Quickie tonight – I have the early shift tomorrow but at least I have a slightly less onerous Saturday morning as compensation.
Around 1970, definitely before 1971 when the friend in question moved on to other friends, as did I, I had a friend.
This friend had a disabled grenade. It claimed no benefits. We are talking around 10 years old here. It was a British WWII hand grenade and I still recall holding it. Heavy and nasty-looking. Harmless though because we could not figure out how to re-arm it and I still don’t know.
Well of course we tried. We were kids and kids always have that sense of ‘what if…’ that is far, far different to the adult version of today.
Less than 100 years ago you could walk around the UK with a handgun or with a sword on your belt and nobody gave a damn. Now, if you walk around with a child that might appear to be a bit uncomfortable, the police are called. And they respond – not with ‘Don’t be such a twat, caller’ but with a full squad car within ten minutes.
In those heady days of yore, the 1970s, any child without a penknife in his pocket was an oddity. Now any child with one is a criminal. Any child not climbing trees or coming home filthy was sent for therapy. Now it’s the other way round.
It really hasn’t taken very long to turn the British from ‘stiff upper lip’ to ‘trembling lower lip’ has it? What a bunch of weaklings we live among now. Nasty, spiteful, Stasi informers the lot of them, and they have the gall to call other people ‘ignorant’.
A Polish man who tried to deter burglars with what amounts to a Turner prize art installation (it’s better than most of them) faces eight years in jail for nothing at all. The police admit that he had nothing that could really explode which was a shame. An explosion might have tidied the place up a bit. He had a disabled grenade which is now illegal to own in case it is re-armed.
Forty years ago I looked into re-arming one of those and I still don’t know how. The Polish man had no intention of doing so anyway, it was just a bluff.
He also had bullets (it is not clear whether any of them were live or not) but nothing to fire them with. Even so, it is apparently illegal to have the bullets, presumably in case you are able to throw them really, really hard.
Everything in his burglar deterrent was a bluff. The clock strapped to a fake bomb didn’t even have batteries. He did nothing to cause harm to anyone – not even a burglar.
It’s all based on ‘maybe it could be….’ but on that premise the contents of every kitchen in the world must be illegal. I have seriously sharp knives in my kitchen. What should I do, carve the Sunday roast with a spoon and a sharp look?
If someone burgled me, I would be more concerned that they’d get to the cleaver first than that they might find a disabled WWII grenade, look up the internet and spend a few hours making up explosives and detonators and putting it back into service. While the burglar is doing that, I would phone the police and tell them he has a chilly child, since that gets a far faster response than reporting a burglary these days. I’d probably get arrested for wasting police time though.
Seriously. We have a country where you can now be arrested, charged and sent to jail for eight years for bluffing a burglar.
One question for all you immigrants. Why the Hell do you want to come here? The rest of us would love to leave!