Heaven and Hell – Diary of a non-feeding Vampire – (part 3x-b)
Imagine, if you can, taking a dog for a walk – having done so, on and off, for over 350 years.
Sometimes your own neighbourhood can seem like paradise, sometimes the pits. And it isn’t just the weather …
On a recent walk of mine the whole district was very quiet, and I became aware of the absence of any such values. It was neither good nor bad, just buildings and infrastructure – houses, roads, telephone cables, a gas main exposed for repairs.
I know of people who would be disappointed by this lack of life, and others who carry with them a vision of ‘God’s blessings’ and never feel low.
I don’t understand their conception of God, but it works for them on a daily basis.
And is a disaster when a sick politician uses God’s will to justify his/her military ambitions. I digress …
A woman and her dog appeared, heading my way. She seemed bouyant, as usual – yes, some people really have the knack, and others feel they should be bouyant, which isn’t quite so contagious.
And the contagious nature of positive vibes is the whole point. It can spread around the neighbourhood, down the telephone cables, on social media and infect the whole world with positive energy.
I’m not sure ‘infect’ is the best word, but it has the merit of waking a sleepy reader 🙂 Her positive energy bouyed me, and apparently I spread the vibe (I was informed the next day).
What’s the point? People are the deciding factor in turning Heaven into Hell . . . and vice versa.
This made me think of money. The notion that money could make anyone happy is an illusion popular with children, after all, there are so many adverts for toys!
Not all children are young …
But could money buy you out of a bad neighbourhood? I suppose it could, but what happens to the house you leave?
Is someone else now condemned to suffer inconsiderate neighbours, or worse; or much, much worse?
Such things do happen.
As I pondered these things, a couple of memories surfaced. For the sake of their privacy I’ll call the principal characters Bill and Ben.
Bill is the young son of a wealthy farmer who owns more land than he can comfortably walk over in a day. Bill’s parents have visits from similarly rich land owners who drink expensive alcohol while patting each other on the shoulders and talking about money, alcohol, money, golf and money.
They also clap Bill on the shoulders in a hearty manner, and as Bill is only 12 years old, this tends to make him trip over, especially as the evening wears on.
Bill wishes he could live with his schoolfriend Jack in the small local town. Jack lives in a small terraced house, and it seems that Jack and his family know everyone around them.
Jack’s dad is always lending tools or helping neighbours and they do the same in return.
They even seem to share child minding and dog walking, and Jack’s mother buys some foods wholesale so the friends and family can share it. Apparently it works out half price, and saves a trip to the shops.
The elderly neighbours are particularly happy with the arrangement. I get the feeling it is extra social contact, aswell as the convenience.
Jack’s dad smiles when he tells Bill how cheap and easy it is to heat a mid-terraced house, especially since he insulated the cavities with help from a builder friend.
+ + +
In contrast, Ben is the young son of a fairly poor family who live in a terraced house in a small town, and their life is hell.
In their infinite and immaculate wisdom which passeth all understanding, the council decided to house alcoholics next door, and Ben’s dad and mother started doing the lottery and similar gambles in the vain hope that they would win lots of money and then move to a detached bungalow in a LARGE field in the middle of nowhere.
Now Ben struggles at school due to the disturbed home life.
His father is currently building a kennel for their dog. It can’t stay in the house during the day because the neighboUrs have 2 dogs that howl continually. Ben’s dog stopped eating as a result.
Ben’s father is also converting their attic into 2 bedrooms so they can sleep while the hyperactive child next door runs up and down his bedroom all night long.
During the day they re-enact the FACup Final three times a day – upstairs.
Ben’s unpleasant experiences were at Number 32 North South Street, Smogdale, UpNorth, UQ (the Untidy Queendom of Britain) from1975 to 1980.
Bill’s pleasant experiences of his friends home were at 32 North South Street, Smogdale, UpNorth, UQ (the Untidy Queendom of Britain) from1985 to 1990.
Heaven and Hell in the same place . . .
The origins of the name North South Street.
When the first houses were built in this part of Smogdale, in about 1870, the road was christened South Street for obvious reasons.
It runs along the south side of the small town of Smogdale.
In 1920, after the 1st World War, the council extended the road and built more homes,continuing from Number 1. As the existing houses were numbered 1 to 47, they planned to number them 48 upwards.
Unfortunately the new houses were running the opposite direction to the first 47.
And this annoyed the postman.
The postman took them to court and threatened to deliver all the post to the wrong houses as a protest, cut off his hands at the wrist and jump into the sea wearing lead boots.
A cynical employee of the council replied, asking in which order he proposed to carry out these acts of terrorism (he was ahead of his time), since if the trip to the sea came first, they wouldn’t have any extra workload in A&E and no-one would get the wrong mail.
The postman replied, thanking the clerk for pointing out the inconsistencies in his logistics and amended the plan to feature cutting off the clerks hands at the wrist, encasing the clerks feet in skin-tight, made to measure lead boots with the help of a portable furnace, and continuing to deliver the mail to the wrong letter boxes.
The council, after advise from the police, employed a consultancy firm (owned by Donald Trimp, a relative of the chief of police) to find a better solution.
After due deliberation on a Mediterranean beach, the consulting firm sent a letter from the boss, Donald Trimp, composed by the Chief Executive, Mrs Donald Trimp, and typed by the Head of Admin, Donald Trimp Jnr (aged 3 years).
It was also signed by the head of Finance, Polly Trimp (their cat), all of whom had to be reimbursed for their time, their skills and unavoidable expenses.
The council had to arrange a bank loan from the Bilderberg Building Society to pay for the consultancy fees, but their solution was a success, and the new houses are now numbered 1 to 25 (and counting) South South Street in the opposite direction to South Street (which is now called North South Street).
I feel this tale would have been much easier with a diagram or a map.
Come to think of it, so would life.