the state of things

 

Spring Is In The Air, The Capricious Bastard

by Douglas Lindsay - 13:09 on 31 March 2011

The sun's started shining and the days are warming up. It's inevitable, and there's nothing you can do about it. It's what happens in the spring. Even in Britain. Admittedly not much today, and certainly not yesterday. It was shit yesterday. But generally, over the last few weeks, it's been getting warmer. There have been days when the sun shone all day, the temperature hit twenty degrees and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.


This would be nice if we didn't live next to the town recreation ground. The rec, as they call it in these parts. The rec is fine over the winter, because hardly anyone goes there, except dog walkers and bizarre women training to walk with poles. The minute the sun comes out, however, people flock to the rec. I don't know where they go all winter. Perhaps they come back from Spain when they hear the temperature in Britain has gone above 15.


This is what happens when people migrate back to the field in the spring. They get a little peckish, they take their salt-laden Subway chicken sandwich out of a paper bag, then they look around for a bin, and they think, 'Oh, that big green soft thing I'm sitting on, the grassy thing that looks like a large lawn with children playing on it, that's a bin, I'll just stick it here.'


At the end of a sunny day the rec looks like one of those swirling piles of rubbish that pollute the middle of the Pacific.


There's a sign up promising a £1000 fine for littering. For some reason people read this as 'Litter and you could win £1000!' Which is pretty much what happens with the promised £1000 fine for drinking alcohol.


A man nearly took a pish against our gate the other day. Four o'clock on a Friday afternoon. I say nearly, because he stopped when he realised there were two people watching him, and that one of them had a gun. But I probably can't really shoot anyone for leaving litter, pishing against our gate, shouting loudly and arguing, for letting the pungent aroma of pot waft over the garden, for ripping up the local benches and howling like wolves late into the night. If I did, I'd be the bad guy.


It's early days, of course. A pile of litter, the smell of hash and a golden stream of urine or two don't really make for Sodom and Gomorrah. That'll come in the long golden days of an English summer, when the field turns into a sixteen hour club for fornicating, binge drinking, drugs and decaying Roman empire style hedonism.


We just have to close the windows and imagine that the great British public aren't five yards away, a bloated scrotum, spewing forth the fetid spunk of hostility and disrespect. We live in a rented house, which prevents us erecting a fifteen foot wall with twin machine gun emplacements at either end, and a minefield running the full length on the outside.


We could move I suppose. Norway looks nice.


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