Luke’s Ringwood

Crayfish Are The New Arms Dealers

Luke Hall

Moses must have been a frequent visitor to the outskirts of Hampshire, honing his sea-parting skills, as over the years the river Avon spread wider and wider like the legs a sex starved librarian. This gin clear river is like a middle-aged man on their 3rd divorce who has decided now that love just isn’t worth it anymore, that enough is enough and it’s time to let themselves go.

These dietary cock-ups are not down to oil spills or segways however, but small lobster like Crayfish. They toddle along the river floor burrowing holes for food and shelter, leaving craters, collapsed banks, and flooded sinkholes in their wake. They are very much the arms dealers of the aquatic world. In a bid for their means of prosperity they turf up the land, pull apart the environment in great chunks expanding the river, thus begins the great pursuit England’s very own Caspian sea.

Imagine that, if left to their own devices, these creatures will evolve to become the fishy equivalent of Genghis Khan. They will stride along the river floors of counties, burrowing, until there is nothing but a small Ritz cracker resting on the lips of the last man standing on a small island surrounded by crayfish.

Shocked to have discovered the world’s most secretive threat, I pondered for the rest of my walk along the gravel and grass banks, how does a man well clear of 22 possibly rescue humanity from total, although timely, annihilation? At first I thought repeated attempts of urinating into the river after a few pints may succeed in deterring the clawed menace, but to no avail.

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Then it suddenly occurred to me, the arms dealer analogy. Perhaps the local town of Ringwood would have just what I need; An antique sea mine.

Disaster, as I snapped my lighter shot from the top of the street, I could look with envy at the town’s wealth of all but a historic sea mine. Ringwood’s saving grace came as I walked up the Elizabethan pavement, peering in at what the average homeowner with their £380,000 house could buy. Trendy cocktails from an over 21s bar, haircuts from a plethora of barbers and salons, and what seemed to be its most notable market: diamonds. Per capita, the bling ratio is off the charts

In the event of a recession, this is the town to be in. The vast amount of gold bullion tucked down the trouser leg of Ringwood’s better off residents could likely collapse the economy of a small nation

On the outskirts sat a small pedestrian square called the “Furlong Centre”, garnished with a bronze statue of a majestic steed with its young, and a courtyard café. Here lay the more Savile Row end of Ringwood’s spectrum. Shoe shops and ‘Jager’ brands touted their silk and mohair wares, and ensured no inconvenient chills in the body or soul as you head off to secure more conflict diamonds for your treasure chest.

One of the more compelling items on the square was a barn converted furniture store. A quick peek inside revealed it to carry more than simple cabinets and bedside tables; An oak shark that serves absolutely no purpose at all? Go for it! How about a pine monkey for the landing, or the head of a Cyberman from Dr Who? It’s yours to take for a fair price! The more I think about it, the more I regret not buying that giant bust of Cleopatra.

I felt empowered, like a gender pay gap activist witnessing that treacherous gap filled by a progressive femefish. The solution to combating that other fishy menace that continued to plague the outskirts of Ringwood wasn’t to be found in the gender studies classroom, but at the furniture shop. It came in the form of a giant wooden turtle; it was to be my Trojan horse, my peacekeeper, the bullet to my rifle, and the ink to my pen of social justice. For £150 it was to be mine to cast into the water and show the Crayfish that this nut was not for cracking.

Editor: Joel Emmons

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