I woke this morning as a truly troubled man. My dreams having been entwined in visions of rogue pumpkin tendrils clambering over the ordered and structured world which I know and love so well. Because reports are emerging of a scourge of rampant vegetable growing besetting Bass Coast Shire (Council orders vegies out of nature strips, Sentinel-Times, July 30). So not only is it bad enough that wilderness areas such as the back streets of Cape Paterson have been allowed for so long to stay in their untamed and unfettered state, but now this plague upon the visual amenity of the shire is spreading to the nature strips of South Dudley!
Where next?! Is anywhere safe from these people, planting their uncontained and invasive growths wherever they please, intent upon choking our pristine streetscapes with their uncontrolled and repellent vegetation? It’s enough to make you want to find a dark uniform and a matching peaked cap with a close fitting visor that falls down hard upon your forehead, so that you could appoint yourself as ‘Inspector of Feral Fruits and Vegetables’ and poke about the place with your swagger stick, unearthing unregulated growths wherever they occur. You could then bail up these lunatics, staring them down through narrowed eyes and intoning in a flat and featureless voice such phrases as “Excuse me, sir, but do you have a permit for this pumpkin?”
And when they start hemming and hawing, you could go for the jugular, hitting them with such heavyweight responses as, “Sir, I have reason to believe that this pumpkin was grown on land controlled under the auspices of the Bass Coast Society for the Appreciation of Kerb and Channelling. So by the authority invested in me I am going to remove this vegetable to a designated place of eradication.” And what would they have to say to that? Nothing at all. You could then hit them with a 30 day notice to comply with the visual amenity regulations of the overriding umbrella group, The Victorian Kerb and Channelling Authority, of which I would be an inaugural member. These regulations, about to be enacted, would effectively contain all unsightly fruit and vegetable growing to within visual barriers erected inside the potential offender’s own backyard, thus allowing their neighbours to have full and undisturbed appreciation of the Kerb and Channel Art provided for their enjoyment.
All non-compliant vegetation could then be removed to the newly established Bass Coast Feral Plant Containment Facility/Community Garden. This would, of course, be surrounded by high voltage electrified fencing, so that if any pumpkin tendrils attempted to escape they would be charred to a fine black dust so as to teach them a lesson they wouldn’t be forgetting any time soon. So all hail the rise of the Supreme Kerb and Channellor, a position to which we all may aspire, especially me. My hope is that this high office will come complete with a huge four wheel drive tractor (preferably red) fitted with the mother of all roadside mowers so that I, should I ever rise to such lofty heights, could sally forth, with the brim of my cap pulled down low upon my brow and my freshly starched uniform glistening in the sun, ripping and rending all offending plant growths into total submission to the rule of by-law and order. So to the vegie growers of Bass Coast, be aware that a brave new world is upon you, and its motto is “Conform, Conform, Conform”.
So good luck to you, and have a nice day.