Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Art of the Lark Trap

Don't worry, this isn't a post about animal cruelty, or anything connected to the hunting or harming of birds in any way. As if! The only birds I plan to mention today are the imaginary ones that my dear friend, Let's call him 'Mr A', once convinced his young lady were the victims of an annual hunting event in the West Country. Not yet accustomed to her lover's mischievous sense of humour, the girl in question had been idly inquiring after some unusual looking pylons on the roadside, whilst driving down to his mother's house in Dorset. "Oh, those are the Lark traps", a deadpan 'Mr A' informed his trusting squeeze - going on to explain that the trapping of Larks was in fact an established local tradition. Perturbed by the very notion, she raised the subject later in the company of her future mother-in-law, and was mortified to learn that the whole thing had been an elaborate ruse at her expense. And so the Lark Trap was born.

Now in common usage amongst the friends and family of its original perpetrator, not to mention an increasing army of outside followers, 'Lark Trapping' as an idiom is a superior (in my opinion) and apt alternative to 'spinning a yarn'. Essentially the act of convincing another person with a plausible explanation for something clearly preposterous, it can also be applied to practical jokes in general. Whether or not 'Mr A' was consicously coining a phrase at the time of his original spontaneous yarn, we may never know. But I am happy to report that he continues to reel people in at any opportunity, and remains the undisputed king of the tradition to this day. So, rather than attempt some lame April Fool post, I decided that today would be the perfect occasion on which to pay tribute to the master fabricator himself, and maybe convert a few more Lark Trapping evangelists at the same time.

And while we're on the subejct of ridiculous avian-related stories, this BBC feature about flying penguins is worth forwarding onto your more gullible pals. Of course I never believed it for a second.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the sort of thing that would crop up on Call My Bluff

    ReplyDelete

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