Last week this chump metaphor caught my eye — as the world mourned the death of Nigel, the lonely gannet on a remote island off New Zealand. Nigel was renown for his steadfast love of a concrete decoy. Apparently there are chumps in the animal kingdom too.
Nigel, a handsome gannet bird who lived on a desolate island off the coast of New Zealand, died suddenly this week. Wherever his soul has landed, the singles scene surely cannot be worse.
The bird was lured to Mana Island five years ago by wildlife officials who, in hopes of establishing a gannet colony there, had placed concrete gannet decoys on cliffsides and broadcast the sound of the species’ calls. Nigel accepted the invitation, arriving in 2013 as the island’s first gannet in 40 years. But none of his brethren joined him.
In the absence of a living love interest, Nigel became enamored with one of the 80 faux birds. He built her — it? — a nest. He groomed her “chilly, concrete feathers . . . year after year after year,” the Guardian reported. He died next to her in that unrequited love nest, the vibrant orange-yellow plumage of his head contrasting, as ever, with the weathered, lemony paint of hers.
“Whether or not he was lonely, he certainly never got anything back, and that must have been [a] very strange experience,” conservation ranger Chris Bell, who also lives on the island, told the paper. “I think we all have a lot of empathy for him, because he had this fairly hopeless situation.”
Oh Nigel! You died in vain! It’s not hopeless! The tragedy is you were out of reach of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex! Imagine the RIC spin on this…
Nigel needs to ask himself what he did to make his partner concrete.
With a bit of therapy this relationship can be saved.
Nigel is grooming her chilly, concrete feathers, making his marriage a better place to be.
Nigel thought his partner seemed stiff and unyielding, but he could work with that. He read somewhere that concrete makes a marriage stronger. Especially with rebar.
Nigel realized his partner had family of origins issues — namely someone poured her into a concrete mold — but he thought with time, she could learn empathy.
Nigel’s partner never did the homework.
Nigel spackled. His concrete decoy mate isn’t unmovable, she’s stoic. She’s not cold, she’s edgy. She’s not silent, she’s introverted.
Sex? Not tonight. (Or any night.) Nigel considers he should lose some weight.
The RIC declares this relationship a success, because they stayed together!
Now, if you think Nigel is pitiful, consider this — Nigel chose better than we did.
Concrete decoys can’t give you STDs.
Concrete decoys can’t steal your 401Ks.
Concrete decoys never hire hookers.
Concrete decoys don’t come with in-laws.
Please tell me how the RIC could’ve saved Nigel.
Photo still from youtube.