Cadmium! So soft, so ductile, so bluish-white, so bivalent, so high in fatigue resistance! And yet so toxic! Is there a better metal with which to electroplate your bird table?
Not according to Hooting Yard’s bird table electroplating expert Sogennantes Chumpot, who has this to say:
“Whether you spell starling the usual way or get it confused with Stalin, one thing is for sure. All starlings love to alight on a bird table to peck millet and bread-crusts put out for them by ornithologically-minded citizens. And not just starlings, but other birds too, such as robins and goshawks and linnets. But in a climate where it seems always to be raining, where wild winds howl, where eerie mists descend and the air grows thick and muggy before great cataclysmic storms wreak ruination, even the best-made bird table will rot away and topple sooner or later. By Christ, I have seen numberless collapsed bird tables in my time, never without shedding tears as I then look up into the bleak expansive skies to see flocks of starlings, and other birds, kittiwakes and swifts and crows, skirling and swooping but with no sturdy untoppled bird table upon which to land and take sustenance from the provender there freely scattered by their human pals. It is a tragedy as old as time, best evoked, I think, in that terribly sad opera by Bouff, The Collapsed Bird Tables Of Verona.”
Chumpot has more to say, much more, but as a scion of the great soap-making family she has a tendency to prattle on, and I think we can safely interrupt. The point is that she has gathered a vast trove of information on cadmium-electroplated bird tables, and plans to make it available via a new web hub portal, with listings, prices, and specifications, plus a bulletin board, chatroom, Witter feed, wiki, forum, blog, stump, and rivets, all powered by Ubuntu! (I am not sure what that all means, but I am copying from scribbled notes which may not be entirely accurate. Chumpot was making her announcement on a lawn, on a common, and had to contend with the racket made by a petrol-powered mowing machine, a brass band, and a very noisy swarm of hornets.)
Further details will follow once Sogennantes Chumpot actually sets up the website, which she plans to do as soon as it is safe to release her from the remote isolation clinic where she is being held following a severe bout of cadmium poisoning. I am not sure why she felt it necessary to – in her words – “become a bird table, complete with cadmium electroplating, in order to really get with the programme”, but that is what she did, and now she is paying the price. Hats off to her, say I.