Every day we are watched and followed by evil. They stalk us and put fear into the hearts of many a brave idiot. We live in the shadow of the flying mafia of Brighton, the seagulls. They walk among us mockingly knowing they can fly. They fly above us mockingly knowing they can also drive a boat which they use to steal boats (over 20,000 boats a year are stolen by seagulls*). We pay them protection money by leaving our bins open or throwing them random food here and there. And of course the Friday and Saturday night feastings of West Street drunken dropped kebabs but this doesn’t satisfy. Oh sure we give them human sacrifices of daily tourists too foolish to run as they stand there photographing these oversized flying sea cats thinking “He’s a big one!” and “Feed it a chip!” and “Where’s my watch?”. They have your watch, sir. And your wife. There she goes, up in the sky. Wave, man!

This does nothing for the seagull whose hunger knows no bounds and never has. They were first introduced to Brighton in 1811 by Prince George who fed them only table scraps, cheap wine and steroids causing them to develop their sullen attitude and grow to such a ridiculous size. Now they have bred like catholic rabbits and there’s currently 2 million of them**. “Can their hunger be stopped?” I hear myself cry.  “No!” I cry back as the rest of Starbucks stares at me. They’ll do anything for food. We’ve all been walking along enjoying our recently purchased Tesco sandwich which, despite being egg and cress, still contained 26% horse. We start eating our small happy snacks, yet still from nowhere we are robbed by a winged git; sneakier than one of Fagin’s pickpockets.

It’s never enough for them. One man reported a seagull stole his wallet, bought a sandwich, dropped it in his hand. When he went to take a bite another seagull swopped down and stole the sandwich he’d just been bought. And the other stole his wallet! They ate the sandwich right in front of him then used his credit cards to take a trip to Vegas. A woman on a Tinder date reported that when the meal came to an end and the bill was delivered she discovered her date was three seagulls in a trench coat and a fancy moustache. It doesn’t stop there. Claire Upgate, who said she would like to remain anonymous, told the tale of how she discovered months into a relationship that the man she was seeing was a seagull. “The signs were there.” said Claire Upgate, who will remain anonymous, “Little things like he was rather short and he had wings and the fact we lived on the roof of a semi-detached house in Woodingdean. It wasn’t until he removed his fancy moustache did I realise I’d been fooled.

Oh, poor Claire Upgate, who will remain anonymous; how cruel is love? As cruel as a seagull and his fancy moustaches – purchased using that man’s credit card! (I know, why doesn’t he just cancel it?)

How much more can we take? When will it stop? Did they get a bulk discount on the moustaches? These questions I put to a man in a lab coat who told me to “Get the f**k out of this pharmacy!” Even science can’t fight the flying bastard squad. So stay vigilant, stay alert and remember, if it’s two foot tall, has wings and a fancy moustache then you may have a flying mafia-cat on your hands…

*Source: Boat Conspiracy Magazine May 2013 edition

**Source: Random number generator