The Turpitude of Precocious Pete


Here’s the story of Yorkshire, security lights, and missing cows.

Am I the only one who thinks we should all smash our security lights to pieces? I mean, sure, we could just take them down. You know, with a nice friendly ladder and a handy screwdriver. But don’t you agree it’s far more fun to smash things? Newer readers may think I’ve gone mad, but long time readers will tell you I was never entirely sane to begin with. We all know what security lights are, right? We have them facing out over our gardens or driveways. The thinking is that they deter criminals. But am I the only one who thinks that they make it easier for criminals? Bear with me. Imagine if you were a burglar. Stripy black and white shirt. Maybe with a mask on, just over the eyes. Perhaps with a burlap sack with ‘swag’ written on the side. And imagine there’s no security light. You’d be there for ages making a racket as you swear constantly because your lock picking efforts were proving fruitless. Now imagine the scene with a security light. “Oh, thank God there’s a security light! Otherwise, I’d be standing here in the dark, swearing and not being able to see what I’m doing…”

Now you might be thinking, ‘Oh, Alan, but these people are criminals. Outlaws. Vicious purveyors of anarchy and turpitude.’ No, they’re criminals. If they were clever, they’d be bankers. ‘Surely, they must have an underground network.’ No, you’ve been watching far too many Hollywood heist movies. This is not Los Angeles. This is Yorkshire. In LA, people steal jewellery. Here, people steal cows.

Yeah, they may know a few criminals. They may bring a friend along to participate in the mayhem. Maybe hold a light for them to combat the lack of a security light. But these are criminals, readers. That guy holding the light will want a share of the profits. And criminals are selfish people. The one doing the lock picking will not hesitate to beat the light holder over the head, rendering him unconscious. You know, so he could escape. Burglars don’t get that long in jail. Add assault to the charge sheet, they’ll be locked up for longer. Therefore, no security lights means that there’ll be fewer burglars on our streets. Because they’ll all be in jail for assault or terrified of that outcome. I’m a genius, aren’t I?

The benefits keep coming as well. “Ah, mate, come on, hold the torch for me.” “No, you’re gonna whack me over the head with it. I’m not some dumb sap that’s gonna fall for your shenanigans,” said the accomplice, from 1925. The criminals will either stop or get desperate. Holding the torch in their mouths, perhaps. But that buys the owner of the property a precious few more seconds to act. Release the dogs. Or the children. Hey, they say children are far softer these days and know far fewer practical skills. Let them beat up a burglar. It’s far more practical than anything they’ll learn playing on their games consoles.

“Aww, Timmy has got a top score on Guitar Hero. Well done spending the entire summer doing that, I’m sure that’ll greatly help you in the future.”

Toughen them up a bit, I say. I’m not saying they should seriously injure the criminal, or worse, just kick his shins a bit. Hit him where it hurts. He’ll never burgle again, readers.

“Ah, Dangerous Dave. I have a well rich rube I want to target. But I can’t do it alone. Are you in?”

“Nah, man. I’m outta the game, Precocious Pete. I just can’t take another beating off angry children.”

I presume criminals still give themselves names like Dangerous Dave and Precocious Pete…

It’ll be humiliating for them. One burglar versus a hoard of kids. That’s what you call a group of kids, by the way. I’d imagine. You know, like a hoard of zombies. They’re practically the same. They both want something off you that you can’t give them. “Brains! I want your brains!” “Wallet! I want your wallet! Where’s your wallet, daddy…”

Of course, parents reading may be horrified. Why would anyone put his or her own children in so much danger? Oh, trust me, British burglars aren’t the shiniest shit in the bowl. They wouldn’t attack a child in a million years. They’re cowards. They’re frightened of people. Especially kids. They see anybody in the house, the likelihood is that they’ll run a mile. In fact, the only real downside is if you don’t have kids. But I suppose there’s nothing stopping you building a moat around your house and filling it with crocodiles. And the beauty of that, is that when they die, they taste delicious. What? Have you never tried crocodile? Try going to Florida. Crocodile meat is all they sell…

And do you know what the best part of this plan is? The environment. Think of all the millions – no, billions – yes billions of security lights out there. All that electricity going to waste. Think of the environment! Oh, why won’t you think of the environment! Please, think of the environment! Have you seen the devastation Storm Desmond caused across the UK this week? Many trees have come down in my town. You could mitigate the loss of just one tree by turning off your security light. Or planting another tree, but that’ll take too long.

If everybody did things like that, it would save so much electricity. Heck, in general, if people bought non-electrical versions of typical household items, think of all the electricity it would save. Not just a penny or two saved by turning the security light off. Do you need an electric guitar? Do you need an electric shaver? Do you need an electric toothbrush? You can buy non-electric washing machines. You can wash dishes by hand. You can buy water powered batteries. You can do so much. I mean, come on, do you really need a vibrator?

And you can turn off those damn security lights, too…

There are literally no realistic downsides to my plan, are there? I mean, maybe the moonlight or the stars might offer a respite to the criminals, but really, that’s it. Oh, hang on. But they’re criminals. Oh, drat. If they can’t burgle houses anymore, then – then, oh, no. They’ll move on to something else. Oh, damn. Oh, no.


American author, H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (b. 1940), once wrote in his book Life’s Little Instruction Book: ‘Number 1,487: Hug a cow.’

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
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Hark Around the Words
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