Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Battle of the Bush

There has been an ongoing battle in the road and this week it almost turned into a full scale war. It’s been between The Ramshocks at number 12 (Margaret and Reg) and Ken at number 8.
 I probably haven’t mentioned Ken before, he’s a barber, a nice enough chap, if a little laid back. The shop is supposed to open at 6.30 on a Saturday, although why anyone would want clippers taken to their head at that time in the morning is hard to imagine and especially on a weekend, but sure enough every Saturday a small queue forms outside his door; Ken however is rarely to be seen until at least 7.15.  He doesn’t live above the shop, just keeps it for stock and occasional ‘other’ activities. I’m not sure how much stock a man’s barbers would need, those in the Saturday queue don’t look the sort who would favour a
conditioner, although many of them would certainly benefit from one. Ken seems to specialise in three styles, short, shorter and short with sides, I don’t think he’s seen as much of a threat by Vidal Sassoon.

Ken also owns the house at number 9 which he rents out, usually short term lets, so we have a steady stream of new people in the street which I think keeps it fresh. Margaret and Reg, on the other hand, beg to differ.
The people who rent at number 9 rarely have any interest in the property and certainly no leaning towards gardening, as a result the bush at the front of the house is unkempt and frequently spills over onto the pavement. It doesn’t bother me, well apart from disturbing my view on the odd occasion, Mand and the miseries show no concern about it, so you would think there would be no problem; Margaret and Reg, however, are incandescent with rage about it. I have seen that man’s head go so red when discussing the issue that it’s been hard to distinguish him from the bush.

It is highly entertaining to watch the two factions go head to head, Reg’s plump ex butchers fingers jabbing from the bush to Ken and back again, and Ken grinning broadly replying with his stock phrase to any confrontation, ‘What you worrying about man ? It’s no problem to you. You die if you worry, you die if you don’t, so, hey man – don’t’.  The first time I heard this said to Reg I thought his head would explode, as did Margaret, she was hopping from one foot to the other telling Reg to calm down and accusing Ken of being irresponsible. That’s how the argument has continued for many a year, every so often Ken does have the bush cut back but it is a rare event and hasn’t happened for a while.
This week things took a turn for the worse. I heard Margaret telling Jacinta that they could stand it no more and were going to take to the internet to name and shame Ken. Their granddaughter Polly had told them about some spat that had been played out on Facebook between two mothers after one child did not attend the other child’s party, the story had reached The Daily Mail, they felt this was definitely the way to go.  
The first indication I had that they had gone ahead with the plan was on Tuesday morning when peals of laughter rang out from Kens for a good twenty minutes, in fact when Baz went in for his regular ‘short with sides’ I heard Ken telling him he was thinking of having a poster made.

Margaret and Reg are now the proud owners of a Facebook page, however there are no pictures of the happy couple or their family, just a sentence across the screen declaring the following: ‘Calls himself a barber, have you seen his bush?’ 

I don’t know who advised them on the wording but the phrase has certainly gained some attention. I’ll be surprised if this has helped to solve the issue, but I do know one thing, it has definitely gone viral.

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