After a hearty breakfast I bids me family “ooday” and heads off into the cold grey dawn, prong in hand, with me sheepdog by me side. Then, with little more than the honest sweat of my brow, I do my bit for Queen and country producin’ lamb, beef, pork, potatoes and grain till dusk.
What could be better? But then last week I was sat in the copper tub in front of the open range with me wife scrubbin’ the grime from me achin’ back after a long day in the field an’ I made a terrible mistake. I reads one of them newspapers.
“Confound them boffins at the World Health Organisation!” I hollered so loud and unexpected it made me wife drop the carbolic soap. “They do reckon eatin’ red meat might give yer cancer!
“Now, now don’t take on, dear,” said me wife. “Remember what the doctor told ye? Everthin’ in moderation, ‘e reckon. Provided ye don’t eat roast lamb for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day y’ll be fine. An’ provided yer eat five apples a day after yer six sausages and six rashers of bacon fer breakfast y’ll be right as rain.”
She be right enough, I guessed, but then I turned the page and there were more bad news. All my producin’ meat was turnin’ the climate warmer. Sounded alright to me at first – our cottage is freezin’ most of the year so a bit warmer would be welcome enough. But no, them brain boxes at “Chatham House thinktank” are sayin’ an ‘otter climate is “bad news.”
“Sussex is gonna be a desert!” I said in a panic. I shouted it so loud me wife now dropped the scrubbin’ brush. I told ‘er: “Says ‘ere that it ain’t me sweatin’ in the field that be warmin’ the world. No, it be to do with cattle, sheep and pigs fartin’ and burpin’. They says all that gas that comes out of both ends of them – that’s wot’s doin’ it. They says we should get rid of all our animals and the grain wot we feed them we should eat ourselves! And if we dunna, them’s bent on taxin’ us.”
My wife shook ‘er head again and took the newspaper away from me. “That be enough readin’ fer ye fer one day, Stephen. “Thinktank”? Who ever thought any sense sittin’ in a tank?” said she. “Them boffins wanna get out in the real world, I reckon.”
She put another log on the range and then filled me favourite clay pipe with Old Shag. She lit it for me with a taper made from them articles about cancer and hotter climate what were in the paper. “You enjoy a well earned smoke in that tub, me love, before some “tankthinker” tells yer that smokin’ be bad fer yer an’all. Imagine!”
We both ‘ad a good laugh at them dumb scientists that night, I tell ye!