A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His mouth can hold more than his belly can,
He can hold in his beak,
Enough food for a week.
I'm damned if I know how the hell he can!
(by Dixon Lanier Merritt, apparently. Not Ogden Nash. You learn something new every day!)
And I'm damned if I know how the hell I can have made the same ridiculous mistake twice.
It's all because of my habit of paying only partial attention to the TV. I'm usually doing something else at the same time - eating, talking, playing a game on my phone, reading a book, surfing the web, playing with a cat or two, that kind of thing. So some time last year, while I was "watching" the local news, I was startled to hear the anchor say that there'd been a pelican attack in one of Vancouver's eastern suburbs! By the time I'd looked up at the screen he'd moved on to another story, leaving me completely baffled and with some very odd mental images running through my brain.
Fortunately, the CBC website was running the same story - about a pellet gun attack.
Which made more sense.
Fast forward to last night, when Mr E Man and I were watching Survivor. I loooove Survivor (it's an extremely guilty pleasure), so I was actually watching it properly. However, during the commercial breaks I was paying attention to Saba, who was sprawled all over me and purring contentedly as I rubbed her belly. I was vaguely aware that there was some kind of cosmetics advert on the screen, but was suddenly snapped into full alertness by a rather bizarre slogan I'd just heard.
"The colour of pelicans???!!!", I blurted out before I could stop myself.
Mr E Man eventually managed to gasp out the word "elegance" in between fits of laughter.
In my defense, it's still a ridiculous slogan. And later on in the show they actually showed some pelicans flying past the beach, which set us off laughing again. I suspect they'd already shown a similar shot before the commercial, which helped to trigger the confusion. Either that or I have a very bizarre subconscious.
Ooh! That just reminded me of something. Hang on a minute, Googling:
Ah, yes, I was right!
To (mis)quote Douglas Adams in The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul:
It was a couple of days before Kate Schechter became aware of any of these things, or indeed of anything at all in the outside world.
She passed the time quietly in a world of her own in which she was surrounded as far as the eye could see with old cabin trunks full of past memories in which she rummaged with great curiosity, and sometimes bewilderment. Or, at least, about a tenth of the cabin trunks were full of vivid, and often painful or uncomfortable memories of her past life; the other nine-tenths were full of
penguinspelicans, which surprised her. Insofar as she recognised at all that she was dreaming, she realised that she must be exploring her own subconscious mind. She had heard it said that humans are supposed only to use about a tenth of their brains, and that no one was very clear what the other nine-tenths were for, but she had certainly never heard it suggested that they were used for storing penguinspelicans.
So there you go. It's not my fault, it's just the way the human brain evolved.
Weirdly, like this post just did.