Sunday, 30 May 2010

A Plastic Mystery

There’s a strange phenomenon sweeping my village.

I am sitting here at the computer looking out at the small estate I live in. It’s a cool day today, the clouds are piling over, I’ve had to bring the washing in for fear of rain, and the leaves of the trees are blowing in the wind. But across the way there is a house with a plastic bag hanging out of each open upstairs window.

Although it’s the first time I’ve noticed it myself, apparently it’s been going on for a while.

‘We went to your house first,’ C tells me as she arrives at a mutual friend’s who has organised a small gathering. She rolls her eyes towards her boyfriend D; clearly the blame for this little error lies with him. ‘Nice house,’ she says. ‘But why do all your neighbours hang plastic bags out their windows?’

This, at the time, was news to me. Obviously I’m incredibly unobservant, though Bron clearly isn’t.

‘I don’t know,’ he tells her. ‘It’s weird isn’t it?’

Weird indeed. One house flying bags on a solo basis would be unusual, but for a whole street to do it? Am I missing something? Why? The only possible explanation I’ve come up with so far is that it’s to deter flies from going in the open windows. Which actually is quite a good idea, but I think perhaps I’d rather have the flies than the unsightly and noisy bag flapping outside my window. Unless there is something particularly dangerous or nasty about Cornish flies that I’m not aware of… But then, another viewpoint would be that at least these houses are reusing their plastic bags for some (useful?) purpose rather than binning them.

And so the phenomenon continues, as I am now a witness. Does anyone have any alternative theories?

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