Friday 18 December 2015

Skinny Dipping

Don’t you love those  ‘research shows’ articles which the tabloids love to use to pad out the copy? Research shows that married people tend to be in relationships. Research shows that if you lead a healthy, active lifestyle and eschew social drugs like tobacco and booze you will live, on average, a more miserable life than those who hate you for your healthy, active lifestyle. Research shows that those who have money and great jobs generally feel better about themselves as a result. But who would have thought that good old research would show that it’s not we red-blooded meat eaters who are responsible for climate change but the very people who blame us for it?

Yes, it’s true – or as close to true as these things get, which is to say probably not true at all – that lettuce cultivation is three times the planet killer that yummy, sausagey, bacony pigs are. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have “found that many common vegetables require more resources per calorie, and produce higher greenhouse gas emissions than some types of meat.” As a result, “Sticking to a vegetarian diet may not be as beneficial to the environment as you think — in fact, it might be helping to destroy it.” Now that’s what I call bringing home the bacon.

All that hippy dippy shit and the current warm spell has ‘climate scientists’ (I think they are a bit like the team at L'Oreal who gave us ‘the science bit’ - concentrate!) all in a tizz as they desperately try to refrain from conflating current observations with their expectations and declaring barbecue summers, frost-free winters and southern England having a similar climate to Florida within a decade. A bit warm for my liking, but an old friend of mine retired to Naples, FL a few years back and he is – as they insist on saying over there - loving it.

Ron picked up a few acres for next to nothing and lived in a motorhome for a couple of years as he self-built his cabin and now he has the place fixed up pretty much how he wants it. He has an eco-friendly, timber-built, low-energy house with a four-car garage, a splendid deck with solar-heated hot tub and a sprawling, well-tended lawn at the front. Okay, he went a bit ‘native’ with the lawn ornaments and his chainlink front fence says 'keep away' in a cheap and cheerless manner, but he still has room for a huge pond out back, where he’s let nature create a little haven, far from prying  eyes.

One beautiful evening – and that could be pretty much any day of the year down there - Ron grabbed a good book and headed down to his pond-side terrace to chill out and watch the sun go down. He took a bucket with him to gather a few oranges and lemons from his trees. It’s quite a way from the house, so at first he didn’t hear the noise, but as he got closer the sounds of what could only be described as ‘frollicking’ reached his ears.  It wasn’t the first time; kids today don’t have either the respect or the fear we felt towards our elders and as he stepped onto the terrace he saw a group of young women naked and swimming in his pond!

The view from Ron's back yard

He stood and watched for a moment, grinning. “Hey, pervert!” one shouted, as they noticed him. “How long have you been staring, old man?” another taunted. Ron suggested they might want to get off his property. As one they pointed to where they had abandoned their clothes on the bushes and a third said “Yeah, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? We're not coming out until you leave!" Ron carried on right on, grinning and took a seat on the edge of the lake. For a few seconds nobody spoke, then Ron sat back in the recliner, indicated his bucket and said, “Hey I don’t mind, ladies. I only came down here to feed the alligator."

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