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.
[posted with ecto]