH?
More from Dr Ian on the garden, cock pheasants and puns for readers
Why does my cock pheasant look so stressed?
As many of you will know, Head office and I have about an acre of formal garden which looks really beautiful when the bluebells have "died back" but takes a great deal of work. Between November and March, of course, it all goes a bit quiet; I light the log burner and catch up with my paperwork, ongoing study and preparation for my annual appraisal by another doctor. Management loves to feed the birds and we have many types of bird-feeding arrangements outside our sun-room. This encourages all sorts of birds and we love watching them as we eat our meals. My favourites are the woodpeckers and the gold finches.
In addition to the hanging and bird-table type feeders, Deannie also caters for the ground feeding birds, putting down food on the soil. Being messy eaters, the table-feeding birds spill a lot from the table so the ground feeders have even more to eat.
Last year, and again this year, a beautiful cock pheasant appeared at the end of January, living in the garden and eating his fill. Last year, he disappeared after about six weeks. This year, he has really been "taking the mick". He pitched up at the end of January and I was delighted to see him. Management fed him regularly and he grew in size and stature. Suddenly, two female pheasants moved in to share the garden with him and, within a week or two, he had seven female partners, all tramping around the garden from about 5am. I am told that it is not unusual for a cock pheasant to have up to eight females at any time - it makes you wonder what the male/female division is in the wild.
"Good on the Old Boy!" I hear you shout, perhaps, gentlemen, with a tinge of jealousy. If it is so good having all these females, why is my cock pheasant looking more and more miserable. The food is good and the accommodation safe and sheltered. He has a massive harem, so what is the problem? It came to me in a flash - he is suffering management by committee. Those of us with only one Head Office can just about cope, letting off steam every now and again by wondering how we ever manage to get anywhere without hitting things while driving alone, and so on. Imagine having a management team almost into double figures just to manage one person! I feel a new empathy for that poor cock and he shall have double rations from now on.
Recently, the old boy and his harem have been joined by about 30 wood pigeons and a newly resident rabbit, with moles working furiously underground. I am having great problems getting the beans, mange-touts, busy Lizzies and begonias to "take" before one of the resident sets of wildlife chomps away and destroys the plants. A friend from London visited recently and remarked "The countryside is a terrible place - so many uncooked animals walking about!"
I am happy to say the Head office never suffered from that scurge of fertile women and devoted, caring husbands - premenstrual tension. If she did, I never noticed! For those unfortunate husbands who suffer periodically, here are a few tips about phraseology to use when the wife is "vulnerable":
DANGEROUS SAFER SAFEST ULTRA SAFE
What's for dinner* Can I help you with dinner* Let's eat out. Have a glass of wine
Should you really wear that* You look good in brown Wow! Look at you! Have a glass of wine
What's bugging you today* Could we be overreacting* Here's my wallet Have a glass of wine
Should you be eating that? You could eat an apple instead Have some chocolate Have a glass of wine
What did you do all day? I hope you didn't overdo it today I love you in that robe Have some wine
Otherwise known as PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome, PMS could be an acronym for:
Psychotic mood shift; Pass my shotgun; Perpetual munching spree; Puffy mid section; People make me sick; Pardon my sobbing; Pimples may surface; Pack my stuff! Potential murder suspect.
Creative puns for educated minds (ie, all the readers)
Atheism is a non-prophet organisation.
Two hats hanging on a hat rack; one says "You stay here, I'll go on ahead"
Sign on the lawn at a drug rehab centre: "Keep off the grass"
I wondered why the football kept getting bigger - then, it hit me!
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion
A serviceman survived attacks by both mustard gas and pepper spray- He is now a seasoned veteran.
A backward poet writes inverse.
Don't join dangerous cults - practice safe sects.
Happily, our daughter did not marry a tennis player - Love means nothing to a tennis player
The roundest knight at King Arthur's table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
She was only a whiskey maker but he loved her still.
Bets wishes to you all for a wonderful Summer
Ian G. Nisbet