AS this is a newspaper, let me start with the bad news. This is the last pigeonman column. I know, I wanted to break it to you gently but, what could I do?
The vast sum I am being paid for this has been a contributory factor to the escalation of the credit Crunch in West Ealing, and that's it I'm afraid. Curtains.
There will be a joint protest march from Trafalgar Square to the Gazette offices on Monday morning at 7am, when we will be joined by members of the Anti-Pigeon League.
But to be serious for a moment, if you have enjoyed reading this nonsense, as many of you have told me with a smile in the street, in pubs, on trains and buses and under bridges, please do write in and tell the powers that be, and maybe we can get the column back.
Anyway, I do hope you had a good Christmas. Well, I say that, but actually, to be honest, I'm not that bothered. In fact, I would secretly prefer it if your Christmas was bit rubbish. The more people that hate it the better, then we might stand a decent chance of getting it abolished.
Hopefully the financial crisis will worsen sufficiently so that by next Christmas all the people who think it's fun to buy me a big bunch of socks will be living in a cardboard box under a bridge with the pigeons.
You should see my room. Socks everywhere. And that's after half of them have disappeared... And if it's all the work of a sock thief, as some media commentators have been claiming lately, just tell me this: What sort of loser would you have to be to creep into my room late at night and steal a sock from my drawer? One sock at a time? After going to all the trouble of breaking in, surely you'd take the pair? And, sorry to go on about socks, but in a week when nothing particularly momentous has occurred, I do feel it's the burning issue of the moment. So, what is it now with this latest fashion for socks with coloured heels and toes? Do they seriously think that's going to make the pairs stay together longer?
Anyway, I'm always glad when Christmas is over. It's a miserable waste of time. And I hate that limbo period between Christmas and new year when nothing happens, and idle minds turn to kitten drowning and tree vandalism. (Who are these morons who think it's fun to break branches off young trees?)
There's always some upset or other, If it's not sock trouble it's Auntie Ada doing her missing teeth routine. As usual, she finds them buried in a toffee down the back of the sofa. and we all have to pretend to laugh. For God's sake Auntie, think up some new material - for instance, why not 'Auntie Ada pole-vaults over number 89's garden wall never to be seen again.' Meanwhile, the competition hots up for a place in Britain's Olympic farting team for 2012. More Turkey Vicar?
Well that's Christmas dealt with, but I've just had an email in complaining that there's no review of 2008 in this column so far, so here it is. "Yeah, well 2008, it was a bit rough wasn't it? Thank god for comedy at the Drayton and that pigeonman column in the paper."
Phil Zimmerman is promoter and resident comic Downstairs at the Drayton, tonight and every Friday at the Drayton Court. Call 07853 664 877.