Wednesday, 29 August 2007

My Ghost is Richer Than Yours

My neighbours are engaging in a one-upmanship contest to see who can burn the most paper Hell Money to enrich their ghost relatives in the afterlife. I'm awarding the current record to a bunch of guys who executed a lightning raid on Monday afternoon. They bought boxes and boxes of Hell Money and constructed a circular wall of paper wads about 1m high, over half a meter across like a fat oil drum. They then filled the middle with loose sheets before setting the whole thing on fire and retreating.

On one level it was quite impressive but I take issue with their chosen location - on the pavement next to the green area. The result was a mass of smouldering paper, loose sheets scattered across the grass and burnt grass and scorched trees. Even after the torrential rain all day Tuesday, the soggy mass was still warm. Morons. The maintenance guys cleaned up the mess quickly enough but that's not the point.

Such ad-hoc fires are illegal of course. There are brick incinerators between the flats and at this time of year, the council puts big metal cages on the grass field so fires can be lit safely, in a contained space. But it's technically a spiritual devotion so the authorities turn a blind eye and we have to tolerate the anti-social pyromania of the few.