Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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Trainerspotting
Bristol was once wisely described as the city "where there's always something going on, but nothing ever happens". I was reminded of that when I saw the splash headline in today's Post:

Post headline

Of course I had to buy it - I've been wondering about all the trainers dangling from telephone wires round here for years. (Does every city have them? I don't know. [ETA: Google confirms that they're widespread.]) At first I thought of them as the remains of urban Poppinses, anti-Icarii who'd flown too low and met a grisly telephonic fate. Later, my children told me that they were gang boundary markers, or else places to mark dealers' houses, a pleasing theory if somehow implausible (if my children knew about it, would it really be opaque to the police?). There are certainly a lot of them about, anyway. Presumably, if the police have gone to the trouble of hiring a cherrypicker to remove them, though, they must know what they're for - right?

Not really.

post story

I particularly treasure this quotation from Avon and Somerset Police's Drugs Strategy Manager, which really has to be read in a Bristol accent to savour its full glory:

There's nothing to say that if you see them there is drug dealing going on, but that's not to say it isn't. People could be doing it because they've seen it elsewhere and think it's cool. It gets complicated.


Still on the subject of accents, I didn't spot any genuine Bristol ones in last week's Doctor Who, set (but not filmed?) in the city - with the possible exception of the policewoman, who at any rate gave it a good team try. Other members of the cast went for a sort of gruff generalized West Country, or (in the case of the young lad with "local knowledge") just reverted to the usual DW London default. It wasn't quite as bad as the 1987 Secret Garden, and a thousand times better than the Michael Caine Get Carter, but still, Bristol's only just over the Severn from Cardiff. Could they really not get any locals to play the parts?
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We have the same custom in the US (and the same lack of clarity about whether it really means there's a drug dealing house nearby). I think I first saw a pair of tennis shoes hanging from a wire when I was a child, but I might be backdating. It was certainly decades ago.

Wikipedia (which I strongly suspect of being the Post's main source yesterday) is similarly uncertain.

There's nothing to say that if you see them there is drug dealing going on, but that's not to say it isn't. People could be doing it because they've seen it elsewhere and think it's cool. It gets complicated.

That is utterly splendid. This person should produce the Little Book of Avon and Somerset Police Wisdom.

There's an alternative, rather more supernatural explanation for the shoes to be found in Kate Griffin's The Glass God.

I long to read both The Little Book and the Kate Griffin.

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