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Shut the Damn Gate!

Shut the Damn Gate!

A particular bugbear of mine is when someone visits my home, usually in a bid to convince me to buy their tat, con me out of precious money or contribute to whatever charitable cause is in vogue this week* and upon their departure they leave my gate open. This might seem like a small issue to some but to me it grates.

Firstly, I have a dog. She’s a little whippet and is very excited about pretty much everything. I cannot even have goods delivered from Amazon without her getting herself into an excitable tizz, presumably believing that whatever I have purchased is something for her to play with and/or maniacally destroy. Imagine, therefore, how exciting a wide open gate is to her? A chance to run around and explore the world outside, free of restrictions such as a lead or me? Very exciting.

This possibility for escape is made all the more worrisome by the fact that some degenerate bunch of pillocks who live in the vicinity think it wholly okay to allow their two, large dogs to roam freely. I assume, at some point, they’re gated but it is an all too rare sight to see the marauding beasts gallivanting around the estate, growling, snarling and generally coming across as two animals that could possibly be dangerous. I have tried to phone the local dog warden about them before, however the response I received was effectively an apology but the idea of doing their fucking job on a Friday afternoon was clearly ridiculous and I should be ashamed of myself for making such an absurd suggestion.

The second reason I prefer the gate closed is a simple security measure. I’m not blessed enough to have acquired enough wealth for high end security systems involving lasers, sirens and weaponised mechanoids patrolling the perimeter but I do have a gate and it functions rather well. See the gate is attached to the outside wall and being that it is rather old it makes quite the racket should it be opened. This is particularly noticeable during Halloween night when the local kids attempt to extort chocolate from me with veiled threats regarding some sort of trick.

This brings me to a rather amusing story I read today which I have decided to share. It would seem that a family from Formby, Merseyside (yes, I’ve never heard of it either) shared a gate with their next door neighbour and in a rather classic comedy trope could not agree on whether the gate should be shut or should be opened. The Bradley family insisted the gate should remain closed, for security reasons, while their neighbours, the Heslin family, believed it should be open because a closed gate was an inconvenience for them as it required them to do incredibly strenuous tasks such as actually leaving their car to open the gate.

In what should really be described as a complete waste of time and money, this entire scandal reached the High Court. I have to ask why? Firstly, the Bradley family lived in their house before the Heslin family moved in, therefore, it should have been brought up before signing on the dotted line what the gate situation was. There’s also the simple fact that a remote controlled device affixed to the gate to allow it to be opened and closed from the car should have solved the problem, rather than the expensive costs involved with legal teams and court appearances. But no, instead the two warring parties decided to go to court about it.

This is foolish on so many levels. Ignoring the fact that relations between the two sets of neighbours had clearly got to such a low extent, the two have effectively devalued their own properties. Under UK law, should you have a dispute with a neighbour you have to reveal this to any interested parties in the future should you try to sell and this dispute is usually reason to lower the asking price of the property. So not only are they massively out of pocket for the nonsensical court case itself but have jeopardised future house sale revenue, voluntarily! Mind-boggling!

As it happens, the judge has ruled the gate belongs to the Bradley family and they can do whatever the hell they want with it, although he has recommended it should remain closed between 23:00 and 07:30, a sort of open gate curfew, and that the Bradley’s must not close their gate so as to deliberately inconvenience the Heslin family. This reminds me somewhat of a law that states you cannot fire a cannon near a residential property if your sole intent is to cause annoyance to the occupants.

I tend to shun the notion of first world problems, simply because I believe that moralising over what people choose to care about on the basis that there is always someone worse off is a fallacy that goes against the nature of our species but were I to categorise something in that fashion, this would really be it.

* I have no issue with giving to charity and in fact I support several. I have issues with doorstep chuggers employed by third-party companies to raise funds for charities because I know that the money I would donate would go on salaries for said chuggers rather than the charity itself.


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