Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Park benches and the people who break them

First, a warning: this blog is at risk of being gommy. Grumpy old man-y, that is.

It’s about my local park benches. See, I told you it was a GOM thing.

For some time, I’d noticed that there seemed to be far more broken benches than there used to be. A lot of them also seemed to be somehow bent at the front.

If I thought about it, I think I must have thought it was a result of the park’s increased popularity and its now regular swamping by non-locals. Probably, the young and boisterous among them were, well, smashing up the benches.

Just so you know — if you don’t already — that it’s Primrose Hill park I’m talking about. Not the badlands under any circumstances.

But now I’ve discovered I was wrong. Those park benches weren’t being destroyed by young people — to whom I apologise, unreservedly.

No, they are being broken carelessly but knowingly by the rich and affluent. Simply, personal trainers are encouraging their charges to use the benches as something to jump on and off. It’s some kind of fitness thing. And it’s a completely shit piece of behaviour by people who should know better.

How do I know? I’ve seen it. On many occasions. I’ve even said something. And not been responded to with the, well, politesse, one might hope for.

There was a complete disconnect. No understanding that by improving themselves they were degrading the lives of others.

As a GOM, part of me (at least) felt, as did an automobilistic GOM under different circumstances, that they should — both trainer and trainer — be taken out and shot in front of their children. Slowly.

This time is different, though. I took a photo of the trainer and trained doing it. Here it is. I’ve also sent it to the Royal Parks people.

And next time I see it, I’ll take another picture. Only closer.

Aaaah, that’s better. Thank you for bearing with me.

Now I will GOM off.

Next I don’t know what exactly I will post next but I do promise it won’t be gommy.