Sunday, 26 June 2011
The Local Tearaway
Walking my parents' mutt this afternoon, it was as if the local fauna was all out enjoying the weather as well. A pheasant - a non-native species introduced for hunting, so they're all half-tame - decided to hide from us by flattening himself down in the grass, resulting in a rather amusing two-dimensional flat pheasant that stood up and looked sheepish for a moment before scuttling off when he realised he'd been spotted.
More obliging was the hare in the picture. As I sat on a fallen log while the dog lay out and cooled down it was quiet enough that two of them came out and that one came within mobile phone camera range. I really must get an ultraportable camera or a phone with a better camera, Motorola really didn't give me the best tool for the job. Anyway, you normally see hares running away at great speed, so to have one fairly static in front of me was an unexpected treat.
Scandal is in the air in the village I grew up in. A stone garden ornament has been nicked from the garden of one of the incomers. Pretty obviously an opportunist with a van, but as so often happens the old farts have suggested a suspect on nothing but baseless rumour. Our farming neighbour's son, a blameless youth in his early twenties with a liking for machines that burn petrol. He rides a motorcycle at times, therefore he's inherited the mantle of Local Tearaway.
I know all about being a Local Tearaway, because twenty years ago I was one. Someone's electric fence batteries were nicked (Yeah, the rampant crime of rural England in the late '80s!) and because I was the handiest representative of Da Yoof, my name was mentioned. The previous Tearaway, our other neighbours son who is now a respectable farmer, probably breathed a hefty sigh of relief and turned back to his trials bike.
Back then I drove a slightly later and even rustier model of the Rusty Old Wreck. This car was a bit faster than the Wreck, but not by much. In the eyes of the old farts though it was driven like a maniac, simply because I was driving it, even though the same speeds by them in their '80s Euroboxes were quite acceptable.
Yes, being the Tearaway in the car your granny probably drove, how rebellious.
I think my reign as Tearaway ended when I went to university. I made the transition from ne'er-do-well to Person Going Somewhere you see. I'm a bit hazy as to who picked up the mantle but my guess is the current holder is about three Tearaways removed from me. He has my sympathies, some things never change.
There's just one thing. I'm unaware of a female Tearaway. Sugar and spice and all things nice.