Ralph the trash-talking pelican.
When Ralph the American brown pelican got blown way off course last year during Hurricane Earl and ended up knocking himself senseless against the front window of a Dollarama store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotians promised they would return him to his native home.
Ralph, who missed his warm sunny fish-filled watery home a thousand miles away, was very appreciative. Or so most people thought.
Our intrepid reporter, sensing there might be another side to the story, travelled to Seaforth, Nova Scotia and interviewed Ralph before he left.
Reporter: First of all, may I call you Ralph?
Ralph the Pelican: Well buddy, how can I say this? Obviously, in my own special American way, without a single ounce of tact. So -- NO. A bunch of Haligonian halfwits named me after the strip joint where I was first spotted. And you know what? Skanky. Do I look like Charlie Sheen? Hopefully not. And by the way, I'm FEMALE! My name is Sharlene.
Reporter: Okay Sharlene. So how do you like Nova Scotia?
Sharlene the Pelican formerly named Ralph: Look, can you see my two wings? Good. Let's say I'm weighing Nova Scotia with one wing, and Florida with the other. And one wing is way up high ... the other wing is way down low ... guess which one is which?
Reporter: Jeepers. That's the first time I've ever seen a bird holding something in its wing. That must really hurt. And that is pretty down low. Are you saying you don't like Canada?
Sharlene: Buddy, I knew I was in trouble when I rounded the coast of Maine with a tailwind and four broken tailfeathers. Like ... sku rooed! So I came here because I heard your health care is great. But man, waiting! Waiting waiting waiting! Cripes. I've been here for three bejeebers months! Just for a shot or two of Vitamin B12! And in a barn. With a HEAT LAMP??? And a tiny TUB of WATER?? C'mon! Sure the health care is free but you die waiting for it. What the he** kind of country is this?!
Reporter: I didn't realize Pelicans swore that much.
Sharlene: So I picked up a few bad habits at that strip club.
Reporter: I heard the waiting problem is actually your country. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service don't have an inspector in the Maritimes to clear you for a commercial flight.
Sharlene: Buddy do I look like some kind of an idiot? Hello ... ask me MY opinion! Puleeze! Do you think I actually want to go through American customs? You know what that's like? Oh My Dear Sweet Feathered God. The last time I went through customs they bloody well groped all my private parts and X-rayed my JUNK container! Just in case I was hiding EXPLOSIVES! Can you imagine? Explosives! Lawd Amercy. The only explosives I have come from all that McCains frozen fish you Canucks have been feeding me every day. Hello! Fresh! Ever heard of it? As in fresh herring? C'mon, I'm a bird, not some TV-dinner eating wanker.
Reporter: Well you'll be happy to hear that you're finally getting a van ride home to Florida next week.
Sharlene: OMG about bloody time. Cripes. Now tell those dummies to keep one eye on the paperwork and another eye on the weather. The border is BRUTAL! Lawd thunderin Jasus Boi!
Reporter: So you learned a few things in Canada I see.
Sharlene: Learned my a**, brother. I learned to stay away from ketchup chips and plate glass windows. Bejeesus!
Reporter: Well have a safe trip home. And good luck.
Sharlene: Good luck yourself there m'boy. You people need it more than I do.
Editor's postscript: Recent wire stories have reported that handlers for "Ralph" the pelican had run into a paperwork snag and some bad weather in New York. But things were back on course by March 8, a few days later.
"Ralph" was quoted as saying, "Lawd thunderin Jasus people, didn't I tell you so? Read my beak. ORGANIZED!! Or-Ga-Nized! Can't you people get me any faster to the beach? For Pete's sake, Spring Break is coming. Beach flotsam galore!! Are you kidding? All you can eat! The U.S. of A for crying out loud. Megameals! Do you hear me? Move those fat behinds, people. Move it, move it, move IT! How's about a good old-fashioned kick in the a**, for Cripe's sake! Oh where are those da** marines when you really need them!"
Officials also said delays arose when they couldn't quite figure out "Ralph's" weird Nova Scotian-Floridian accent. But things quickly became clear when "Ralph" cited his U.S. rights under the First Amendment.
Officials also said they didn't realize pelicans could talk, but whatever.
They apologized for the delay because they had to make sure they didn't have a Mexican brown pelican on their hands.
This would have changed things considerably, they added.
-- C.P. Weary is a Kitchener-based writer who pens a humourous column about a small-town newspaper. Comments are welcome at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.soweary.com.
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|Title Annotation:||The Scoop|
|Publication:||Paris Chronicle (Paris, Canada)|
|Date:||Mar 25, 2011|
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