Obviously I frequent strange and exotic places. It comes with the territory. Not everybody has dangled their feet in the foaming waters of the Clogger Beck, or watched the tide scour the bank away at Plumpton. But there you are. Some of us have it and some of us don’t.
Still, I was walking home and there, in the middle of nowhere, lying at the edge of the road, where the tarmac meets the grass verge, was ‘The Essential Thai Holiday Guide.’ I confess to being a little bemused. Round here people throw many things out of their cars. McDonald’s drinks cups, Kentucky Fried Chicken packs, pizza cases, pregnant cats, garden waste, builders rubble, and in one case, a full three piece suite just dumped in our lane.
Note when I say dumped in our lane, I mean exactly that. The lane is the width of a car and somebody had opened the back, dragged the three piece suite out and just left it, abandoned, blocking the road.
But this is the first holiday guide that I remember. Indeed I fell to pondering on the matter. Had somebody travelled here with their holiday guide, and finally realised that they weren’t in Thailand and hurled the guide out of the car window in frustration?
It’s an easy mistake to make; Barrow in Furness has so many things in common with Thailand, beautiful beaches, gloriously hot summers, lady-boy bars and beautiful, slim and exotic women. We even have boats pulled up on the beaches!
But why do you carry a guide to Thailand in your car? And why do you just finally sling it out of the window into the road?
And now it lies there, a parable in dead tree form. A metaphor for life, it initially held out almost infinite promise. But slowly and surely battered by life, the inexorable decay brought on by pounding wheels and driving rain it has moved slowly and surely from glorious dream to paper-mache road kill.