Saturday, 22 August 2009

Utter cobblers

Saw this 'news' story and had to stifle a 'what a bunch of pathetic idiots' that rose unbidden to my lips.

If you read the story, which is a prime example of lazy cut and paste journalism, you'd think this is a new phenomenon. Gasp! Bad people running amok with GUNS! Lawks! We're all gonna get our froats slit in our BEDS! Help, help! Call nine one one! Call out the militia, cos we're all a-gonna DIE! Well excuse me, but this is a complete load of utter bollocks.

I'm going to pour cold water on this one because there's nothing new about shotgun peppered roadsigns in the UK. People potting street furniture in rural areas has been going on ever since a drunken Farmer Brown first took exception to these manifestations of the Highway code late one night. It happens in rural Canada, the USA, probably in China, Russia, Australia, or wherever. I've passed shotgun peppered warning signs in France, Germany Italy, Switzerland and Spain. My first recollection of the practice came when my Dad drew my attention to one such example when I was a mere stripling of ten years. Less than a quarter mile from our doorstep. Was anyone shot to death? No.

The culprits are generally otherwise respectable folk who've been out 'lamping' for vermin in the dead of night, and have had a nip or two to keep the cold out of their bones. Mostly young guys, but I've heard of one incident where a very respectable pillar of the community took a dislike to a particular speed limit sign, and gave it both barrels of his Purdey in the early hours of one morning. As kids, specific unpopular road signs were often targets for catapults, rocks and airgun pellets when no one was looking. No-one ever got hurt. It was usually a protest at a specific unpopular council decision, so to draw attention to such practices as 'sniping', is hyperbole of the first order. One guy I recall was stupid enough to get caught shooting at road signs and lost his shotgun licence for a year, but that was the worst of it.

The RAC foundation spokesman in question is obviously wetter than a Halibuts breakfast and needs to grow a pair. Must be the silly season.

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