Sh1t and cucumber sandwiches!

Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches with tea ...

Via Wikipedia

What is it with people today and their often selfish and self-important outlook on life? People who continually try to change the status quo, simply because it doesn’t suit their individual requirements or expectations?

More examples of the all too prevalent great British ‘sod you jack so long as I’m alright mentallity’. I’m not in possession of all the facts however, it would appear the following story is an example in point…

BBC News: Children at a school near Selby have had a play break cancelled and hard ball games banned after neighbours complained to the council about noise. (See full story)

It would appear the school has been forced into taking action to prevent the possibility of a ‘noise abatement notice’ being served on them. How stupid are we getting in this country?

It is ludicrous that a small minority of people (possibly even an individual) can summon up the full might of the local authority for something so trivial. What makes it even worse is the lack of consistency in local authority action. If you had problems with continuous noisy wild parties at a neighbour’s house for example, you would generally be hard pressed to get anything done about that.

The council officials should have been saying; “Sorry but your complaint is unreasonable, it is a school and children play. It is unrealistic to expect action, thank you for your concerns which have been noted sir/madam, goodbye!” It’s a sodding school for crying out loud, what does the complainant actually expect? Reading this piece I am reminded of  similar incidents which also illustrate the point…

When I was a village bobby in a rural part of North Yorkshire my days were continually plagued with one particular woman. She moved into a large house on the outskirts of the village, financed by a divorce settlement windfall. I understand she had secured a ‘substantial’ package from the sale of her ex-husband’s succesful business in the city. I’m fairly confident this was fact as I got it from the horses mouth so to speak. She was often heard boasting about it at the village shop, to anyone who cared to listen. It was amusing to see the locals making a beeline in the opposite direction when they saw her approaching.

We’ll call the lady Constance firstly to preserve her anonymity (assuming she is still alive) and secondly, because she was actually a ‘constant’ thorn in the side of almost all of the people in the village. She was the type that some would describe as ‘all fur coat and no knickers’, a veritable Lady Muck. If there was ever someone trying to be someone (or something) she wasn’t, Constance was the epitome of the ilk!

My first personal contact with Constance was one Sunday morning around 3.45am, about a month after she moved into the village. In those days we actually had police officers that lived in police houses with a police enquiry office attached, similar to that depicted in the popular and long running TV seriesHeartbeat‘.

How’s that for a ‘Community Policing initiative’? How long before some wiz kid promotion candidate comes up with a similar proposal to put to the Chief. They just have to wait a couple of years and most of ACPO, who have any recollection of something similar, will have gone and then they can sell ‘their new idea’!

Don’t laugh after all, one of the latest hit & happening methodologies is to actually put community bobbies on bikes… Apparently the cops are ‘more accesible’ to the public? Not exactly how I would have described it at 5am on a cold and damp November morning but hey, you simply must get with current thinking I suppose! With the propensity for wheel reinvention in the service, I know it won’t be long before it has revolved full circle… There I go with the digression again, really must stop.

So there I am 3.45am, just climbed into bed after spending most of the night chasing across fields after a burglary suspect, phone rings and with eyes still sealed shut I fumble for the phone at the side of the bed… “Police house, can I help you?”

Constable this is utterly outrageous and I feel I must bring this urgent matter to your attention for which I require immediate action and if I don’t get some action I will be referring the matter to your Chief Constable who is attending my Charity function next week and I bet he won’t be too pleased if you haven’t done something about it… Well?”

FFS… Just what I need, I’ve got some hyperventilating Nutter on the phone at this time in the frigging morning, thinks I. She continues; “well, well I’m not happy and I want to know what are you going to do about it?” I grab the opportunity at a pause in the tirade; “do about what madam, you haven’t actually told me what appears to be the problem”. Off she went again… “Never mind with your condescending (additional sarcastic tone) what appears to be the problem madam (back to normal sarcastic tone) you wouldn’t put up with it hummm would you would you no you wouldn’t!”

By this time my eyes were fully open, I caught a glimpse of the time on the bedside clock and managed to interject; “do you know what time it is madam?” Off she went again; “my point exactly totally outrageous at this hour of the day especially as I haven’t been back from the Mayor’s function in town for long and I’ve got a hair appointment in six hours when am I supposed to sleep?” (I could agree with that bit!)

By now I was getting a little jaded with the conversation at such an unearthly hour, in fact she was actually tempting a modicum of verbal retribution from me! In forceful tone; “Look madam, you still haven’t actually told me what the problem is (extreme sarcastic tone) and it’s actually sort of important if you would actually like me to help you”.

“I’ll tell you what the problem is Constable it’s that bloody Mr Metcalfe at Home Farm”.

Strange thinks I, Bob Metcalfe is such an easy-going bloke? A man in his mid 40’s, the sort that keeps himself to himself, works hard on the farm, absolutely devoted to his sheep dog Jess, plays for the pub dart team, enjoys a few pints after the sheep sales on a Friday but never married. Could this be it? Bob’s sap has risen to boiling point and he has been stood outside Constance’s window with his critical mass in his hand performing physical jerks?

Now fully awake I adopt investigative questioning mode… “Your obviously upset and I want to help you, please tell me what Bob has done to you madam?” Off she went again, “Are you stupid? It’s not Metcalfe that did anything but he’s responsible and I want it sorting out now!”  I managed to continue with my calm tone and empathetic questioning, “so tell me please, what is Bob responsible for?”

“His cockerel the damn thing has woken me up every morning at this god forsaken time since I moved to the village and I want it sorting!”

WTF… I can’t believe I’ve actually been woken at 3.45am by a pompous fruitcake complaining about a bloody cockerel crowing!

See, that’s what you get from high quality investigative questioning, it’s absolutely amazing what information you can glean… The woman actually told me very little during her vociferous huffing and puffing down the phone however, I still managed to work out it was all about. The complaint was about a ‘cock’, it just wasn’t the type I had expected! At this point Constance must have noted the merriment in my voice and she hung up. This was as I say, just my first contact with Constance, it didn’t stop there oh yes, and I didn’t even get any reprimand from the Chief Constable either. Shame really, I was kind of looking forward to it.

During the ensuing months Constance complained about mud on the roads, she moaned about the smell from slurry spreading in a nearby field as “it would impact upon her garden party guests”. She complained about the local pheasant shoot, she complained about tractors using ‘her’ roads, she complained about a haystack blocking her view across the fields and wait for it, she even complained of fraud at the WI by suggesting there was a conspiracy against her Victoria Sponge!

Some people really do need to get a life, and preferably one that doesn’t constantly impact upon everyone else!

Constance actually left the village about 18 months later. I don’t know if she finally came to terms with the fact she wasn’t actually cut out for country living or; perhaps it might have had something to do with Bob Metcalfe?

Apparently the story goes that Bob had been driving along the lane at the side of Constance’s house one sunny Sunday afternoon. She (as usual) was having a small soiree in the garden and Bob was on route to a field with some slurry. On passing the garden he ‘accidently’ caught the PTO drive on his tractor which resulted in him emptying the entire contents of his slurry tank. Apparently Constance, her guests and the formidable spread of cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and the afternoon tea was covered in sh1t… Thankfully (or not as your opinion dictates), the Chief Constable wasn’t on Constance’s guest list on this occasion!

There is some poetic justice in this world after all. 🙂

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About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 19-09-2010, in Society Babble. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Noni Parrish

    Great story!! Gotta agree with you on the idiocy of living next to a school and expecting young people to stay quiet… and that the authorities would respond to it? Good grief! Isn’t that what old folks’ neighborhoods, retirement villages, are for? Some peace and quiet in your old age? … hardeeharhar 🙂

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