First Person - with Allan Crow

Allan Crow
Allan Crow

SO, have you been lunch bombed by our winged neds yet? If not, I fear it may be just a matter of time.

Our seagulls are pretty nasty, scary birds - aggressive, ruthless and with more swagger than the most gallus teenager.

True story. There was a guy standing outside the pub last week eating a sausage roll. A seagull stood and watched him with a look that said ‘’in your own time, bud.’’

The guy tried to shoo it away. If seagulls had shoulders this one would have shrugged them.

He aimed a boot at it. I swear it stepped to the side, and looked up with a ‘’is that yer best shot?’’ look.

Up at McDonald’s drive-thru I watched a bloke chuck a chip out of his car. What followed was quite terrifying as dozens of birds went utterly tonto, fighting each other and bouncing off car roofs like some sort of assault course.

Last summer I saw just how cunning they were as four of them surrounded a wee wummin and her grandkids. One did the pickpocketing and two stood guard, imaginary baseball bats tucked under their wings just in case, while a fourth directed operations from a chimney pot above the Clydesdale Bank.

I suspect lunchbombing is their idea of fun as well as a source of food - I’m pretty sure they have a wee points system among themselves; two for a bairn’s sausage roll, five for an old dear’s sandwich, and ten if you can knock-off their glasses and carry their baguette to some nest.

I was lunchbombed last year. Saunterng along the High Street with a bageuette in my hand, a gull spotted a hint of a crust sticking out the poke, swooped from nowhere right down by my shoulder, grabbed it and hit the seagull’s equivalant of KERS in F1 to accelerate beyond catching. One flowing move which was more precise than a stealth bomber and more frightening than a ned spoiling for a fight.

To try to illustrate how frightening being lunchbombed is, I toyed with going down the High Street and simply holding a sausage roll of pasty above my head and getting my photographer to capture what happened.

As ideas go it’s probably about as sensible as tormenting an angry rottweiler, or, as I did as a bairn, putting my foot into the space left by a missing spar of a roundabout in a paypark. End result, - broken ankle and serious tears!

Strangely enough there were no volunteers among the FFP reporting team - not even with the offer of a crash helmet, taser, safety goggles and the same padding police use when they let their dogs loose in one of those gala day demonstrations on how to catch a criminal. Not too sure how HR would risk assess such an idea anyway ...

If I do go ahead, you will get to see the pictures of me definitely looking terrified, possible bloodied, and perhaps even held hostage as 25 seagulls object to us invading their privacy, gang up and carry me off, never to be seen again.

Of course, seagulls and the FFP have an uneasy relationship as almost every staff member has been attacked - maybe it was something we wrote - and we also have a large nest on our roof.

The skylights above editorial double as landing strips for their lunchbombers. There are times when it sounds as though the cast of Happy Feet are dancing on our roof ... and if those re-inforced panes of glass ever shatter, let me tell you there will be staff sitting directly below who will be gunked to death!

Seagulls are part of life in a seaside town, but we seem to have the super-ned variety who patrol the High Street like bouncers with an attitude problem. The sooner the three-year initiative to prick the eggs of the young is complete and the gulls forget where they live - boo hoo! - and go annoy the folk in Dunfermline or St Andrews, the better.

PS: Love the Twitter account @LangTounGull - just a shame we can’t re-print their tweets!