Vincent on… Setting The World To Rights

25 Feb

I recall an occasion (I was about 23 at the time) when I was walking down a high street (lower-case, as it’s generic) when suddenly, acrid blinding SMOKE began swirling down it.

Having nothing important to do, I investigated. It turned out to be a house in a back road, which was one of several hundred slums that were being demolished.

But the thing was – it appeared the fire had been set DELIBERATELY, by the CONTRACTORS, to save MONEY (a burned-out house is already half demolished).

I was incensed. Following the Clean Air Act, if I lit a BONFIRE, I would be arrested. So I returned to the high street and found a working phone box (rare, in those days) and phoned 999.

I told them where I was (I’m not sure if the tech existed then for them to KNOW) and said that there appeared to be a house on fire, behind the shops somewhere (true).

Then I stood idly, down at the end of the street the house was on and waited. Five minutes on, the brigade arrived and put out the fire. I figured SOMEONE would get into TROUBLE over it. Good.

Of course, some would say I was irresponsible – that the brigade could have been needed to save LIVES. However, the pollution in that high street could have TAKEN them, so fair’s fair.

In any case, most of the time the brigades just sit AROUND – waiting to be called to put out fires started by AMATEUR vandals. At least the PROFESSIONAL vandals who started THIS one wouldn’t THROW things at them…


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