Where’s the Christmas Cheer?!?

Crikey.

Well, I’m back. It’s been busy for myself, the Boss and mini-kop over the last few days – probably something to do with it being Christmas.

I can’t help feeling as though Christmas should be the time to be of festive spirit, full of joy and love for everyone else and having the grace to be pleasant to strangers.

Quite how I survived the foray into Slumtown today I’ll never know. We were off into town to have a chuckle at the “sales” – I have to paranthesise the word ‘sale’ now as I believe they’re a complete misnomer. I didn’t find a single thing that had actually gone down in price. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of offers of ‘up to 50% off’, but surely I’m not the only one who realises that to qualify to legally put up that sign, the shop only has to offer one line of products at 50% off marked price. And that’s 50% off the highest price that item has been offered at over the last 6 months by some store, somewhere. Ever wondered why some things are ridiculously overpriced in one particular (low-footfall) store, somewhere? It’s so that they can offer those same items elsewhere at ‘50% off’.

“Sales”, my @rse.

And the Christmas cheer of which I speak?

You won't find this one in the Highway Code!

That was aptly demonstrated by someone from the shallow-end of the gene pool in his car today. He’d decided that the Highway Code was written by cretins (his relatives, perhaps?) and he was going to force his way across the two lanes of opposing traffic and stop across my path in lane 1 so that he could give me the finger on his way through.

I didn’t recognise him, but I was a little confused as to why I’d been singled out. He could have kept going and been out of my way before I got near him, but no, he had to stop to block me specifically to give me the finger.

Christmas cheer? Something tells me he won’t be getting his Spot The Dog books next Christmas.

A call that I attended with a probationer on Boxing Day was an eye opener too. The usual domestic – Wayne had spent all the fag money on White Lightning and left Waynetta with Chasnay, Reece and some of her other spawn that she couldn’t be bothered to remember the names of, let alone who the fathers were.

Slumtown's latest 'opportunity' developments left a little to be desired.

They were the typical bottom-dwellers and yet they had a decent, 4-bedroom house. Well, it was decent before they moved in and let the kids scrawl crayon all over the walls (Wayne probably did half of it too.)

And the next day, during a chat with the in-laws, I find out that the Boss’s sister and her boyfriend can’t get a house through the council. It turns out that despite both living in Slumtown since birth, paying their dues, not having criminal records or drug habits, a retinue of offspring towing behind with snot rags and dirty faces, and the fact they’ve both got jobs means that the council won’t help them.

Never mind the fact that they’re doing everything right, they’re working, they’re paying taxes, they’re not criminals, etc. The council won’t help them, even though they can’t afford to rent and certainly not to buy. And the best thing of all was?

The advisor who told them the council wouldn’t help them suggested that if they had a kid, they’d get a house.

Happy New Year.

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10 Responses to “Where’s the Christmas Cheer?!?”

  1. Fee Says:

    I had a quick look at the “sales” and bought precisely .. nothing. All the stuff was either sparkly tat I wouldn’t give house room to, or nowhere near my size. I did spot one *ahem* larger lady holding up what appeared to be a red sparkly boob tube type top, and heard my hubby mutter, “Oh, good god, she’d look like a badly cooked sausage in that”. I dragged him out quicksmart in case she heard him. The things I do for love …

    As for your sister-in-law, I sympathise. Many moons ago, I put my name on the council housing list in the city where I grew up. They advised me that I’d probably have to wait around ten years, so I bought a house instead (and scrimped for years to pay the bloody mortgage!). I was told the same – I’d get a house if I had a child. It still makes me grind my teeth in anger.

    • kkop Says:

      What kind of message does it send out, though? I mean, I did wonder how on earth some of society’s underbelly managed to cope with umpteen kids, especially when I find myself really struggling to see how the Boss and I could afford another one ourselves.

      Problem is, children aren’t seen as an extension of the parents, part of the family, the future of everything; they’re seen as meal tickets. Want a bigger house? Pop a few more sprogs out. Simples.

  2. Tony F Says:

    Unfortunately, that’s quite normal nowadays. The councils have to spend their money wisely. I suspect they have targets. You know scum sucking bottom feeders mus be protected at all costs. Bastards.

  3. Crime Analyst Says:

    Happy New Year KK. Pop over to our pitch when you get chance… Our take on the Jack Straw debaucle might raise a chuckle.

    http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/2010/01/government-pantomime-2010-wizard-of-oz.html

    All the best

    Steve

    • kkop Says:

      Thanks Steve – the New Year is kicking off as it means to go on, it seems. I did think about writing a piece on Jack Straw’s latest debacle, but others can do a better job and I’m short on time at the moment (that four-letter word, work, keeps cropping up!)

      I’ll write another post soon, I’m just waiting to see what raises my ire enough. 😉

  4. Area Trace No Search Says:

    Yarp. Mrs Area still managed to gain a collection of “sale items” whilst I was at work yesterday though.

    She expects me not to notice, just as I expect her not to notice that the fridge keeps magically filling itself with beer from the never ending “just one crate” I bought a few weeks back.

    • kkop Says:

      That sounds like one of those ‘business agreements’ that helps oil the wheels of a good relationship, that does. 😉

      I draw the line at shoes, though. I mean, for crying out loud, why does the Boss insist on so many shoes? She only has two feet!

  5. Adam Says:

    I guess you could argue that the advisor was just being honest, but it still grates on my nerves that this is offered as advice.

    I must say that I’m surprised that two people, who you say are both working, cannot afford to rent a place.

    • kkop Says:

      One works in a national curtain superstore chain, whose name I needn’t mention, the other works as a low-grade public servant. Between them they probably earn a decent enough wage.

      The problem is Slumtown has delusions of grandeur. It’s essentially an overspill town that boomed in population during the 50’s and 60’s and subsequently has deflated since the sharp prick of recession pierced its bubble. Problem is, it’s in prime commuter-belt country so there’s plenty of rich idiots prepared to pay top dollar, so that influences the kind of new development that goes on.

      Basically there’s loads of flats and old Victorian houses converted into bedsits, but if you want to live in decent accomodation, in a decent part of town without risk of getting mugged on the trip from the front door to the pavement, then you’re looking at seriously stupid money.

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