Somerset and the West Country are favourite retirement areas for wrinklies of all shapes and sizes, mainly from oop North, where the climate is less agreeable.
It is akin to the Elephant graveyard, where old bulls and cows come to die, and with the advances in medical science, are taking longer and longer to do so. In the meantime, they clutter up the check out tills at their local supermarket, and drive home at 4 mph. Bless them!
Summer time is also a time when the warmer weather brings out the worst in the Great British bull and cow, and no more so than the outfits on show in public. Whilst this phenomenon is not confined to wrinklies, they do tend to stand out from the herd like a sore toe. I have learnt to live with singlets, tattoos, shorts displaying legs that should never be on show, even in the privacy of the home, but I draw the line at bare horny feet, with discoloured and unclipped nails, encased in Resurrection sandals.
And where is Health and Safety when you need them most? It cannot be hygienic under any circumstances for these feet to be paraded when food is being sold.
With this in mind, I have been researching the law on indecent exposure, and correct me if I’m wrong, but there seem to be two separate offences. The first is the common law offence which, in general terms, covers all open lewdness, grossly scandalous behaviour, and whatever openly outrages decency or is offensive and disgusting, or is injurious to public morals by tending to corrupt the mind and destroy the love of decency, morality and good order. These are indictable offences with unlimited fines and imprisonment.
There is also an offence of exposure under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which on the face of it, seems to be confined to the male genitals. If I am right, then there is no offence committed if a female exposes her genitalia. A curious distinction, and possibly sexist.
I have concluded, sadly, that neither offence covers the indecent exposure of horny feet, and more’s the pity. But let’s not be fainthearted. Despite the swingeing cuts in public finances heralded by George Osborne, local councils are still recruiting for completely naff jobs. So why not a horny foot inspector with ‘on the spot’ fines?
Something needs to be done, and done quickly, to stamp out, or on, this malaise before it reaches epidemic proportions.