by Michael Franklin
of Walter Street had an everlasting problem.
Theirs was an area of old Victorian terraced
housing and because the wider world was allowed
to park there, they had problems finding a home
for their own cars. They were only a quarter of a
mile from the centre of the town, so those
offensive invaders who worked in the banks, the
shops, and local businesses, were able to drive
into fringe areas and park for nothing. The local
council was not helpful. There were no yellow
lines in Walter Street and anyone could leave
their car there for a day.
came up with an idea. He lived at number 27. His
thirteen-year-old daughter Anny had taken up
painting and a nice talent was emerging. Her
father had brought her an art board, and the
family were able to watch her progress with works
of art, and were impressed by the results.
something. Anne used acrylic paint which she
softened and diluted with water. He was, with her
help, able to experiment. It was easy to mix some
dark brown with slightly greyed white, throw the
mix onto a piece of card, and the result looked
like bird shit. It dried quickly. An idea entered
his mind. Could he make some of this mix and
throw it onto the windscreens and roofs of those
invading cars? If he could, and if he could do it
often, then perhaps he would deter them from
using his piece of pavement as their
vehicles home for ten hours each working
worked magnificently. He spread his idea to the
wider street and a lot of neighbours took a daily
delivery of a soft mix made by his daughter. They
were able to throw this in spoonfuls onto
invading cars from their first floor bedroom
windows. It took about three weeks for the
resulting shock to influence the drivers, but it
did happen. The word spread. Do not park in
Walter Street - there is - evidently - a colony
of birds there who will make a mess of your car.
What helped the deceit was that the mix dried out
exactly and the bird shit did. It had to be
removed with a scraper or taken through an
aggresssive car wash.
The street -
thankfully - became much less invaded, but one
day the residents noticed a group of four people
walking slowly through. They had cameras and
clipboards in their hands. Freds wife Bella
- leading her eight-year-old son Martin by his
hand - came out into the street. She was joined
by many other locals. What was going on?
One of the
patrolling ladies said: We are from the
bird charity SNOT - Save Natural Ornithology
Teamworkers. We have heard reports about the
apparent increase in a bird population here. We
are puzzled. Our sole reason for exploring the
situation today is their welfare and safety.
As Bella led
her son back through their open front door he
asked her: Mom - whats an arseole
reason for exploring something?
Her reply was
instant: To get to the bottom of a problem.