Posted in Dom Dalston's Blog

Is stealing daffodils wrong?

Last Sunday I visited the The Imperial War Museum London.  I enjoyed the visit tremendously. I went there with my Wimbledon neighbour who is in her 80s. She enjoyed it too,  and the WWII part of the museum gently stirred tender memories of her childhood.

When we left the museum I turned back and realised how much the huge twin cannons outside the museum remind me of the eyes of a snail.

Then we strolled back through the grounds towards Elephant and Castle station. On the way my neighbour pointed out the daffodils that were signalling the change of the season, though I think spring is stuck in a traffic jam because the warm weather seems to be delayed.

Then we saw a little girl running through the daffodils in a cotton dress (it’s amazing how youngsters don’t feel the cold). She was picking the daffodils. How sweet, and then we saw her Mummy and Daddy. They had armfuls of these yellow spring heralds. Delightful. Well no, as my neighbour pointed out. “You can buy a bunch of daffs for a £1” What gave this family the right to take them for free?

Unfortunately for my neighbour I had been watching ‘Humanity’ the Ricky Gervaise stand-up show on Netflix. His brave and challenging sense of humour, combined with seeing the holocaust exhibition at the museum was making me feel more assertive and passionate than usual. I was determined to confront these daffodil Nazis and their perfect Aryan child. I was like good old Popeye just after he’d eaten his spinach. I was up for this. It might have been different if they had been a gang of knife wielding teenage boys! But we’re talking daffodils here, not mopeds.

I can’t remember exactly what I said, I was probably still a bit too high on holocaust/ Ricky Gervais spinach. But the reply that came back was. “These are only a few for Mummy.” Daddy then claimed that his daughter had simply been collecting the daffodils that had already fallen.

I said that we’d seen her picking them. At this point I think I had won the argument and as Ricky Gervais frequently says in Humanity, “I should have left it” as my next choice of language was unfortunate. I regret saying “I don’t mean to be an arsehole” because the little girl arrived with another 5 daffodils just at that moment. I think Daddy was about to have a go at me for using language like that in front of his daughter. I turned around to see that my neighbour had sensibly walked off and hidden herself behind a large sign in the park.

I was on my own, about to get my arse whooped for saying asshole* in front of an impressionable minor. Fortunately the spinach kicked in again and I quickly made an appeal to the mother. “You can buy a bunch of daffs for £1. These ones are supposed to be for everyone”.

Mummy nodded her head in resigned agreement. Then Daddy quickly said “Well, thank you very much, good day” and with that, in a very British way, we parted company.

My neighbour apologised for abandoning me, she was thrilled that I had spoken up and then she admitted that she used to pick flowers in the park when she was a little girl, but she’d always managed to avoid a ticking off from the park keeper. So the moral of the story kids is “don’t get caught”.

There’s a part in Humanity where R.G. talks about the way the posh newspapers ask him why he doesn’t have children. This exchange with the Mummy, the Daddy and their little girl reminded me of it for some reason.

R.G. says that there are three reasons he doesn’t have children.

  1. Because there are millions already
  2. They are ungrateful scroungers
  3.  He’d worry sick about them

Seeing these daffodil stealing thugs made me realise that becoming a parent gives humans the perfect justification they need to be selfish and self-indulgent. Suddenly no-one else in the whole world matters, just Mummy and Daddy and their little ones, who are the most beautiful and exquisite creatures in the world.

Of course there are those parents who don’t give a shit. They send their children to school dirty and hungry and not toilet trained because possibly they are too busy to be real parents, too busy watching a wide screen TV, staring at their social media, sharing pictures and whoring themselves for likes. Or just because they are both working night and day and there is still not enough money to be able to feed and cloth their children.  As another neighbour once told me. ‘It takes a boy to make a baby, but a man to raise it.’

So far from being miserable about not having any children, R.G. is right, much better to be glad and celebrate the fact or joke of the tragedy of it. Why cause yourself and others suffering by inflicting children on the world? Ricky would to be right to be worried sick about his children if he had them. Knife crime, which is predominately committed by young people is on the rise everywhere. Even in Hampstead, you don’t just see painter’s pallet knives. Mohammed Aadam, 20, was recently stabbed to death on Hampstead Road.

Why have children?

One of my friends shared a video with me about the fact that the number of Muslims in the world will soon outnumber the Christians because Christians aren’t having enough kids. According to the video Christians should have children so that they can be soldiers in an army against Islam. So they can go out and crusade for Christianity. Essentially so they can fight a war as the old testament commands! No wasting seeds (or daffodil bulbs).

A visit to the Imperial War Museum should put you right off this idea.

Judging from the video it looks like the Muslim faith has filled the gap in the market by encouraging sex (which is what people want to do anyway) and now Christians are going to have to start encouraging sex too if they want to regain market share. So maybe it’s a good time to start going to church now. Maybe religious venues could take over from night clubs. People could start going there to get laid (I know that some Priests have been doing this already for a long time, but I won’t dwell on it).

You see, this Ricky Gervais spinach is good stuff, it gets you talking, thinking and writing and I heartily recommend gulping it down and then wrestling it out with Brutus – but that’s enough homoerotic blogging from me.

I’ll just end by saying, enjoy the gift of free speech, many have fought for it at the expense of their own lives. But you’d better not enjoy the free daffodils by picking them otherwise you’ll have to fight me!


p.s. if you don’t get the Popeye references, don’t blame me, it’s your fault for being too young.

* I’m not sure of the correct way to spell arsehole. Americans spell it asshole. To me that’s somewhere you store your ass, where it can sleep and be fed, like a stable. An Arsehole is where the shit comes out. Though I suppose an ass does have a hole for that too. So the spelling is probably interchangeable. Let’s not be pedantic.





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Presenter Walking Wandsworth on Wadsworth Radio Sundays 8pm (London Time GMT)

Knock once for yes, twice for no.