Roly, caught up with his ridiculous obsession for painting flying birds, decides to paint some game birds. I tell him that we absolutely do not have the time for this as we are detrimentally behind schedule, but Juan, to my surprise, says that painting some game birds is a wonderful idea and, if Roly wants some models, he would be happy to go and collect some, as he know some very game birds. I explain to Juan that Roly doesn't mean some of Juan's more liberal minded female acquaintances, but birds like pheasants or grouse, bred for aristocrats to shoot at for sport. Juan can't understand this, saying that, while shooting at aristocrats might be an excellent sport, shooting at birds isn't sporting because the birds can't shoot back. I explain that the aristocrats who do this are a cowardly breed for whom killing innocent creatures is seen as heroic; not only this, but the birds are so tame and friendly that people, called beaters, have to be employed to frighten the birds until they take to the air so they can be shot at. Juan, hearing this, vows that, from now on, he will beat every aristocrat that he meets. This sounds perfectly reasonable to me and, while Roly goes off to frighten some grouse and pheasants until they fly, so he can paint them, Juan and I break open our Vintage Glenburgie, Ardmore, Clynelish, and Auchentoshan Special Reserve, offer toast after toast to the health of game birds, then, inflating our bagpipes and playing 'Up in the Air', 'Song of Death' and 'Lament for the Bards', we whirl around in circles, as fast as we possibly can.
Professor Humperdink's Diary