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Letter to America: Tipping Points On:2022-03-01 19:56:00

My Dear Americans,
   I'm sure you have heard of 'cow tipping', as an activity of bored youth in the countryside (and is there any other sort of youth way out in the sticks?), youth blessed with an unkind sense of humor and a vertical cow. Apart from the aspect of animal cruelty, not to mention animal embarrassment, it is a really, really dangerous activity; cows are big and mostly do not take well to being tipped, inverted, pushed over or indeed mucked about with in any way, and have fairly definite (and occasionally fatal) means at their disposal for registering their disapproval. And anyway it's all probably just an urban legend, so no worries. 1

Here in Britain, however, we have the equally frowned upon and definitely non-urban legendary activity of 'fly-tipping'. While fly-tipping no doubt brings to mind visions of bored youth blessed with an unkind sense of humour (only this time spelled with a 'u' between the 'o' and the 'r') and a magnifying glass and a set of tweezers ...and a fly, with one just hoping that they don't pull the wings off as they wrestle with the poor beast, you should immediately discard those noxious thoughts. No house-flies will be harmed in the making of this essay, because while equally reprehensible, fly-tipping does not involve insects, whether winged or not and is practiced at a much larger scale, often even much larger than a cow.

Before we proceed further, though, let me remind you of the scale of the Isle of Britain. It being a relatively small and a crowded island. In this small, if sceptred, isle this (as John of Gaunt is reputed to have remarked "this other Eden, demi-paradise") the disposal of sewage, of waste, of rubbish, of indeed anything no longer needed (if ever indeed needed) is a considerable and expensive proposition.
Take household waste: we (for example) have to pay the local council for three wheelie bins. There is a black one for actual garbage; a blue one for recyclables; and a green one for garden waste. Then it gets more complicated: glass (bottles and the like) has to be taken to a recycling centre and put into large bins segregated into green, brown or clear. Then clothing has even bigger bins; plastic bags have their own location as do batteries and so forth, and so forth, and so forth.
Of course all the vast hoard of crap that needs disposing from our building and refurbishing of the house has to be carted away, usually for about a hundred quid, by a specialist company in out case one with the resplendent name of Nanny Julies. This we have already done four times and will probably do at least once more.

To return to our proceeding further, we are certain that Nanny Julies is definitely not into fly-tipping (they are officially registered as a 'Carrier Dealer - Upper Tier' — whatever that means)2 but what they do is an activity that, whether practiced by professionals or amateurs or even criminals, is much given to malpractice.
And now we finally get to it: fly-tipping is the illegal, unsightly, unsanitary and anti-ecological (not to mention anti-social) dumping of waste3 , usually in the countryside (though not typically on a cow) and, as it seems to me, to be dumped preferably in beauty spots, or on pleasant country footpaths, in crystal streams, rolling rivers and placid lakes, anywhere the vile fly-by-night perps can fly by, at night or even in the clear light of day, to dump their crap freely. At least it's free for them, though a couple of years ago penalties came into force to crack down on fly-tipping so there is a fine up to £1,000 if they catch you—IF. The perps should be given a spoon and made to clean it up, or in extreme cases eat it up, but that's just my personal opinion.
So there you have it: two kinds of tipping one probably non-existent the other sadly not non-existent. There are many others, mainly not too detrimental when indulged in, some even beneficial, such as hat-tipping as a greeting, or the distinct articulation given in playing quick notes on the flute, by striking the tongue against the roof of the mouth, and of course there's plain straightforward tipping, as of wait-persons, which is much more likely to leave all parties involved vertical and as a sort of international balance is much less indulged in in the UK than the US, largely due too differences in the economic structure of restaurant employment. The rest ought to tip into silence...
Kindest regards,
Richard Howland-Bolton
and, of course,
Cheerio for now
from me!


1 Here's Wikipedia spoiling the fun.

2 As you can see here.

3 All you need to know (about life, the Universe and Everything) is here, here and

And here's a cartoon I found during research:

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