Back in 2010, I worked nights as a scarecrow. The recession had squeezed all the juice out of my smoothie business (during those hard times no one could afford blended fruit), and I had to find steady, secure work to pay off my Winnebago.
Besides pressing lemons, my only transferable skill was standing around, a skill gained from years of experience of giving up my seat on buses for old, pregnant, or plain morbidly obese people. Of course, like everyone does, I dressed up the truth on my CV; being on my feet for a few hours behind a Wetherspoons bar turned into standing rock-still for hours in Covent Garden dressed as Sitting Bull.
I applied for work as a doorman at a nightclub called Pussyhole, but I wasn’t deemed qualified enough, despite scoring a second interview (they were impressed by my history of committing GBH on random drunks).
Things were looking bleak, and Barclays were riding my ass harder than Joseph rode his ass to Bethlehem. But then my miracle happened: Farmer Dave.
Farmer Dave was struggling too. He’d had an unlucky run with his last few scarecrows. The first had caught pneumonia during the infamous September frosts of 09. The scarecrow tried to sue Farmer Dave for negligently leaving him in a field during the cold, but the defending lawyer persuaded a unanimous jury that the scarecrow had given himself pneumonia by pleasuring his sphincter with cold diet coke cans.
His replacement was a veteran scarecrow called Alexander. For the first few months, he did a great job of frightening the birds away, but his and Famer Dave’s relationship soured when Alexander started shouting racial slurs at crows.
His replacement – the scarecrow before me –was also a young upstart. Terry was inexperienced, but eager to learn. Soon he began to show promise, and within a month had scored his first heart attack. Before long, crows were cardiacing whenever they looked into his ice-blue eyes, and Dave had to recruit an intern just to sweep up all the carcases.
It was a time of hope for old Dave, but it was all tarnished one summer evening. Dave was strolling through his field, enjoying the thick Dusk air melting over him like butter, when he caught Terry fisting one of his sheep. Terry was sacked, and Baabaara was traded off for sheep trafficking.
Considering his previous newbie had been a sexual deviant, Dave was initially reluctant to employ another farmhand without experience of resisting the temptation of lamb anus. I was constantly reminded that I was on probation, and it wasn’t until my first month passed that Dave stopped sniffing my fingers and testing them for sheep DNA.
But, for all Dave’s scepticism, I was a natural. I quickly broke new ground in the industry, discovering that if I slacked my face as if I’d had a stroke then I could actually make crows physically scream. My Winnebago was close to being payed off, but hubris possessed me, and soon it wasn’t enough to frighten the animals away. I needed to ruin them.
I can’t describe the sexual satisfaction I derived from persuading a pigeon to divorce her husband. Nor when I took off my belt and watched a fox asphyxiate himself. Sure, maybe I had issues, but dammit I was Phelps, I was Pele, I was Federer, I was the best damned scarecrow the world has ever known. Dave even reckoned animals had evolved to stay away from me. All the animals I frightened quickly developed PTSD or agoraphobia and starved to death in their homes, afraid to brave this fearsome new world I alone had created.
Natural selection chose them – the weak – just like God chose me – the strong.
But my Messiah complex got the better of me, and I was sacked when I donned some swastika armbands and tried to stage a coup by turning the hens against Dave and giving them nuclear weapons. The nuclear standoff between Dave and chief Hen Karla accidentally resulted in the mutual destruction of both combatants and Peterborough, which is odd since the farm was in Yorkshire.
I too was killed in the fallout. I’m writing to you from scarecrow heaven. It’s not too shabby, actually, and I’ve had chance to up my ping-pong game considerably. There is, however, a disturbingly puritan lack of sexual release, and so I have joined Terry in fisting sheep, who share a floor of heaven with scarecrows and 70’s kitchen appliances due to celestial budget cuts. Thanks George Osborne, you gammon-faced weasel.