I was walking my dog the other day when I bumped into an elderly woman who I see sporadically on the more hidden trails of Danebury and Longstock.
A quirky lady, as wide as she is tall, she always has a good yarn to tell, never letting the truth get in the way of a good story.
However, I have noticed that since the bizarre events surrounding the election of Donald Trump and the 2016 referendum in the UK, she has become more and more ennobled when it comes to the preposterous nature of her tales.
When I bump into her it depends on my general wellbeing as to whether I like to see her or not and on Tuesday I was tired, so my heart sank as her rotund stature wobbled towards me.
“Surprised to see frost on the ground, I thought the forecast said it was going to be much milder” I said, using the standard type of opening line utilised by dog owners.
“Do you know why?” She said.
“Errr…no”, I replied in trepidation
“Well, the met office, the BBC and the Government, deliberately exaggerate the temperatures that are shown on weather programmes to avoid making cold weather payments to pensioners”.
“Oh do fuck off and leave me alone” I said.
I didn’t say that of course because I am too polite, I just slowly shook my head from side to side and said “Really!” as if though I was genuinely exasperated by how the government could do such a thing.
A surprise frost on Tuesday paved the way for accusations of a government scandal.
By way of a confused Segway, she went on to talk about the Labour party being the political arm of the BBC, which didn’t really make sense but if I am honest, she never does really.
We are talking about a woman who once managed to turn a conversation about the dominance of pheasants in the countryside into a human ethnic cleansing programme that would make Hitler blush.
The thing about people like her, as mad as she is, is that all of a sudden, they have gained legitimacy on social media or on comments pages in the newspaper.
Let’s face it, if Donald Trump can say that comments on gun crime and climate change are fake news and Nigel Farage and his loons can stick fantasy figures on the side of the bus with millions of people giving them the thumbs up, why shouldn’t a lonely old lady join in the fun?
I’ve had to do a bit of a Facebook cull lately which is always a difficult decision when I claim to be open to debate with people who I don’t necessarily agree with entirely.
However, when their side of the debate is something out from cloud cuckoo land, what are you supposed to do, just say, “Yeah you’re right, Hitler wasn’t daft was he?” and merrily get on with your day?
I know a chap who used to like telling tales of attempted muggings where he beat off several thugs, other acts of heroism and wild sexual acts with racy and promiscuous women that no one else I know had ever met.
He is pretty harmless really, or was, but Facebook offered a platform where muggers were no longer getting his punishment beatings and women were longer left exhausted by his sexual prowess but anyone with dark skin or Asian origin was worthy of the death sentence or deserved to drown on a Corfu beach.
Preposterous bullshitters have never had it so good and they really have to be stopped before it starts causing damage to society and any chance of the world staying on a path where we strive for betterment rather than an ecological or nuclear disaster.
If we can’t get to a situation where people have to justify their outlandish claims with structured proof of their claims, it will not be long before Ken Mackenzie is leading Britain into economic isolation…