Shake Your Tailfeather

Alice and Chiara walk down the street to the Te Papa fruit market, gossiping about everyone they know on the way.

Alice [gossiping]: This whole sexual tension thing is getting really annoying. I think that just shagging and getting it over with is the way forward.

Chiara [totally gossiping]: People always say that but it never really works. I mean, if you fancy someone, shagging them isn’t going to make you fancy them less, right?

Alice: I think that depends on the shag.

Chiara: True. On the other hand, I sort of think that people should have more sex.

Alice: Hmm.

Chiara: Specifically, I think I should have more sex.

Alice: Yep.

Chiara: I know. You know? It’s like, you know, we’re all friends here, we’re all single, we’re all reasonably decent-looking—what’s the problem? Why is no one getting laid?

Alice: Sex does complicate things with friends.

Chiara: Yeah it does. And then you get into all these weird things like how much sex is too much, you know, and being slutty, and how guys sort of can’t be slutty even if they sleep around a lot and what does that mean, and you’re not supposed to have too much sex on the one hand but on the other hand you’re a loser if you don’t and then on the other hand it’s like, hello, while we’re young! But then I think I can’t even imagine such a thing again.

Alice: I think it’s all what you’re comfortable with. Well, and some would say that’s biology at work, too that men and women are wired differently—men are supposed to spread their seed around a lot.

Chiara: I love how “biological” explanations for things are always reaaaaaaaally sexist. That’s just such an amazing coincidence.

Alice: And it’s not even true, really. I mean if you look at nature, it’s the females who do the choosing. It’s the males who have to have all that plumage and hope they get picked.

Chiara: That is so true! And yet we don’t see many guys wearing makeup and heels to impress us.

Alice: “So, how was your night last night? Meet anyone interesting?”

Chiara: “Yeah, nah. I mean there was this one guy but his plumage was nothing to write home about.”

Alice: “Did he wiggle his tailfeathers?”

Chiara: “No he did not.”

Alice: “Oh, see, I like it when they hop up and down and bring you some nice sticks and moss.”

Chiara: Meanwhile, back at the nest, the dudes are all commiserating with each other over brunch: “Aw, bro, I tried everything last night. I puffed up my throat sac so my voice would sound louder, I brought her shiny bits of tinfoil I found in the street…nothing.”

Alice: “Mate, you better get on it or you’ll never have babies.”



  1. Jeez, I need that this morning.
    Ridiculously awesome.

  2. I have taken temporary ownership of some flashy “tailfeathers”… Varuni has already (jokingly!) suggested I would “trade her in” (horrible expression really) for someone else – which of course I wouldn’t… Seems some girls like guys with or without tailfeathers…

    Note to self: Must try some moss and nice sticks to gain bonus points :)

  3. This is particularly perfect since the sparrows that live outside my house have just started chattering constantly and strutting around looking for mates! Love it.

  4. Nearly entirely off-topic, except for the part about breeding:

    Baby TUATARA!!! in ***Wellington***!!!!1!

    Now you are so much even cooler, Chiara, because you live in Baby Tuatara Land. We in Seattle do *not* have a baby tuatara. Nearly the entire world does not have any baby tuataras. You, however, have one. I mean it. THE baby tuatara of the whole world, probably.


    And I’m sure that male tuataras have to do something elaborate to catch the eye of the cute tuatara-grrrrls. Push-ups, I suppose. (Very manly.) Maybe big bugs as presents. (I *love* that.)