Prejudices and ‘isms’ are typically bad things, although we all carry them to a greater or lesser extent. As well as considering them generally objectionable, I also find them lazy. I am, broadly speaking, an easy going kind of person, and try to see the best in people. However, when I do have cause to dislike somebody, I will at least take the effort to do so on a personal level.
One such case has presented itself over the last three years since moving to the village. I have struggled to choose a suitable word to describe this particular neighbour, and have settled on Moron as at least a working title. I understand this word is considered offensive in some circles, and I apologise to my readers if they find this word difficult. However, I find it accurate and justified in this instance, so please bear with me.
I believe that moron is the Welsh word for carrot, so you can call him a carrot if it helps.
The moron is an accountant. Now I have nothing against accountants per se (I have some good friends that are accountants), but for those of you that do, it sets a baseline to build upon. He is also one of those people that feels it is perfectly reasonable to open a conversation with, “so what are you driving at the moment?”. On this plain, although already irritating canvas, we can start to paint the portrait of the Moron.
He has an obsession with his front gate, and fencing in general. It’s one of those electronic affairs that can be operated with a fob, allowing the Moron to block the road as he sits smugly, waiting for it to open. Confrontations have been had with neighbours who have had the audacity to knock on the gate or attempt to operate it manually, rather than use the increasingly signposted intercom.
Communication is clearly a challenge for the Moron. Internal family comms seems to be primarily via raised voices and the kind of bad language that suggests a limited vocabulary. Increasingly rare external comms with neighbours are predominantly via theatrical threats and bullying retorts delivered over his new fence from the safety of the garden.
Based on recent exchanges with various dog walkers making use of the public footpath that flanks one side of the Moron’s property, the current direction of travel would suggest he will soon be communicating exclusively via the local constabulary. On three occasions in the last month the local bobby has attended to diffuse some sort of ‘crisis’ of the Moron’s creation. These typically result in a momentary growing up, and some sort of further fencing enhancement.
With minimal prompting, every neighbour will relay a story of some kind of negative exchange with the Moron; indeed I have a couple of my own. However, rather than throw stones and dwell in negativity, I ask myself what I can learn from the Moron and his baffling behaviour?
As I prepare to take office, I must confront the reality that I will at some level be serving and representing the Moron. Uncontested elections aside, the Parishioners choose their Councillors, not the other way around. As loathsome as I may find this individual, I will soon have a duty to assure his best interests are met. I envisage a future planing application for a moat and drawbridge to accompany his electronic gate. Do I trust myself to asses such a thing independently and without the emotional baggage of my personal dislike for the man?
I am ready for the challenge. At the risk of being self righteous, I know I can rise above the level at which the Moron chooses to operate. We are all entitled to our privacy and ‘funny ways’, and I will always react appropriately and robustly when met with objectionable behaviour. But when the Moron decides to step out from his increasingly lonely castle, he will find the pot holes are being attended to, a church clock keeping the correct time, and a play park for his children to use. I don’t expect any gratitude from the Moron, and I’m sure none will be expressed; but I have now clarified with myself that gratitude should not be my motivation either. I shall be motivated by making things better for the community in which I live, Morons included.
I’m going to keep an eye on the height of that fence though.