This morning when putting my trash out, I picked up all the random bottles and papers lying around in the driveway and gutter, and one of the items was a used nappy. A very full, used nappy that was waterlogged from the previous night’s rainstorm.
But that’s not what this blog is about.
This morning, the police arrived and parked in front of my gate. Not because I buy or sell drugs, or stole something, or broke into someone’s house, or staggered around the town drunk with my pants around my knees, or neglected to feed or take the slightest responsibility for my feral children who go around town menacing the town’s animals with pellet guns. None of that. They paid me a visit because I have cats.
My over-the-road-neighbour, in a splendid show of community spirit, called the police because apparently my cats are crossing a road full of great chundering trucks and rooting through her dustbin for food.
But wait, I don’t have cats. I brought one cat with me when I came here, but he died of leukemia last week. I don’t have any cats.
Alrighty, there are the number of wild cats in my backyard that I am feeding and conveying to the vet one by one for sterilising at staggering personal cost, but that’s wildlife. By no stretch of the imagination do I actually “own” any one of the 18 feral cats in my backyard, you must be mad. And every time I think I “own” them, they soon put me straight.
But look at the logic of this whole ludicrous waste of the time of the police, who should be out there catching real criminals. Considering the size of the complainant’s husband and son, their diet consists of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Steers burgers, and chips and (god help us) gatsby’s from the takeaway. My wildlife would not be caught dead rooting through the greasy leavings of their Big Budget Family Value bucket. My wildlife habitually breakfast on freshly cooked chicken with rice and/or pasta and/or butternut squash and in the afternoon they dine on sardines, or pilchards. Sometimes ostrich pate and salmon mousse is on the menu.
Makes no sense at all.
But we all have a context.
We have an informal neighbourhood watch in our street, and unfortunately the complainant can no longer rely on me to keep an eye on whether the guy strolling into her yard is legit or not. She works for a political party I voted for in the last election and can no longer rely on that vote, insignificant as it might be. And that’s not the only reason the individual who works for that particular political party needs to be nervous for her livelihood.
This week I got a revaluation of my property. I knew it was coming, I was told to allow the valuer access to my property to do the valuation, but nobody ever arrived to come inside for a cup of tea. Somehow, this individual stood at the end of the street and decided my property was worth 25% more, resulting in a 25% increase in my rates and taxes. I’m not the only one, this was across the board for our part of town.
It seems that gouging the middle class has become the new national sport.
The middle class. We don’t commit crime, don’t march in the streets, don’t burn anything. We feed feral cats and sterilise them so they don’t breed, pay our rates and taxes on the dot, and keep the gutters and sidewalks free of used nappies and wine bottles. We’re the very epitome of what a good citizen is and what it should be. Well, guess what. Maybe we just won’t bother to stroll up to the church hall and vote either. Then you know society, such as it is, is doomed.