Sour Charity

Sorry if you’re eating. I’ll get back to pretty pictures soon.

On the evidence of the above photo, life in the Museum Quarter of Douglas at least is returning to normal. Barely had the latest lockdown lifted, than this familiar sight appeared. Clothes fly-tipped on the door of a charity shop, which is making it quite clear that it is not open to receive donations. (And yet to confirm a re-opening date.)

Going into a charity shop to donate items when they’re open to accept such things, is a good and worthy activity. Dumping a load of tat on the doorstep of a closed charity shop is littering. A night in the open, where they may have attracted the attention of seagulls (or even less hygienic members of the local wildlife) renders any items left in this manner unsellably manky. The volunteers who work in the shop will have to spend some of their time and efforts disposing of this worthless junk.

I’m really sorry for sounding like a letter to a local newspaper, but this sort of selfishness I find super-aggravating. It’s the fact that the perpetrator probably thinks they’re helping rather than hindering a good cause. Not just smugness, misplaced smugness. It’s proper vexing.

I will have some peppermint tea and a fig roll and dial down the Meldrew-esque huffiness. I’m too young for this sort of grumpage. (This mantra to be repeated as often as needed…)

It has made me think that as we gradually blink our way bank to another taste of normality there are a few aspects of the old life, we could now breezily discard as unwanted and never actually needed. It’s not just fly-tipping on charity shops. There’s also pushing past people in shops, pavement cycling (I’ve had two near misses with such manchildren in the last 24 hours), and that weird thing where blokes will suddenly hack up a big gob of phlegm without showing any symptoms of choking. Yes, all that can be left behind as we head into the new world.

I’m not Pollyanna-ish to expect all that tiresome stuff to be automatically replaced by rainbows on roses and lollipops on kittens. When we get rid of bad things, they aren’t automatically replaced by good things. I don’t see the world changing enough for that to happen as standard.

But perhaps this strange phase that we’re hopefully emerging from could be like the doorstep of a charity shop. And all the rude, thoughtless habits described above are the torn bin bag full of stained romper suits and broken-backed copies of The Da Vinci Code.

And if anybody has a less tortuous analogy than that one, feel free to leave it on my doorstep.

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