Saturday, 30 July 2011

Smalltown Tax

Emerge this morning to find the Smalltown Tax is due. This is a regular payment we have to make.

Look on the upside. We have a large garden where the kids can scream I hate you, and a beautifully commanding proper-built house with a heavy wooden kitchen door that sounds like a thunderclap when you slam it.

We couldn't afford this type of luxury close to London. So we are here, located in rural edge small town, rubbing alongside traditional working class, middle class Victorianophiles, Bangladeshi restaurateurs, and newly arrived incomers, who probably can't wait to get out thanks to the vagaries of the Friday night tax system.

The Smalltown Tax, for those happy folk who never have to pay it, can take any number of forms: broken wing mirrors where drunken kids run down the middle of the road after midnight with outstretched bottles and metal bars; dented car bonnets and car roofs where the kids run over the vehicles (they usually get off when they meet the line of white vans); knife-attacked car tyres (see photo); and the occasional broken kitchen window, garden theft, or simply having your car written off as the police chase the forced marriage kidnappers (our unforgettably large 2006 tax bill).

In this list I count only those that involve depressing discovery, a day's inconvenience, and repair costs at the local garage.

I do not count the extraordinary taxes (murder, arson, muggings), nor the ordinary taxes, such as feelings of revulsion at having to clear up the wee from the Saturday night drunk in the lobby; misery at clocking the teenage hooker who mistakes my home for the den three doors down; depression at having to walk past the house where the druggies hang out; and irritation when the local youth cycle down the back alleys bombing the gardens with eggs because, apparently, this is all the fun you can have in Smalltown.

For me, after limping to the garage on three tyres, an hour's wait (and eighty quid tax), it's a dreary local tax, and all I can hope is that I don't get another one in quick succession.

More importantly, I spend the rest of the afternoon doing the real emotional and financial work. That is, the horse shop, equipping the newly horse-struck Squirrel for her week's residential fun with a stinking great mare (cost to my bank balance, hundreds, and all taxes to my soul, extracted).

1 comment:

MadameSmokinGun said...

Yes Faustus seemed much more fun.