Attendees at a town meeting in Freshwater, Isle of Wight, are bracing themselves to avoid taking razor blades to their wrists during the two-second gap between local bell-end Colin Wilkinson telling them he has lived in the town for the whole 55 years of his humdrum existence to date, and some teeth-grindingly stupid comment that he thinks should go unchallenged on that basis.
The meeting was called to decide on whether to create a Neighbourhood Plan for Freshwater in its own right or to pool resources with other parishes in the Western half of the holiday island. For the first 35 minutes, it had been proceeding reasonably calmly but fears are now growing that it will soon be side-tracked into oblivion by whatever utter irrelevance spews out of Wilkinson’s ignorant fat gob precisely 1.3 seconds from now.
‘The last five public meetings have all ended in chaos because of Colin spouting something daft,’ said Town Clerk Rosemary Hodges. ‘”I’ve lived here all my life – and you can’t tell me nothing about that, you haven’t been here five minutes.” “I’ve lived here all my life, you’d think people might listen to me”. “I’ve lived here all my life and they tried putting a sports centre on that site in 1978, only they didn’t ’cause there were badgers there, see?”. Oh dear Lord, what is it going to be this time?’
With the ghastly denouement barely 0.8 seconds away, attendees are now fiddling with their cufflinks, staring insouciantly at the ceiling and, in extreme cases, preparing to volunteer to make everyone a nice cup of tea in order not to expose themselves to a probable assertion that Freshwater should not collaborate with Calbourne on planning matters because the last vicar but three at Calbourne was a right one for betting on the gees.
‘A remarkable number of people are still labouring under the misapprehension that always living in the same place is an achievement worthy of respect and applause,’ said Dr Stephen Leach, Professor of Population Studies at the University of Kent. ‘Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. All you have to do is not move house ever rather than move house, say, three or four times, something which can itself sometimes take years to do. Literally anyone can avoid moving house. Even Joey Essex could avoid moving house. Probably.’