Tales of Village Life - Don't imagine it's all cows and coffee mornings

@boiboing (12524)
Northampton, England
November 10, 2015 4:49am CST
Most people have a pretty chintzy impression of English village life. They imagine it's very twee, very genteel and that nothing much ever really happens. That may well be the impression TV and Radio likes to give, but is it real? I live in a large village of around 5000 people and we have a very vibrant village Facebook page with nearly 1600 followers. I'm repeatedly astounded by what people get upset about in the village so I thought I'd give you a few glimpses into what goes on and what gets people worked up. Normally it's dog poo and the state of the football pitch (and the bad language of the footballers) but today it seems we have a crime syndicate hanging out at the primary school. Today a father is posting that someone at the primary school has taken his son's school coat and he just can't understand how any parent could fail to notice that their kid went home in a different coat from the one he was wearing when went to school. This post has lots of responses. Then I see that my neighbour from two doors away says HER son Owen has also lost his coat. Another mum says her boy's coat's gone too. Could there be an international crime ring doing a roaring trade in kids coats? Probably not. I expect a couple of kids went to school without their coats, saw it was raining and grabbed one off the peg. Now their mums are too ashamed to bring them back Admittedly it's not quite 'Midsummer Murders' but I'm pretty sure the Facebook group will work this up into a major 'incident' a la 'Coatgate'.
15 people like this
15 responses
@Rollo1 (16725)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Nov 15
The Boy used to go to school in a coat or jacket and come home without it. When it got to the point he didn't have any more options, he'd have to bring one or two home again. The Girl used to shop in the "Lost & Found" bin. I was very ashamed of her, but discovered it was quite the normal practice for middle schoolers and some students dropped things they didn't want in the Lost & Found so they wouldn't have to wear them again. I think all parents are being scammed and kids don't deserve ANY coats at all!!!!! And yes, we all expect villages to be very quaint and picturesque but filled with adulterous and murderous quaint people. Actually, I would feel very safe in an English village unless Joyce Barnaby showed up. Then I would get out before the murders ensued.
3 people like this
@katsmeow1213 (28947)
• United States
10 Nov 15
I can understand the frustration of the parents, especially if they paid a lot of money for those coats. It's not cheap to put kids in clothing these days!
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
10 Nov 15
Absolutely true. I don't understand how a parent could see their kid come home in a different coat and not do something about it.
• United States
10 Nov 15
@boiboing Kids are funny. My youngest once decided to give one of his t-shirts to a friend because it was a Star Wars shirt and that friend liked Star Wars. The father met me at basketball one night and returned the shirt, I didn't even know it was missing until then, LOL.
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
10 Nov 15
@katsmeow1213 Clearly a need for wardrobe stock-taking in your house!
@PhredWreck (6095)
10 Nov 15
Or maybe someone is stealing them and donating them to 'Coats International' trying to make themselves look good for being 'charitable'...
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
10 Nov 15
Don't start! You'll have them blaming 'immigrants' next.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (53004)
• Pleasant Hill, California
10 Nov 15
The horror! I've actually seen things like that here. Charitable, my ear!
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16858)
• Ireland
10 Nov 15
@boiboing I was accused of being an "immigrant" once, by the Irish... .
@jaboUK (50778)
• United Kingdom
10 Nov 15
'Coatgate'!! Priceless. As you say, how could the parents not do anything about it? I don't remember my kids losing anything major, but it was a long time ago.
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
10 Nov 15
I think you've just inspired my next post. Thank you.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50778)
• United Kingdom
10 Nov 15
@boiboing Huh? I suppose I'll have to wait to see what you mean.
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
10 Nov 15
@jaboUK Actually not my next one. The one after. I've been reminded of something that happened to my mum when she was a little girl. I think it might be a nice post.
@Drosophila (16858)
• Ireland
10 Nov 15
As am not a parent.. I can only imagine what my thoughts would be.. Why did the thief..nick the coat and not the kid? Could've saved me more trouble that way. xD
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
10 Nov 15
Stealing a coat gets you a slap on the wrist. Stealing a kid gets you locked up for years.
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16858)
• Ireland
10 Nov 15
@boiboing That is indeed true. Perhaps the mothers that was raving about lost coats failed to mention their sons had came back with a different coat.
@blitzfrick (2996)
• United States
13 Nov 15
I think the kids got together and conspired to see how much furor they could stir up on Facebook, and the coat thing was their plan on how to do it. I mean, you gotta watch those kids, they're smarter than we are.
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
13 Nov 15
They're certainly smarter about social media.
1 person likes this
@marlina (62548)
• Canada
10 Nov 15
I remember when our oldest son got his brand new Nike running shoes. We were so upset and never got them back. After this, we sent him to school with cheap shoes. Of course, they were never touched!
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
10 Nov 15
It's terrible isn't it? If you can't trust kids in a school, who can you trust.
1 person likes this
• Grand Haven, Michigan
10 Nov 15
OR the coat thieve ring just WANTS you to think it was just an accident so it can continue to supply the black market clothing underground. There may be a lot of money in cotton and polyester.
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
10 Nov 15
This passes for excitement and intrigue in the countryside.
1 person likes this
@CRanney (451)
• Wingham, Ontario
10 Nov 15
Interesting it is called a village. Here in Canada I think it would be considered a town (just my first thought). As for the coats-- oh memories..my kids used to come home with lost mittens all the time. Usually they would be out in the play area. For the life of me I could never understand how their hands wouldn't freeze to the point of them noticing Oh-- I am missing one mitten.
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
10 Nov 15
When we were kids our gloves were put on long knitted strings that went down the sleeves of our coats so we wouldn't lose them. Your comment on towns/villages is interesting. I even went to Wikipedia to get you more info: "A village is distinguished from a town in that: A village should not have a regular agricultural market, although today such markets are uncommon even in settlements which clearly are towns. A village does not have a town hall nor a mayor. If a village is the principal settlement of a civil parish, then any administrative body that administers it at parish level should be called a parish council or parish meeting, and not a town council or city council. There should be a clear green belt or open fields" We are at the top end of size for a village but we meet all the definition criteria.
@valmnz (13198)
• New Zealand
13 Nov 15
Oh dear, it does seem to have become exaggerated! WhenI was teaching parents often dragged their kids into classing making them front up to taking home something that wasn't theirs.
@PainsOnSlate (19253)
• Canada
10 Nov 15
I love a good mystery and am glad my kids are grown... I don't remember any of them missing a coat.
@Jessicalynnt (48191)
• Centralia, Missouri
10 Nov 15
hahaha, a missing coat ring! That made me giggle
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
10 Nov 15
Village Life is not for me lol I have tried it once and did not like it because it seems everyone knows everyone and gossip is terrible and like what you have just said everything is revealed on Facebook lol but you never know with it being posted on Facebook the Coats might turn up again
@kevinakash (1966)
• Sri Lanka
10 Nov 15
the whole world specially parents have to bear many hardships for the sake of their beloved children
@scheng1 (24947)
• Singapore
10 Nov 15
That seems like a very busy way of life. I think compared to life in the city, life in the village is still more relaxing. Over here, most people do not know their neighbors. Fortunately for us, all our neighbors keep the doors open when we are home. In some flats, most people shut the door, and you really do not know if anyone is home or who your neighbor is. That means nobody will set up such Facebook page for others to interact.