Posted on Sunday, November 16, 2008
in Family, Little known facts, Strange and Unusual
But what is normality? If it truly exists, I haven’t seen it recently. Then again, I’ve been living in a looking-glass world for the last few years.
You’ve heard me slag the travelling community before… that was when I was angry and dismayed. I did not give myself a chance to add those other quirks that traveller folk have, that essense of ‘the aul’ chancer’ that you see rarely in grown men these days. The ‘settled’ travellers (an oxymoron that confuses the hell out of me) around here have taken ‘normal’ civilization, and have shifted it seamlessly into reverse, so that you wouldn’t notice it straight away… you need to live among them to enjoy the quirks of their ethics.
For example… you have boy racers, right? We don’t. The fancy Mitsubishi Lancers are given to the people in the upper echelons of society – the mothers, the grandmothers who rarely use them – they rest on bricks in the front garden lest they be stolen. Meanwhile old men race newly robbed Hi-Ace and Transit Vans about, blaring… not ‘Cascada’, but Joe Dolan. It’s quite refreshing in a strange sort of way.
Then you have the child-man reversal syndrome. It is the adults who chase each other around with sticks, who rob knick-knacks and tricycles from your front garden, not the children. The children stand around in groups, gossiping and shouting obscenities at their parents.
But best of all! What normally happens when you place an empty skip outside your house? You go to sleep, only to wake up the following morning with an overflowing mess in your driveway… the result of opportunistic neighbours waiting for that golden opportunity to dump their hoards anonymously. You kick yourself, don’t you? The moment you get the next one, you fill it to the brim immediately!
We did that recently – an enormous shopping bag skip was unfolded in our front garden and we immediately toiled for hours, filling that bad-boy until it could hold no more. Then we rested, and woke the following morning to find…
An empty skip bag. Everything had been taken… chairs, old dusty lampshades, rolled up carpet, bits of unwanted wood… all that remained was loose schrapnel. Not enough to burn, but too much weighing the bag itself down so that it could not be robbed, too. It was perfect.
I think I’ll miss the tinkers after all.