Tuesday, 15 January 2008

How Green You Are: Pointing Out Things That Make My Country Better Than Yours

#1: Allotments

What is “Allotments”?

An allotment is a patch of land which is rented out to an individual or family so that they can do their gardening on it. Every weekend, there is a mass exodus of old men with dungarees and white beards to these areas, where they then spend hours upon end poking the soil with rakes and chatting to neighbours about how much they don’t love their wives anymore.

What’s The Point?

The point is that they provide men with somewhere to go once they’ve retired which isn’t a golf-course, as well as helping hundreds of work-executives to ease away all their stress by digging up a particularly elongated tree root (them things are a right bother). Without allotments, these men would have to talk to their wives, which for many should never be made an option. Wives are scary creatures, what with their words, and questions, and facial expressions... You’ll never understand a woman, but you could learn to understand the art of growing runner beans, which is why allotments are so popular. The things are dotted all across England, and could single-handedly provide enough food for one small African nation per year, if every allotment-owner chose to focus all their work on helping those who are less fortunate. However, these people are mostly retired, and so don't care about anything except the state of the NHS.
As allotments are all situated outside, they provide a great opportunity for people to complain about the weather, a traditional English past-time.

What Makes This So English?

If any other nation were bored at the weekend and wanted something to do, they’d doubtless go off to the park, or a museum; see a film or play some sport. Not in England. As our national sports are rugby (painful) and cricket (slow), going off to the allotment every weekend is the only real way in which they can relax. Yes, the English relax by doing work. Don’t try to think about it too long, you’ll get a migraine. Really, though, the belief is that most people only own an allotment so they can grow potatoes, and thus can mock the Irish by having something that Ireland doesn’t: a viable potato industry.

Go England!

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