River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Things Are Not The Same

January 2003

When is a spade not a spade?

I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to think this world is becoming too much for me. Or is it just my old age? I just don't understand things anymore. In my day, if you were gay it meant you were a pleasant enough chap; a nice cheerful sort, full of the joys of spring. But today, it certainly doesn't mean that. Then years ago 'What The Butler Saw' meant sticking a penny in some sort of slot machine on Hunstanton sea front. But not anymore! It's more to do with what the late Princess Diane's Butler saw, heard, or whatever. If you went to prison say for five years you served five years didn't you? Well I thought you did. Today you are let out halfway through and it doesn't end there. Even when you are serving your sentence it appears you are allowed out to accept a dinner invitation! I have also been reading about a young man who is allowed out of prison every week to play for his local football team. I just don't believe it. I don't think it's me just being old; I think I've gone stark raving mad. Well, if I haven't, other people have.

It's the same with speed cameras. They are painted some bright colour so you can see them; in fact you can read in the papers when and where they will be operating. In practice this means you can break the law Monday then Wednesday and Friday, but not the other days when the cameras are operating. It doesn't add up. As someone who spent a number of years in Insurance and have filled in no end of motor accident forms for people, it used to be quite clear in a lot of cases which driver caused the accident. I have long held the view that the guilty driver should be for the high jump but in most cases the Police don't seem to be interested. I happen to think that it doesn't matter whether you are speeding, drunk, using a mobile phone or have the delectable Miss Jones sitting on your lap. If the accident was your fault then you must take the consequences. I don't see speeding as a driving offence, or drink driving. Where the offence comes in is when you hit me, break my leg etc.

Can we say then that if I'm knocked over by the Vicar, whom we will assume is stone sober and he's travelling at 10 miles per hour or so, well that's OK then! In fact, my broken leg doesn't hurt one little bit. Well, I'm sorry, but you had better tell that to the Judge. The trouble is of course our world today is entirely different to what it was in my day. Yes I know, out come the Violins! But in my day you knew everyone in your village, you spoke to everyone and swore at some of them. Most Saturday nights there would be at least one fight outside the Pub at closing time, and you couldn't walk down the village street without seeing a courting couple huddled up in some doorway doing what they shouldn't. A few month's later the dear girl is saying, 'Mum I've got something to tell you, but don't tell Dad'. Today there's no fights and no sex; I'm not surprised a lot of people look fed up.

Yes I know we are all a lot better off money wise but are we any happier? I say bring back the good old days. 'I remember when I was a boy', oh my God, not all that rubbish again!

Les Lawrence

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