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Friday, February 25, 2005

 

A load of Fox all

Talk in the mess room turned to hunting during lunch break. A lot of the guys in their twenties and thirties seemed to be of the opinion the ban was a good thing and would ‘serve the toffee nosed gits right’. I kept my mouth shut and just read a book listening with a veiled grimace to all the half informed nonsense circling the room. Until that is, one of the younger guys said. “What about you Bill?”
“What?” I said.
“Teach those snobby bastards a thing or two, eh?”
“What snobby bastards?”
“Twats who chase foxes on horseback.”
“Didn’t know foxes rode horses.” Quipped I, in the hope they’d leave me in peace and let me read.
“No, the Hunt. Snobs, all of ‘em.”
“Really?” I put the book I was enjoying down. “What about them?”
“This bans a good thing, yeah?”
“No.” I reply and pick my book up.
“You one of them snobs then?”
“No.” I look straight at my interrogator with the Stickers arched eyebrow. Some of the older guys look over. Hey up. Bill’s going to use some irony, this could be interesting.
“Why?” He is not going to leave well alone. I’m going to have to shoot him down.
“Because I like to fish.”
“That’s not the same!”
“Fishing is just another type of hunting. I used to go rough shooting as a kid. You chase something, you kill it. Same difference. I’m no hypocrite.”
“That’s disgusting! It’s cruel!” Chimes in Manic Mary.
“What?” Say I. “I don’t think so. Cruelty is enjoying the suffering of others. Anything I kill dies quickly doesn’t suffer, so how can that be cruel? Anyhow, what’s in your sandwich? Is it vegetarian?” She blushes. The rest of the pro ban lobby turn away, disgusted that I do not share their lowbrow tabloid view of the world, but not intelligent enough to debate the point properly.

Out on patrol, I run into Wavey Davey, one of the older guys who was listening in on the brief debate. He’s a keen sea fisherman. “Fox hunting’s the thin end of the wedge.” He opines as we wander down the road where our beats merge. “Next Pheasant shooting, then fishing. We’ll all be forced to be vegetarians next.”
“Don’t see what real harm hunting did.” Say I. “I grew up in the country. It was only the incoming townies who ever kicked up about it.”
“Yeah well.” There is a long reflective silence until we see a car sitting on a single yellow some way ahead. We toss a coin. It’s mine this time. Rights or wrongs of a ban notwithstanding, I’ve got restrictions to enforce.

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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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