English people all over the country are preparing themselves for summer. Still.
The summer supposedly began on March 26th – seventy-three days ago. I must have been doing something important because I didn’t notice, however, there are still one-hundred and forty-four days of summer remaining, so let’s just be patient shall we?
From Hitchcock to Hitler
Being prepared is a trait of the English, or at least it used to be, before the younger generation took over. Take, for example, Graham Penumbra from Stowmarket in Suffolk.
Graham, 41, a systems analyst in the baked bean sector, takes the same train to work every morning in order to get money to buy things. Despite his pasty complexion and Alfred Hitchcockian physique, Graham is a sun worshipper, so much so in fact that every year, on the first Monday in April.
He leaves his work suit in the wardrobe and instead, heads off to work in his ‘summer uniform’ – a pair of shorts and sandals. He does this regardless of whether the outlook is sunny or overcast. He calls it ‘being prepared’. He learned it when he was a sixer in the cub scouts.
If you haven’t heard of the cub scouts, imagine an auxiliary Christian army of young boys, dressed like a benign version of the Hitler Youth, wandering around campsites, playing games, gathering kindling, and sewing badges wonkily onto their jerseys – and doing all of the aforementioned in a constant state of preparedness for whatever might come next.
In common with many other vitamin D-deprived Brits, Graham spends most of ‘the summer’ waiting… waiting for it to begin, waiting for the sun, waiting, generally for the yin to winter’s yang. All of this waiting is heaped on top of Graham’s default setting of waiting for his life to begin. Bean counting is OK, but it’s not what Graham had in mind when he was orienteering through Thetford forest at midnight with his torch and compass as a member of the 1st Combs Cub Pack in 1991.
Dyb, dyb, dyb
I caught up with Graham on the 07:22 to Bury St Edmunds and asked him: Graham, what is the Cub Scout Law?
“ A Cub Scout always does their best, thinks of others before themselves and does a good turn every day.”
And the Cub Scout Promise?
“I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and to the King, to help other people and to keep the Cub Scout Law.”
Graham, you are doing your best. As much as anyone could ask, and for that… we salute you!