Thursday 18 February 2010

Plucked From Obscurity

Every year publishers receive thousands of manuscripts sent in on-spec from unknown writers hoping to be plucked from obscurity to become professional authors.
  - The BBC

I hope no more writers are plucked from obscurity. I worry that, if plucking continues at the rate reported in the papers, obscurity will become quite bald.

Obscurity a few years ago      Obscurity in 2020 (projection)

Incidentally, the innards that butchers pluck out of a dead animal used to be called pluck, which is why plucky is a synonym for gutsy. It's actually possible to pluck up your pluck.

Even more incidentally, there's a pub in the Lake District called The Drunken Duck, which allegedly got its name because a duck got at the beer kegs, passed out, was presumed dead and plucked. It was about to go into the oven when it woke up and started groggily quacking. The landlady took pity on it and knitted it some clothes in which it used to parade around the pub. Believe that if you will.

1 comment:

  1. I do believe this actually, because I met a woman whose mother knitted a green jumper for their hen (confusingly called "Brownie"). Brownie was one of seven chicks hatched in an airing cupboard in Prescot about sixty years ago. The rest were males and were destined for the pot, but Brownie became a much-loved, though feather-bare, house hen.

    Alas, one night Brownie fell off her perch, and was found suspended by the neck the next morning, strangled by her pullover.