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Saturday, January 10, 2009

You don't have to be mad to live here... but many people clearly are

Normally, when I'm reading other people's newspapers on the train in the morning, because I can't get a seat and do some useful work, I don't reflect on the stories. This is because they are either entirely trivial rubbish about celebrities (some of whom I have even heard of, like Jordan), distressing stories of wars that I can't influence or things that aren't really news. This morning I was shoulder surfing the usual chronicle of Britain's slide from superpower to Zimbabwe-by-Sea...

  • Polish workers leaving in droves now that the pound has the purchasing power they remember for the zloty, but Polish non-workers remaining to claim welfare benefits,
  • Estonian armed robbers hired by English criminals (you just can't get the staff, and the cheap flights make Estonia a good choice for thugs),
  • Woman bank manager who was "bullied" by fellow workers is suing for £16.7 million. By the way, I openly invite you to call me any names you like, for a period of several months, in return for nearly SEVENTEEN MILLION POUNDS. Go ahead, make my decade.

In other words, the usual stuff. And then I came across a story that was so odd that I had to read it half a dozen times to take it in, and then found myself thinking about it all day. The story was about a 74 year old man from Buckinghamshire who died of thirst after getting lost in a labyrinth of tunnels built from rubbish (in his own home).

Police had to call in a specialist diving team because the smell from the house, Broughton, Buckinghamshire, was so overpowering.

[From Man died in network of tunnels he made through house of rubbish - Telegraph]

WTF? I mean, WTF? I thought about it several times during the day. It struck me as being a really bizarre story, something I hadn't seen before and probably would never see again. But the very next day

A spinster who obsessively hoarded clothes died in her home after a mountain of suitcases fell on her, burying her alive.

[From Shopaholic spinster found dead under 3ft of unopened goods | Mail Online]

What on Earth is going on? I'm genuinely bemused.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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