Young Ornithologist of The Year 1993

The more elaborate a story the more likely it is to be a lie. It's for that reason that I think Billy Joel did start that fire.

The more elaborate a story the more likely it is to be a lie. It's for that reason that I think Billy Joel did start that fire.

That's a joke that I told at every single performance of my stand-up show "Stuart Laws. When's this gonna stop? (1hr show)". Every single performance except one; the one that is preserved for the rest of time and released on YouTube. The one at the bottom of this article, the one I'm releasing to the public. I consider it to be so vital to the show that I open by letting the audience know that I know that they're there because they know that I have the best Billy Joel joke of all-time. I then keep them waiting till the 55th minute before delivering it with aplomb, flair and astounding arrogance. It is, without a doubt the best joke that has ever been written about Billy Joel. If you can't be the best at everything, be the best at something that no one is competing at.

I never won the Young Ornithologist of The Year Award in 1993. I wasn't even nominated. However, it is the one thing that made me an outsider and now, as an adult, I feel I should cling to it. Everything else about me is desperately normal, so any hope I have of being the basis for a Wes Anderson character is reliant on the bird quirk.

Image: Stuart's own

I was a young ornithologist.

I wasn't obsessed with birds, I didn't lure them into my house or stuff them and display them. But they're great, even their names: Blue-Footed Boobie, Darwin's Rhea, the Kookaburra. Because all of those are also nicknames that I have given to my semi-automatic firearms.

Kookaburra, I like saying that: kookaburra. I can pronounce it in thirteen different ways, you try doing that with "human". The kookaburra consumed cognac in the chalet. The kookaburra continually collected crepes. The kookaburra's kooky cook cooked "coq-au-burra". The burra being a small shrub native to Western Australia. So it's chicken to the shrub. Just how the kookaburra's kooky cook liked to cook it. It's worth noting that, according to the ISO 3166 standard, 'au' is the two letter abbreviation commonly used for Australia, and the kookaburra is native to Australia. So if you spoke in a mixture of French, ISO 3166 and English "coq-au-burra" means chicken-Australia-shrub. Au is also Aragonese (a language spoken by around 10,000 people in Spain) for bird. So if you spoke in a mixture of French, Aragonese and English "coq-au-burra" means chicken-bird-shrub. And that's why we say: "to laugh like a kookaburra brings great joy to the Spanish."

Crows have been observed dropping nuts onto zebra crossings since the late 1600s, or whenever zebra crossings were invented. They do so because cars drive over the nuts, crush the shells but then have to stop for the pedestrians: allowing the crows to fly back and eat the emancipated nuts. I've sat at home with a bag of Brazils and grand plans, but no nutcracker. I was stumped. Forlornly pacing my flat, scouting for something to crush those hardy Brazil shells. I Googled it. I sent a text to that Any Question Answered service. They suggested I ran them over with my car. I sent a text back telling them I won't reduce myself to the level of a crow, thank you very much.

What I will reduce myself to is being a little creative with the truth. I don't think there is any award for the young ornithologist of the year, I'm not sure how you'd quantify it. I also don't think a spider was a catalyst for political change, or that there's a deeper reason for lebkuchen being a seasonal biscuit, or even that the grandmother in Dante's Peak was a bit ungrateful. If you care for me to elaborately elaborate such elaborateness then please take a watch of my elaborative stand-up comedy show "Stuart Laws. When's this gonna stop? (1hr show)".


What's Hot