Attention to detail is important, especially when it concerns the Parrot and his 2GB sponsors.

MY GOD, GLORIA HAS BEEN BORING THIS YEAR!

Sorry, we just had to get that off our chests – but do you know what the bird watching has been like lately?

The Parrot seems obsessed by lightning strikes. He’s devoted three editorials to that single topic since he came back on air only six weeks ago. What are lightning strikes to bird watchers?

And you know that hippie art restorer up on the North Coast, the one who seems to have fired up a bong more powerful than the Starship Enterprise and decided half the Guggenheim was hanging on his wall, only to wonder where it had gone when he woke up? Well, on Wednesday, our feathered friend was reduced to reading out various bits and pieces on him out of the newspapers.

Sic transit Gloria, indeed!

He was a redneck about Redfern again last week – but that was all we saw of the Parrot of old. Much the same as a chook running around after its head has been cut off, really.

So, dear reader, we have a terrible confession to make.

So boring is the bird that we’ve been sleeping in.

There’s no point in getting up at 5:00 am to hear his squawks when they’re only going to put you straight back to sleep again.

We’ve just been looking at his transcripts.

We’re sorry. We’ve missed what he might have said either side of this editorial:

“There is a celebration today of some significance because 150 years ago today on March 3, 1854, telecommunications began in Australia.

“And today, Telstra will celebrate those 150 years with a re-enactment of the sending of the first Morse code message in the southern hemisphere between Melbourne and Williamstown.

“It’s hard to believe, isn’t it, that in the 1850s, getting a message to the port of Williamstown took several hours by horse.

“All that changed on March 3, 1854 when the telegraph arrived and messages became almost instantaneous.

“Well today at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum, the Victorian Governor, the former great athlete, John Landy, and Telstra’s boss, Ziggy Switkowski will join Morse code enthusiasts and repeat history by sending a message to science works at Williamstown.

“Students from Williamstown Primary School will watch the re-enactment over a video link and simultaneously send SMS messages between the two venues.

“It’s a commemoration of the commencement of modern telecommunications in Australia.

“But it certainly makes you understand how far things have come in the past 150 years.

“The first Morse code message was tapped from a two-roomed weatherboard cottage in 1854.

“By the end of 1854, Australians had sent some 3,869 Morse code messages.

“At its peak in 1938, 16 million telegraph messages were sent in Australia.

“Now, of course, we are working with even newer technologies.

“Few today can imagine a world without wireless communication for voice and data, satellites, cable TV, the internet.

“And Governor Landy continues the tradition begun by Charles La Trobe, Victoria’s first Governor, who attended the 1854 launch of the telegraph and showed continuing interest in its use.

“Today, Australia celebrating 150 years of telecommunications with a re-enactment of the first telegraphic transmission using both Morse code and SMS from the city of Melbourne to Williamstown.”

Telstra, Telstra, Telstra, Telstra – but no scary squawks about Telstra, mind you. Just a gentle cawing noise.

The very same Telstra that, going by the media kit – not just a release – available at http://www.telstra.com.au/communications/media/spotlight.cfm?ObjectID=21 organised the event.

The very same Telstra that is a major sponsor of the Parrot’s program.

And the very same Telstra that, going by the transcript, the Parrot didn’t acknowledge.

Whoops!

But whoops to us, too, for not listening.

So, dear, gentle reader: Did he or didn’t he? Did anyone hear? Did our feathered friend say that Telstra was a sponsor before, after or during this generous plug?

Can someone please let us know – because if he didn’t, Gloria’s going to get plucked.

The Crikey Bird Watching Team can be contacted at boss@crikey.com.au.

Peter Fray

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