7 Reasons To Be A Birdman
The other month, Worthing did something that it had never done before. It appealed to me. Or, to be more precise, the Worthing International Birdman Competition appealed to me. Lots of muppets chucking themselves off Worthing pier. Brilliant. I doubt they needed persuading, but if you have ever considered being a Birdman, here are seven compelling reasons why you should definitely do it.
1. The Horn. We’re all a little bit kinky at heart. We probably won’t admit it – which is why I’m admitting it on your behalf – but the idea of spandex and lycra is not all too alien to us. Opportunities to wear such attire rarely show themselves however, which is why being a Birdman is the perfect excuse. You could be Superman or Bananaman or Robin or a Dominatrix. You get a cheap thrill and no one bats an eye lid. Perfect.
2. Funding. If you went up to your friends and said, “I’m dressing up as Peter Pan, can I have a fiver?” you’d probably get laughed out of the room. Well, pushed anyway. Saying that you’re doing if for charity though and they’ll be far quicker to the cash point. Of course you’re not going to give it to charity, you’re just funding your unemployment habit.
3. Cred. R Kelly’s masterpiece I Believe I Can Fly is often cited as being thoroughly whimsical. No one really believes they can fly. Not even me after half a Peroni. Being a Birdman, though, gives this song new credibility. So, if you don’t want to be a Birdman so you can throw yourself off a pier, do it for Robert Sylvester.
4. Impress. Why was Superman so popular with the ladies? It wasn’t his glasses. Or his ability to stalk Lois Lane. It was because he could fly. And perhaps because he could protect you against just about anything that wasn’t within close proximity of a green, shiny rock. Mainly though, it was because he could fly. So, if there is someone out there you want to impress – and your 1995 Premier League Sticker Album is failing to do the magic – be a Birdman. (As for why Superman was so popular with the men. Well that comes down to Teri Hatcher. Superman managed to marry her, James Bond managed to get her killed. Muppet.).
5. Punishment. Maybe you’ve let yourself down. Perhaps you dropped a catch. Perhaps you shouted at your Mum. If you are not a Roman Catholic you gave not ask for forgiveness, so go and be a Birdman. A poor Birdman though. It is your duty to simply belly flop off the pier. That is your comeuppance. And if it doesn’t hurt, do it again. And again. And again. Only when you have tears in your eyes and at least one broken rib can you stop.
6. Film. There is little debate that Birdman Of Alcatraz is a good film, but, let’s be honest, while it contained a lot of stuff about sparrows, there was very little of Burt Lancaster disguising himself as a sparrow and trying to escape. I know it was based on a true story, but had John Frankenheimer never heard of artistic license? Should you prove yourself to be a good Birdman there is a very real possibility that you might find yourself cast alongside Simon Bird, Russell Crowe and Ethan Hawke in Birdman Of Alcatraz 2: Feathered Creatures.
7. Men Can Be Birds Too. I once knew a bloke called Kieran. I say ‘once knew’ because I don’t know him anymore. Sadly, he’s no longer with us. It’s okay, he’s not dead. He’s now a woman called Cynthia. Now, changing sex is not my kind of thing, but it’s what he/she wanted to do and I can only commend him/her on his/her decision to go through with it. I only wish that there had been a Birdman competition while he was contemplating the procedure. That way he could have experienced being a bird without the great expense. Still, he’s got boobs to play with now so I expect she’s happy.