A Bird in the Bush. Part 1.

I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist. If there really is a secret cabal running the affairs of the world, like the Bilderberg group, the Rosicrucians, or the Illuminati, they are so obviously incompetent that they deserve our sympathy, not our fear. I used to think the whole concept was just an idle fantasy. A fun but harmless thing for superannuated teenagers and lonely computer engineers to cling to, to while away the long, dark hours round midnight.

Does anyone remember where we left the keys for the upstairs bathroom?

Does anyone remember where we left the keys for the upstairs bathroom?

And then I heard about Pantone. Pantone is a real company that does stuff with colour that makes creative types happy. And on the side, twice a year, they gather together “representatives from various nations’ colour standards groups” for a “secret meeting” in a “European capital”.

Am I the only one who’s picturing this as a Cold War espionage movie? A man in a grey trench coat lights his face an eerie red for half a second as he drags on his cigarette in a darkened alley.

We need to act soon. The East Germans are pushing for Fuchsia this year.

We need to act soon. The East Germans are pushing for Fuchsia this year.

A woman in a pillbox hat with porcelain-pale skin and bright red lips loiters at a bar, surreptitiously scanning the crowd.

Quick! We don't have much time! Have you got those magenta swatches from Krapov.

Quick! We don’t have much time! Have you got those magenta swatches from Krapov.

And what do they gather together for, this secretive little group? They are choosing, I kid you not, “The Colour Of The Year”. This year it’s Emerald. Last year it was Tangerine Tango. It all sounds a little silly. But it’s not. It’s a Very Big Deal.

Billions upon billions of dollars rest on that one seemingly innocuous decision. The fashion houses buy into it. They design their clothes around it. Product and packaging designers buy into it. Brace yourself for a wave of Emerald green perfume bottles and hand-cream jars. Advertisers buy into it. Merchandisers buy into it. Magazine editors buy into it. Interior decorators buy into it.

A bunch of strangers in a conference centre in Munich have decided what colour the world is going to be this year. They have chosen what colour the dresses will be at the Oscars. They have chosen the colour of the handbag you’ll be buying from Wal-Mart this year. And we are all going to listen!

Am I alone in finding this odd? Did you know your country had a colour standards group? Who chooses these people? Are they elected? Do they work for the government? Why do we listen to them? How on earth did they end up with such immense (if slightly odd) power? What If I don’t want to wear emerald underpants this year? Is there some sort of enforcement arm? Will they be coming round my house in the dead of night, armed with some colour swatches and some cans of paint?

On the plus side, If you get locked out of your house you can blend into the shrubbery like a chameleon.

On the plus side, If you get locked out of your house you can blend into the shrubbery like a chameleon.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want to write about birds. And I’ve found another conspiracy. An even stranger one. There is a shadowy, nameless, faceless group of conspirators who gather in secret every few years to arbitrarily change the common names of South African birds. You can pop out into your garden to throw some apple to the Grey Louries, only to find that you’ve been feeding some Go-away Birds instead. Because a bunch of strangers said so.

I’m not a troublemaker. Especially not when a sinister, khaki clad goon could be staring at me through a pair of powerful binoculars from the shrubbery as we speak. But I have some questions. Who the hell are these people? Who chose them? Who gave them such immense power? And most of all, why the hell are they doing this?

Enough messing around, guys. This year let's rename the chicken.

Enough messing around, guys. This year let’s rename the chicken.

I have heard a couple of tepid half explanations bandied about. Mostly to do with “preventing confusion”, and “bringing uniformity”. Super! A group of strangers sat around a table and said “Right! From now on, half the birds that people have been calling Francolins will be called Spurfowl. The Grey Lourie will become the Grey Go-away Bird, and the Woodhoopoe will become the Scimatarbill. That should clear up a few things round here!”

I am mystified. This doesn’t happen with anything else. Representatives from “various nations’ furniture standards groups” don’t gather in underground bunkers near Vienna and decide that too many people are becoming confused between chairs and cheers, and that from now on the things we are all sitting in will be called “buttock elevators” to “prevent confusion”. Why birds?

The Alessi foldaway buttock elevator is a classic of modern design

The Alessi foldaway buttock elevator is a classic of modern design

Do they get paid? Because this is nice work if you can get it. Here are some of the profound and meaningful changes that have been made in the last few years:

The “African Scops Owl” was changed to the “African Scops-Owl”. That was a big day. The champers flowed like water. Delegates went home with hands chafed and bruised from all the high-fives.

The splendid-sounding “Blue Throated Sunbird” emerged as the “Plain Backed Sunbird”. Clearly there is not a poet among their numbers. Nor do they have a comedian. The “Knob-Billed Duck” has turned into the “Comb Duck” and the fabulous “Jackass Penguin” is now the “African Penguin”.

They might just have a chef, though The “Cinnamon Dove” held onto its foodie theme, and is now a “Lemon Dove”.

Their actions are not without unfortunate consequences, either. The change from “Stanley’s Bustard” to “Denham’s Bustard” must have left the Stanley family sitting round a table and staring morosely down at their beers, while the Denham’s donned party hats and formed a tequila fuelled conga line.

When we're done here let's go and egg the Stanleys' house!

When we’re done here let’s go and egg the Stanleys’ house!

Drugs might be involved. The “Grey Phalarope” mysteriously morphed into the “Red Phalarope”. I find it difficult to imagine how the confusion arose. The colour changes are not always so radical, though. How many hours of spirited debate went into changing the “Bronze Sunbird” into the “Bronzy Sunbird”? I can just imagine a plump, florid man rising from his chair in voluminous khaki shorts and waffle-top socks and striking the table with his fist. “Fine!” he roars, binoculars swinging in agitation. “I’ll concede that it is not bronze. But I defy you to tell me it’s not kind of bronzy!”

And with that brief introduction out of the way, let’s have a look at a few more birds from South Africa’s Lowveld. Yes, good people, I’m afraid it’s time for another Lowveld ecosystem post.

The Hangover Bird.

Hangovers are not fun. Down in the Lowveld in midsummer, they are even less fun than usual. When we were old enough to fully take part in such things, we used to go down to the bush for New Year’s Eve. We used to get together for a huge party up at the communal pool. Great fun was had by all.

Less fun was had on New Year’s Day. It’s hot, for a start. Stupidly. It’s not unheard of for the temperature at dawn to be up around 30 degrees Celsius. And then it starts to get hotter. It’s bright, too. Even on a good day the sun glares down brightly enough to bring an ache to the back of the eyeballs. But those aren’t the real problem. This is the real problem.

You look tired. Why don't you have a bit of a lie-in?

You look tired. Why don’t you have a bit of a lie-in?

It’s called a Woodland Kingfisher. It’s beautiful. It’s a handsome little bird with a two-tone beak and patches of turquoise on its back and wings so bright they would make those Pantone guys weep. Like many of the Kingfishers in the Lowveld, it doesn’t actually live on fish. It may take one or two every now and then, but it mostly lives on insects. It must be pretty good at catching them, too, because it seems to have rather a lot of free time on its hands. Time to sing. In the loosest sense of the word.

Waking up with a hangover in thirty degree heat is not fun. Your eyes feel like rough stone balls scraping around in a rusted metal cup. Your mouth feels like an old dog has slept in it and left his blanket behind. All the moisture in your body seems to have soaked through into your sheets, wrapping you in a damp, clammy cocoon. Your hair is as damp as your mouth is dry. Any light that finds your eyes burns down into even the darkest corners of your mind. And then you hear it.

“CHIT, CHIRRRRRRRRRRRR!” It’s loud. It’s shrill. It’s piercing. It’s unspeakably early. And in ten seconds, it’s going to happen again. “CHIT, CHIRRRRRRRRRRRR!” And ten seconds after that. “CHIT, CHIRRRRRRRRRRRR!” It is, in fact going to happen every ten seconds for what feels like the rest of your life. You can drag yourself off for a much needed shower. “CHIT, CHIRRRRRRRRRRRR!” You can force a greasy breakfast down your parched throat. “CHIT, CHIRRRRRRRRRRRR!” You can bury yourself back down in your clammy cocoon with a pillow over your head. “CHIT, CHIRRRRRRRRRRRR!”

Please god make it stop!

Please god make it stop!

Two hours later, with the temperature pushing 40, even the most rabid vegan would be on their knees and begging for a shotgun. Instead, all you can do is promise never to drink like this down in the bush again. ‘Til next year.

There are other kingfishers down in the Lowveld. Many look a lot like the Woodland, like bright little shards of blue and green glass, but there are others too, bigger, duller birds that really do live on fish. One of them, the Pied Kingfisher, is one of the only birds apart from hummingbirds that can hover without a headwind. Which is pretty handy when you want to fish out over the middle of a large dam.

The Badass

This is a Fork-Tailed Drongo. It’s not very big. It is quite striking, mostly because it perches out in open, prominent spots. It also has what can only be described as balls of steel.

Are you looking at me?

Are you looking at me?

Many birds will gather in loud, noisy groups and mob birds of prey or snakes in their territories. This usually involves hopping around close to the threat and making a lot of noise. Not the Fork-Tailed Drongo. He will press home the attack. People have seen them knocking feathers out of Eagles ten times their size. And just for good measure, they are not averse to attacking people, either.

A Fork-tailed Drongo asking an Eagle to go away.

A Fork-tailed Drongo asking an Eagle to go away.

Don’t get carried away with admiration, though. The Fork-Tailed Drongo is a liar and a thief. Many birds mimic the calls of other birds. My parents used to have a bird in their garden that would mimic the telephone, sending them scurrying off to answer phantom calls. In some places the Fork Tailed Drongo has learned to imitate the alarm calls of the Suricate, a type of mongoose. He will follow behind a family of foraging Suricates, waiting for one to find and subdue a particularly juicy snack; a large beetle or lizard. Then he will swoop down, shrieking out the Suricates’ alarm call and sending them scurrying off for cover while he settles in to enjoy the abandoned prize.

The Songbird. Not.



Nature doesn’t waste energy. If a creature has evolved an effective method of achieving a goal, it’s unlikely to need another. Cheetahs can run blindingly fast. But they cannot run far. Elephants can knock down trees to get at the juiciest fruit and leaves, so they’ve never evolved the ability to climb. But if you want to see the best examples of this, look at birds.

If you’re sitting out in your garden and hear a beautiful little snatch of lilting birdsong, you might want to go and find the singer. You’re going to need a bit of luck to find him, though, because he is likely to be a drab, inconspicuous little thing. Why waste preciously energy growing bright, showy feathers when the ladies are lining up to hear your solo performance. This works for people too. Mick Jagger is not an attractive man.

It works the other way, too. Pop down to your local exotic pet shop and check out the Hyacinth Macaws. They are breathtakingly beautiful. Take some earplugs with you too, though. Their “song” will leave you with a thin trickle of blood flowing out of your ears.

Lilac Breasted Rollers are not quite as pretty as Hyacinth Macaws, but they’ll do. They’re a mix of slightly faded blues and pinks and, dare I say it, lilac, but when they fly, they reveal a patch of turquoise as bright as any Woodland Kingfisher. They are lookers.

What do you mean no-ones watching?

What do you mean no-ones watching?

And they know it. They like to find the most open, prominent perch in their territory and spend most of their time perched there, waiting to swoop down onto any little creature ill-advised enough to reveal itself. They don’t need to hide away. Despite their showy outfits they’re easily as tough as the Fork-Tailed Drongos, and they too are not averse to taking on hawks and eagles.

He's not that tough. That's a baby eagle.

He’s not that tough. That’s a baby eagle.

It is is quite fun if you find yourself a telephone line out in the bush. On top of every second or third pole, you will find a Lilac-breasted Roller, sitting there like a fallen shard of the African sunset. And if you’re lucky, they might sing to you. They sound like Oompa Loompas with sore throats.

And that, good people, is it for now. I’m not done yet, I’ve still got some cool sounding things like Oxpeckers and Babblers and Hornbills to go, but if I’m finding my own post too long I cannot imagine what you must be thinking. Part two will follow soon, unless a crack team of Emerald clad Pantone assassins get to me first.

I'm here to check on your underwear.

I’m here to check on your underwear.

52 thoughts on “A Bird in the Bush. Part 1.

  1. Cheers Mr Thorns. You’ve inspired me once again – this time regarding birds and things. Apart from the odd lizard, wild pigs goats and deer, we don’t have much in the way of wildlife in New Zealand. But we do have birds. I’ve begun researching our native ones for a wee post of me own, but in the meantime, here’s a bit of an intro, in which I have mentioned your blog. http://raveburbleblog.com/2013/07/14/new-zealand-wizards-politicians-and-birds-weve-nicked-from-other-countries/

    • 23thorns says:

      I read a book about your parrots. I think they were called keas. they sound as bad as our baboons- I saw pics of one tearing the rubber lining from a car door.

      • Yeah, they’re good like that. They’ll aid you in stripping your whole car down given half a chance. Nothing but the finest of service in their territory.

  2. dalo2013 says:

    Great post. Dealing with Pantone weekly out here in China, what an industry it is (retailers and manufacturers pay big money to get the scoop on color trends…). Fun read on the song birds, the Gronk is one of my favorite, met them in ’06 the Masai Mara…very nice to see them here!

    • 23thorns says:

      I still don’t understand precisely how they make their money. What are they selling? Information?

      • dalo2013 says:

        Their main role is setting & ensuring color standards and consistency throughout the supply chain…every finishing plant has a set of very expensive color cards/dye recipes of Pantone colors that they need. The most dreaded reply from my old customers were always “Just look at the Pantone…your color is incorrect!” 🙂 And since they are the dominant color information service, their color trend reports are considered gold.

  3. Nylabluesmum says:

    Such beautiful & amazing birds you have there!!! We have Sparrows….i feel cheated 😦

    • 23thorns says:

      I’m sure there are others there too. You might not have noticed them, but I’m sure Nyla Blue has!

      • Nylabluesmum says:

        We DO have some great birds here, except they all left last November…only 3 wee Sparrows stuck it out & the Mourning Doves!!!
        No finches or chickadees….maybe they decided to stay down South, lol….after all it is still SNOWING here in parts of Canada….bbrrrr….
        And you are right who thinks up these names?? Have you noticed everything from underwear to cars is now a ‘fashionable’ lime green??? Not sure who these experts are that set color trends but they forgot to ask people like you & I for our input, lol….. 😉

  4. javaj240 says:

    I had NEVER heard of the Pantone conspiracy. I do recall “orange” being declared the “new pink” some years back. Now I know who to thank. Oh, and thank you, too, for a fabulously funny read!

    • 23thorns says:

      I did know that there was such a thing as “this season’s colours”. But I never suspected that they were chosen by a bunch of people sitting around a table in a conference centre in Vienna.

  5. […] A Bird in the Bush. Part 1. […]

  6. Tandi says:

    Well thank you for clearing up the mystery of how everyone seems to know what the it color is every year. I did actually wonder. Now can you please tell me where to buy some emerald underwear? Also, very curious to know what an oompah loompa is. Don’t think we have them in Canada.

    • 23thorns says:

      The Oompa Loompas were the little guys who worked in Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. As for the emerald underwear, I’m struggling to find them myself.

  7. Frivolous Monsters says:

    You want to check out Them by Jon Ronson as (cutting to the chase) he tracks down and sheds some light on the Bilderberg group. All very interesting.

    • 23thorns says:

      And fun, too. I read it a while back, but from what I remember, he didn’t think they were all that competent either.

      • Frivolous Monsters says:

        Can’t remember, but I was shocked that Peter Mandleson was there on the bus and gave him an interview about it!

  8. mollytopia says:

    Awesome post! I love your sense of humor, and I’m really glad to know emerald is the color to be, watch and have this year. Also will absolutely refer to all chairs as buttock elevators going forward. Because it just makes sense. You’re awesome.

  9. Haha I heard about this the other day and I had pretty much the exact same thoughts! It is nice that there is one secret international organization that is semi competent though, don’t you think?

  10. Those ‘let’s change bird names’ folks seem to be a global group, though up here they messed up names of all animals, birds, insects, etc. Previously, chipmunks were called ‘maaorava’, ‘ground squirrels’, in Finnish. Then ‘Nisäkäsnimistötoimikunta’, the ‘committee for mammal names’, decided that it was misguiding to call them ‘ground squirrels’ since chipmunks are not related to squirrels. Instead they should be called ‘tikutakut’ after the Finnish names for the Disney characters Chip ‘n’ Dale, Tiku & Taku, which are the most famous chipmunks in Finland. Logical, is it not? And very scientific. Thankfully the Committee for Finnish Language, that has the last word (if they’re lucky) in the matter of proper Finnish words and grammar, concluded that ‘tikutakut’ would be ‘disturbingly different in style’ from the other mammal names and the word hence was rejected. But we did get ‘isokauris’, ‘big deer’, instead of ‘punahirvi’, red deer. What if there is an unusually small red deer about, should I call it the small big deer? Or a particularly large one? Large big deer? Huge big deer? Giant big deer? Or just big big deer?

    • 23thorns says:

      At least your guys are just referencing Disney characters. Judging by some of their choices, some of our guys are Disney characters themselves. Micky Mouse springs to mind.

  11. Regards the Pantone thing- it’s awful when the “colour story” for the year is terrible on a fair brunette like me. The years of “nude” palettes were at least good for my bank balance as I didn’t buy a thing. Who needs colours designed to enhance the shade of every bruise.

    My husband (a foolish American) rented a house opposite a park in Perth Western Australia because he thought it would be “relaxing”. The deafening noise from the pterodactyls in the park at 4 am every morning nearly drove us mad. We also had an owl that sat on the window sill all night and “woo hoo-ed” every 3 minutes, keeping us awake for months. He was amazed to see the local paper publish descriptions of “attack zones” for magpies in breeding season and lived in terror after a colleague turned up at his work with a bleeding ear and chunks of hair missing. Australian birds are loud, aggressive and not overly pretty- unless you count the parrots. I haven’t seen anything living in Lagos besides lizards, chickens and a turkey.

    • 23thorns says:

      Sometimes wildlife is more appealing when you’re watching the discovery channel.
      I have a couple of friends living up in Lagos. It sounds like it’s a little different.

  12. psquiggle says:

    Where the hell were the infamous Pantone elitists in the 80’s?! Possibly collaborating with the “Fowl-callers” in the tropics, resulting in the eccentric colors such as electric blue, neon yellow, hot pink, etc… ?? I digress.

    • 23thorns says:

      It’s all part of the conspiracy. In the 80’s, Pantone launched a satellite armed with a fearsome “Day-glo ray”. The whole world was simmultaneously deprived of any sense of taste or judgement, and we’ve relied on Pantone to choose the colour of our underpants ever since.

  13. Learning the hard way says:

    I used to work across the road from a Pantone shop front. It was a tiny space housing colour wheels and a mysterious woman who sat next to a large sign saying Trade Enquiries Only – her look when I stuck my head in one day was ‘I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you’ – weird.

  14. spzkaz says:

    Don’t feel alone…the progressives are taking over hear too.

  15. I’ll raise you one Kookaburra for your Woodland Kingfisher. Clearly cousins (I mean they look identical apart from the Kingfisher being prettier) but they’re clearly related based on noise alone. A South African New Years is pretty close to an Aussie one (waterhole, dam, beach etc) and waking up to 30-35C (New years 2007/08 was 35 when the new year came in 😦 ) with a brain mushing hangover and having a kookaburra lean down from his lofty branch and then the rotten bugger laughs at you. Not once, not twice but continuously, laughing in your face at your stupidity, calling his mates to come and check out the drongo (colloquial term for idiot in Australia) who’s still half pissed and as hungover as hell. The raucous buggers then sit and laugh at you until your brain dissolves and leaks out your ears before nicking of to do a spot of hunting – mice, lizards, large venomous snakes (so they will potentially protect you even if they do laugh themselves silly over you.

    • 23thorns says:

      I’m going to have to concede on this one. I’ve heard a Kookeburra at the local zoo, and if the Woodland kingfisher is Chinese water torture, the Kookeburra is a sledgehammer to the unmentionables!

  16. narf77 says:

    (Note to self…is this an EMPTY notepad?!!! Yes? Ok…safe to proceed!) I was a bit worried that this was going to be a perverted post about hiding in the shrubbery watching attractive holiday makers topless sunbathing on the savannah but I read a bit and was entirely reassured (as was your wife no doubt 😉 ) to see that it wasn’t so much perversion as conspiracy theory which is my home away from home. The unmarked white vans (that I now know are attempting to poach my stupendous colour knowledge for next years Adobe swatches!) line up at our gate and my tinfoil hat is firmly on from the moment I wake up sir! This post will be interesting…
    (he knows I will be buying a handbag this year…how does he know!…better put a real effort into reading this post and looking for code amongst the words…)…ok, so we are back to perverted…those underpants don’t really leave much to the imagination do they?! ;)… I thought that the “reclassifiers” were only representitive of the horticultural society? I know that one day you are learning about Philotheca myoporoides and suddenly they are reclassified into Eriostemon myoporoides that’s bad form old chaps when you are messing with some poor long suffering students brain who has to memorise 80 botanical names and spell them correctly! It’s subversive and designed to keep the natives restless and clueless I say! Time to form a union!!! (sorry…my latent working class “red” is seeping out 😉 )
    Elitism needs to be fostered at a high level. Take a look at photography, they didn’t have an elite group monitoring the market and suddenly every man and his dog have cameras and photoshop and are messing about selling photos to the masses! How else do you maintain your lofty position unless you ensure the plebians aren’t able to climb your ricketty ladder? ;). It actually sounds like the twitchers are trying to dumb down the bird names for the masses! It’s a conspiracy!!! As most probably one of your only “rabid vegan” readers I will let that one slide (BUT Jess is a “rabid hippy” reader, I don’t know if you will evade both of us 😉 ).
    “Drongo” in Australese (admittedly it is dying a long slow death along with it’s entirely delicious statements…”stone the crows!”, “Stiffen the bandicoots!” etc.) is a last century word for an idiot. To illustrate…the New Year’s revellers could be classified as “Drongo’s” by any Aussie male ages 70 upward. Your birds make our birds look like washed out rednecked cousins. You couldn’t see your way clear to sending over a few of those panetone birds could you? I will personally take back some of those bluegums and wattles if you shove a few lilac breasted rollers and a few woodland kingfishers in with the deal. Can’t wait to read about those hornbills…I have been researching “Africa” on Foxtel. Mr Attenborough (king of the wild) told me about hornbills…I am interested to see what your endemic hornbills reveal about the Lowvelds but I doubt that “Hornbill black and orange” is going to cut the mustard with the Panetone peeps 😉

    • 23thorns says:

      When do you sleep?!?
      You’re opening up a nasty kettle of fish here. The guys I’m talking about are arbitrarily changing common names. The guys you are talking about are changing Latin names. That takes a PHD and a white coat. And when it comes to that, you Australians are stained with guilt. As we speak, your men in white coats are sneakily trying to steal the whole genus Acacia from our men in white coats. They want us to call ours Senegalia. But we found ours first!
      If you guys are botanists, you might enjoy Googling it- all of those men in white coats are squaring up for an ugly fight. Grab yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show. Few things are more bitter, and entertaining, than watching scientists have a go at each other!

      • narf77 says:

        My poor misguided friend…of COURSE we found them first. Australia is more “ancient” than Africa (pfft) didn’t you know? ;). As far as I am concerned you can KEEP the acacias. I will even send you all of the Acacia melanoxylon on the property if you will send me a stamped adressed envelope to shove them in. See how magnanimous I am? The most interesting thing about scientists having a go at each other is how they ALWAYS manage to do it by name calling from behind a hired heavy. No blows (aside from the obvious verbal blows that is…) make contact and it’s one bespectacled uber geek waving a limp pallid fist at a corosponding limp biceped uber nerd and after about 10 minutes it is as interesting as watching paint dry or a Test cricket match between Commonwealth countries…much more fun to head outside into the newly damp earth and watch mycelium grow! Now THERE is something interesting! I know you are a benefactor (of sorts) to the animal kingdom but if you could ever see your way clear to humour some antipodean fungus freak and post on the fungi of the Lowveld they would be forever in your debt 🙂 By the way I do sleep…just crazy hours so that I can get up at 3.30am and research “stuff” online. That’s how nosy magpies manage to fit “fun” into “life” without ending up divorced and even more penniless than they already are 😉

      • 23thorns says:

        Oh dear. I’ve just realised that in all my time down there I’ve never learnt a thing about fungus in the Lowveld! Time for some research. See you at 3:30 tomorrow!

      • narf77 says:

        Right you are sir…so can I assume that the fungi might just be making an albeit brief appearance on 23thorns? (Be still my beating heart!)

    • What no secret messages for me this time Fran? 😉

      • narf77 says:

        No but I did check TWICE to make sure I had relocated today’s degustatory flavouring from the text doc I was using 😉 Feed free to be outrageously indignant about the use of “Rabid” and “Vegan” combined. As a Rabidhippy you can react this time. I feel I am doing FAR too much for the antipodean quarter and you are letting the side down girl! Get typing! 😉

      • yeah yeah. I HAVE! As for being rabid, if the label sticks then whoever it fits can wear it. As for you being a rabid vegan, dedicated, yes, rabid no.

      • narf77 says:

        Is that a challenge? 😉

      • 23thorns says:

        I felt a little let down myself!

  17. reluctantwritergirl says:

    “Fine!” he roars, binoculars swinging in agitation. “I’ll concede that it is not bronze. But I defy you to tell me it’s not kind of bronzy!”

    Funny post. The above line made me laugh out loud.

  18. Heather says:

    Oh, my goodness…this was a great read!!! FYI…the Pantone thing truly is a huge deal in the fashion world…but then I think you knew that… 😉 I’ve followed it for the last 7 years…

    • 23thorns says:

      I first heard about Pantone a few years ago when someone explained that my shop window should be turquoise because some guys in New Jersey said so. The whole concept sounds almost too good to be true!

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