This is article number 3,000. Not of the criminal law, not of this book, but by me.
Sometimes I ask myself why I am compelled to write these articles.
Why haven"t I chosen to become an artist for instance; life as an artist after all has much more to offer.
You don"t have to look presentable. Just wear a brimmed hat, look at the world with a pensive, unearthly gaze and immediately you will command respect.
Indeed, the more haggard you look, the greater artistic qualities are attributed to you.
Artists, especially painters and sculptors, seem to have a fascination for beautiful women, in the interests of their art, but they are forgiven for that. Beautiful women fascinate me too.
However, the mindless ease with which they succeed to get the clothes off the prettiest models is in sharp contrast with the difficulty that non-artists have to achieve the same.
And writing an article is sometimes difficult too, that I can assure you.
Whoever wants to hold his own in present society has to be cautious with expressing a clear opinion.
Ask anybody "how are you?" and the answer will be "all right", even when the person is plagued by disaster.
I try to be very straight forward.
I want to write articles that are "a breath of fresh air". To open some eyes, to knock down some "holy houses", to be readable, instructive, captivating, strong, caring andshow things in the right perspective.
I type an article, print it, read it again and start improving it. I read it again, correct it once more and print it again.
I read these prints as an unbiased reader of my own articles.
Especially the untidy parts, repetitions, sentences that are too long and complicated words. These have to be taken out.
It all comes down to that handicap I have, the idea that when I don"t do the best I can, I will give birth to a monster.
I want it to flow evenly and the computer has to help me with that.
Notes, quotations and ideas fly from one file to another, so that the hard drive crackles, the processor labours and the screen is barely able to keep up with my actions.
That is not typing anymore, more super-shorthand, and even then it takes a lot of time.
90% of my time is spent on adding the last 10% of quality.
I have written a lot of articles of which I first thought "that is it" and later "well maybe not".
Everyone has his limitations; the thing is to accept them of each other.
I started with writing greeting cards, the first of which I will never forget. I was young and the pregnant girl was too, not married and of course the whole village was in uproar.
"All the pleasant things in this life make you fat," I congratulated her. But what a misery. Her parents mad as hell, I was grounded.
That goes to show.
In the past there was also "today"s youth", and tolerance? Nah, that hasn"t improved after 3,000 articles.
But when the bungler laughs at the celebrity after a lesser flight, boos, tramples on him or otherwise does away with him, he is asking for trouble.
For some there is no better motivation to take revenge.
The celebrity and the bungler in our sport are condemned to each other and they don"t realize that the sport is foremost to give as much pleasure as possible to as many people as possible.
Furthermore: every fancier is different.
For some it"s enough that they can compete just a little bit.
For me handling a super bird gives me a thrill.
Every time I hold a super in my hands, a shiver goes through my bones, a wave of excitement that can"t be described in words.
That I can feel this sensation does credit to the quality of these bones.
Other than that I want to achieve as best as possible with the least possible effort.
At one time, when I had won the first five prizes, a club member came to visit me.
He himself didn"t win a prize once again, and you could see it in his face.
He looked very upset and the look that he gave my wife reflected all the misery in the world.
I wasn"t at home. I was elsewhere buying pigeons.
"What," he groaned.'Buying pigeons? Even better ones? You can"t mean that."
But my wife knew with certainty that I am not crazy, although it is questionable if she is a reliable source in this.
What I mean is this:
Everyone has his own way of keeping pigeons, and the fact that someone else is different than you doesn"t have to be a fault of that other person.
Take that caller for instance. He was against a program with less races.
He had 80 widowers and wants to fly. Preferably every day.
"If there is a right not to race, there has to be a right to race as well," he complained.
He won"t reach the quotation book with this statement, but he might get as far as the doctor if he is not careful.
Have you ever seen a foreign fancier up close, or maybe even sniffed or touched one?
A Japanese for instance, a Chinese or an American?
Seize your chance at the next Olympiade.
Whoever thought that the last Olympiad couldn"t be surpassed, has only to look at the posters for the next one and he will guiltily admit that he was wrong.
At one time I received an invitation for the "VIP class" (group of people with special invitations).
I was so very proud.
In all corners of the room and in all kinds of positions I studied that invitation.
Deeply moved I showed it to family and neighbours.
I believed that I had received this invitation because of my results, but my surprise was great when the rumours proved to be true that people who didn"t win a single good prize in their club had also received the same invitation.
I have nothing against these people, but...
What"s the use of trying to open some eyes, to show people that "name" does not equal good pigeons, that breed is something different than quality, when "the powers that be" are sponsoring fanciers who mainly keep pigeons for the market?
I didn"t participate. I didn"t enter any pigeons; I didn"t want to be an artist in such a circus.
Don"t get me wrong. I have nothing against the "greatest nobody" showing his pedigree pigeons at the Olympiad and trying to sell them.
But their place is somewhere else, with the exhibitors or maybe not even there. From exhibitors you may expect that they don"t present mirages.
Even so, the Olympiade is a must for people who like that kind of thing.
There you can eat, drink, talk and even look at pigeons.
But someone who also writes articles has the right to have his own opinion.
Different opinions shouldn"t be a reason to argue. We need each other too much for that.
Maybe I"m better in some things than others, but I realize as well that others can do a lot of things better than I can.
An acquaintance of mine only breeds pigeons for one-loft races.
If he takes pleasure from that, who am I to tell him that he has to change his life?
We are not too considerate in the pigeon sport.
People in the Netherlands who never raced from Orleans voted against the greatest competition in the world. It could also be like this:
"I think this and you think something else? Let"s see if we can come to an understanding."
I have never sent out invitations to celebrate my 3,000th article.
I still haven"t forgotten the first one I wrote. To that pregnant girl, remember.