As riots spread across England, the Crone considers whether Itchy Ankle is vulnerable to vandals and ripe for urban unrest:
Itchy Ankle is not short of disaffected youth, God knows, but they seem to lack the will to riot. They have hot weather, easy access to alcohol and little hope for the future but seem perfectly content to stay indoors playing video games, watching reruns of the A-Team and eating everything in sight. Or maybe that’s just in my house?
The only people roaming our streets are dog-owners, nature ramblers, exercise enthusiasts and those who have lost their license and who must therefore walk to the Snug Harbor Inn.
There was a brief outbreak of (entirely lawful) street protest this week when pickets showed up outside a very small substation owned by one of America’s telecommunications giants. I share the disgruntled workers’ opinion of their employer’s corporate greed and was ready to rally to the cause. My dustbin lid is recycled plastic and thus not really suitable for banging but my vocal chords are still able to gulder and of course joining a picket line would help me work towards the 10,000 steps I’m supposed to walk each day. Agitating—so good for one’s health.
Itchy Ankle’s pickets are more like picnickers. There are three of them and they turn up bright and early every morning, wearing their placards and cheery expressions. They then spend a couple of hours waving happily at all their neighbors driving to work. Someone makes a run to Subway for snacks. I am not sure what happens after that as they are gone by the time I get home. Grunwick this isn’t.It seems unlikely the Itchy Ankle pickets ever have to deal with blacklegs or scabs: the luckless customers of the company in question usually have to plead for service workers to show up when bad weather disrupts communications. It does not seem that any member of staff or management would happen by there in the ordinary course of business. The substation is obscured from view by some very pretty hedgerow and the pickets seem content to stand in the early morning sun (it is not nearly so humid here this week as in all of July) surveying the bulrushes and the butterflies and chatting among themselves.
The UK rioters, unlike the Itchy Ankle pickets, do not seem to have sunny dispositions and a respect for law and order but there is another reason why urban unrest is unlikely to impinge on Itchy Ankle: In England, the looters seem attracted to shops stuffed with electronics and other desirable brand name goods. This alone will save us for Itchy Ankle boasts little more than a tow-shop, an AME church and Grace’s garage. There’s Grover’s of course, but we hear Cordell the butcher ready to defend the cigarettes and six-packs from any unwanted attention. He has his meat cleaver and tenderizer to hand. Anyone foolish enough to attempt an assault on the e store will be boned, butterflied and Saran-wrapped. You have been warned.