Britain’s Bag Curse

BY JIM BROWNE

There is undoubtedly an art to decorating trees. During the Christmas season I stay well clear of the tinsel and baubles although I’ll happily step in to sort out the lights if there’s a bulb come loose or, as often happens chez Browne, a mouse in the garage where our lights are stored has munched through a wire.

The best decorated trees are the ones which have been garlanded by professionals. The Regent Street Norwegian, perhaps. Or the Red Square spectacular. Now that is what I call tree decoration at its very best.

So, why Britain’s dog walkers have decided that they are professional tree decorators is beyond me.

Wherever you walk with your dog these days, you’ll find branches of trees festooned with dog poo bags. Tied in neat bows and then left to dangle with their bulging contents – black and pink specks against the greens and browns of the Great British Countryside. A homage to dog poop seen everywhere.

There can be no other answer. We’ve become a nation of tree garlanders.

People can’t be such vagabonds that they are unable to carry their dogs’ excrement in tie-up bags as far as dog litter bins. Can they? Britain’s dog walkers must be seizing the opportunity and doing a Picasso. Why on earth else would they stick these unsightly bags on our trees and hedgerows? They must be part of some ingenious installation, no?

Surely these tree decorators are not so dumb as to believe the ads on the side of these pound shop acquisitions? That the bags are biodegradable and therefore they’ll melt away into nothingness in a few days along with their smelly contents?

I do not believe this for a minute. Brits are not so thick.

After all, the tree decorators walk the same paths day after day and can still see their bags hanging there a year later. Moreover, even if they did believe that these bags melt away, why would they hang them in places where their contents will fall on the very pavements and pathways they were diligently scooped up from in the first place?

If this is art, it has to stop. (I do wonder as councils and now dog poo vigilantes have started spraying dog mess pink).  As with the great shock art movements of the seventies and eighties, we are now immune, my fellow dog-walkers. The shock art you create by hanging your dog’s gubbins from trees in dog poop bags is tantamount to throwing your Big Mac carton out of your car window. It’s common and garden littering, perhaps worse.

You are not artistic.

You are not professional tree decorators.

You are savages, oiks and vandals.

So bloody well stop.

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