After a year dealing with estate agents I can only say: a plague on all their houses, except the one of mine they’re trying to sell.
I do hate being obvious and lashing out at oft maligned groups because it really is too clichéd. I belong to several of these hated groups myself, after all. Journalists, they get it in the neck all the time. And hunters. See Rod Liddle last week or Liz Jones the weekend before that for some classic examples of how the left rip me to shreds whenever I dare to suggest that I would like to keep the countryside a nice place in which to live.
Liddle moans that he is sick of hearing about my ‘bloody horse ’, and wonders why I don’t like the skies being full of artificially boosted numbers of marauding red kites when my surname suggests I am one.
Rod, my dear man, as you well know, I am not a red kite, I am a blue kite, and blue kites are not birds of prey. I am a tough old bird, however. I have to be, to put up with the sort of grief I get in this lunatic world, where anyone with any kind of experience of rural reality gets told they are evil for wanting man to remain at the top of the food chain, with a place in the ecosystem, and yes, boss of the foxes and the packs of wolves and the wild bloody Eurasian lynxes. There, I’ve sworn too now. He’s dragged me down to his level. This is the danger. At some point, the civilised descend into the anarchic primordial soup to do battle with the loons and everyone starts scrabbling about in the swamp, chucking muck at each other and screaming like harpies about whether or not we should be eaten by wolves, wild cats and, in all likelihood, if they get any bigger, foxes.
That we are actually having a debate about rereleasing packs of wolves in Britain, because Rod Liddle would really like to see some, you know, locally, rather than having to travel at great expense to Poland, tells you everything you need to know.
The left are becoming extinct so fast that they want to hurry it up by releasing savage predators in a bid to put themselves out of their misery. Their instinct for survival gone, they wish only for the end, a terrible ripping of flesh and then darkness. A blessed relief. Extinction. No more Corbyn, no more Miliband. Just ravening beasts eating everything that moves.
I could get into bed with all this. I could say I yearn for the day when Brian May meets an angry badger, Chris Packham meets an angry lynx, Rod Liddle, while running from a pack of wolves near Inverness, encounters a swooping monster kite (not me, the bird variety; he keeps getting confused about that so I’d better spell it out for him) and Ricky Gervais slips over outside his £10 million London mansion on a pile of fox doo.
But I won’t, because I am not bitter and twisted.
Unlike Ms Jones, who simply states that she wants me culled because I don’t like cats. The fact that I do like cats, am on record as liking cats, have kept bloody sodding cats all my life (here I go again, you see) doesn’t seem to bother her.
Possibly, Ms Jones and Mr Liddle might get together to try to cull me by ambushing me while I am out on my ‘bloody horse’, although I doubt they could aim a gun straight, even if they asked Packham to help them — particularly if they asked Packham to help them.
All in all, as countless people have pointed out, if you’re attacked by Rod Liddle and Liz Jones in one week you’ve got to be doing something right.
Unlike estate agents, who, I have to say, are so tiresome as to enforce all stereotypical notions about them.
Briefly, because I’ve got to go now and see to my ‘bloody horse’, I sacked one agent for dropping the price too low and hired another on the basis that they would market it for more. As soon as I signed with the new one, they told me they would have to drop the price to what the previous agent was asking, but would not be charging me the 1 per cent of the previous agent, they would be charging me 1.5 per cent.
And when I then sacked them and returned to the first agent, they served me notice that, as I had signed a contract with them, if this original agent now sells it, I will owe both the selling agent 1 per cent and them their 1.5 per cent, which they will come for, I can be assured. Like a pack of wolves.