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But... (28-11-23)


I was asked if I had ever heard of Hooymans. And if I knew them.
The answer to both questions was yes. And I continued: Jan had one of the best pigeons that ever flew. 'Harry' is how the pigeon was called and his descendants have already caused quite a stir. But that was not what they meant. 
The question was whether I had heard of ‘Wout’; the pigeon that would have won a 1st  National if it had not been stripped of the ring. I had indeed heard about that too.
Then I was directed to a certain site. There you could read about it and that was a shock.

- Nothing, no admiration.

- No compliments.

- Nothing, no respect.
Suspicions though. But the attitude of some when someone rises too far above the rest may be well known.


When my son was about 20 years old and you stumbled across the pigeon fanciers in the region, he once asked: 'Dad, I regularly hear something in the village. It's strange that it's always about you and never about me.' "You haven't achieved anything yet, boy," I replied.

He again: 'Is that all made up? Someone called your pigeons 'the Festina team'. (Festina was a cycling team that was caught drugging).
Then I started telling him about gossip, for many losers the only means to score, to be in the spotlight.


Many magazines would be bankrupt without their weekly dose of gossip. They provide us with spicy stories about what the 'elite' deal with after office hours and if there is something about a beautiful secretary, even office hours fall under the attention.
This is especially bad in England. There, a society without a tabloid press looking for binge drinking, hopeless romances and other crooked skates on which even the elite sometimes ride has become unthinkable.

When ordinary people (and who never drives too fast?) like me are caught driving too fast, no one cares. However, that will be different if your name is Meghan or Harry (who is actually THE Harry?). Then you make the front pages of the most respectable magazines.
Especially the English royal family is an inexhaustible source of rumors for the tabloids, sometimes also facts about cooled marriages, romances and excesses. 
There's always something.
When so many enjoy tearing down their fellow human beings, you can hardly expect anything else from many pigeon fanciers.
Gossip is the salt in the soup for them and without it their lives would become a lot more colorless.


It's easier said than done, but it's best not to lose sleep over being gossiped about. You are a great champion, an auctioneer, a veterinarian who performs, in any case, someone who means something. Unfortunately, the power of gossip is that it renders the victim defenseless.
He cannot defend himself and there would be no point in doing so. The champion who denies that he 'drugs' his pigeons makes himself unbelievable just by that denial.
That 'not drugging' is so obvious that a denial starts to look like a confirmation. It's like trumpeting that you're not a thief. This also makes people doubt.
It is gratifying that many people do not gossip very well. They just fiddle around, while effective gossip is a refined art that few have mastered.


People gossip to disgrace and in pigeon sport to shake the champion. The truth is not important. He who tells the truth is not a gossiper but a historian. Gossip is also not a malignant desire for slander, although many think so.
The gossiper gossips out of self-preservation, he wants to level up to camouflage his feelings of inferiority.
It must lift him out of the pit of powerlessness in which he finds himself.
That's why he never targets the lesser!

- People don't gossip about the fancier who faithfully baskets pigeons every week and hardly wins a prize, but about the champion.

- People don't gossip about the homeless, but about the lord of the castle.

- People don't gossip about the invalid. They do about the star footballer!

- Not about the simple farmer's son who gets divorced, but about the pop star when he does the same. Gossip is a form of defense that has a beneficial effect on the gossiper's feelings of inferiority. If the fellow man means nothing, there is no need to saw the legs out from under his chair.


Winners in our sport are often covered in muck instead of flowers. Admittedly, some people praise the pigeon champion. But very often a but follows.

'But' he had entered a lot, 'but' his nominated birds were missing, but he has little competition, ‘he should come and do that here’. And so many other 'buts''.
With that one word they want to keep the champion in their grip, after all, isn't he often regarded as a safe full of secrets? Gossip must be the crowbar to break open the safe. 
To all who are gossiped, good advice from me: NEVER follow logic, because logic is that you react.
After all, as the saying goes, 'he who bounces can expect the ball'.
The gossiper assumes that logic, but don't follow it.

If it bounces, catch the ball, put it quietly next to you and don't bounce it back.
This often has a staggering effect. The gossiper does not expect such a thing, and it is quite possible that a kind of desperation takes hold of him.

Do you want to respond? 
Then do it right! Because gossip is like an insect that bothers you every time you move. If you respond, do it with deadly precision and the certainty that you will eliminate that insect. Because if it fails, the insect called gossiper, will repeat the next attack with even greater fury and force.


You know what's really annoying? 
When people NEVER talk about you! Then you mean nothing and you don't accomplish anything.
Losers always have an excuse about why they failed and why the champion was so good. Winners start scratching after a bad flight. Not in the loft but behind the ears. "What did I do wrong?" The real ones are coming back. Always !!