Spencer Alistair Stirling IV

Our founder, Spencer Alistair Stirling IV, is the third cousin, (twice removed) of the 32nd Earl of Bath. A reclusive, semi-famous ornithologist, he initially made his mark by becoming the world’s leading authority on Pinguinus impennis, (the Great Auk), a large flightless alcid that became extinct in the mid-19th century. His attention soon turned to the entire family of large flightless birds, and he committed his wife’s not-unsubstantial family fortune to the study of these strangely compelling creatures.

Sir Stirling’s growing obsession with LFBs led directly to a life-changing event. His wife, Binky Wadsworth Harrington-Stirling, the daughter of a rich peat-bog baron, grew weary of Spencer’s constant field expeditions and left him to marry Hirushi Wantnanobe, a wealthy Japanese gentleman notorious for craving the flesh of Strigops habroptila, an endangered large flightless bird native to New Zealand.

That Binky had left Spencer was dagger enough, but the fact that his wife had taken up with someone who was his antithesis threw Spencer into a terrible depression. This period of despair, however, led Sir Stirling into his great discovery and generated a theory that has become his life’s passion. While sorting through the belongings left behind by Binky, he discovered diaries, ledgers and other papers linking Binky’s great, great grandfather to the exploitation and ultimate elimination of The Great Auk. Binky’s family accumulated the money to become the UK’s largest peat-bog owner by ruthlessly slaughtering The Great Auk! Apparently, the blackguards harvested the skin and down of the birds to manufacture the special undergarments worn by the Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London (The Beefeaters).

How absurd, Spencer thought, that the great, great granddaughter of the man responsible for the destruction of The Great Auk would marry and fund the one man in the world who cared about the now-extinct bird, then divorce that man and marry another hell-bent on the destruction of another species of large flightless birds. Perhaps, he pondered, there was something about large flightless birds that caused absurd behavior. In fact, weren’t large flightless birds ipso facto absurd—a bird that cannot fly? Is not the first definition of the word “bird” an animal that can fly?

The final piece of the puzzle fell into place one day when, while watching the VH1 series “Where Are They Now?” he heard the Trashmen sing their one and only Top 10 hit. Given his general lack of knowledge about popular music and his poor hearing, he misunderstood the lyrics, but was struck by what he thought was the core message of the song. And so his great theory, Absurdist Ratites (The Bird is Absurd) was born.

Our solitary founder’s remaining passion in life is to prove his hypothesis: that all absurd things in life are somehow linked to Large Flightless Birds. He has created a council of bird brains to help guide the global search for examples of absurdity. Most recently the council has acquired a large, ocean going boat to expand the search for items supporting our founders defining theory.    While not on the search for absurdity the council has agreed to make the boat available to others.  The Great Auk (the honorary leader of the bird brains) and other members of the council have created this website and are imploring friends, family, lovers of the large flightless birds, and the general public to provide examples of absurdities, in the hope that our founder can be provided with the evidence he needs to prove his theory.