Was cafe scene ob­scene? It’s in mind of be­holder

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Happy Ending After Puppies Stolen -

Ihave never, to the best ex­tent of my mem­ory, been one to fall about the floor laugh­ing. Nor have I when com­mu­ni­cat­ing elec­tron­i­cally ever used the acro­nym ‘ lol’.

A manly smile is all that is needed to in­di­cate an amused mind.

There were two items in last week’s edi­tion of this noble or­gan, how­ever, which might well have pro­voked an un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally ex­treme re­ac­tion.

I re­fer, of course, firstly to the piece on page four about a pruri­ent mind’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a piece of art­work dis­played on the wall of the De­signer Out­let’s Caffe Nero shop.

Three young men, we are asked to be­lieve, are shown ‘leer­ing’ at a young girl ap­proach­ing a mo­tor scooter as she walks along a pas­sage, pre­sum­ably an ar­cade. One ex­pla­na­tion, I sug­gest, is that the men in ques­tion are the girl’s brother and two of his pals whom she has asked to keep an eye on her scooter while she does some shop­ping.

A pic­ture - any pic­ture - is open to any num­ber of in­ter­pre­ta­tions. The artist Toulouse Lautrec painted a pic­ture of a lady sit­ting at her dress­ing ta­ble, watched by a man.

The ob­scen­ity po­lice re­acted with out­rage. ‘This’ they said, ‘clearly de­picts a pros­ti­tute and her client’. Lautrec’s ex­pla­na­tion was very dif­fer­ent; the paint­ing was of a com­mon do­mes­tic scene, where a hus­band waits im­pa­tiently for his wife to com­plete her cos­metic prepara-

‘Three young men, we are asked to be­lieve, are shown ‘leer­ing’ at a young girl.’

tions for a night out at the opera.

Just as beauty is in the eye of the be­holder, so is ob­scen­ity in the be­holder’s mind.

Smile num­ber two came on page 18, where a head­line ran; ‘Po­lice chief says iPads can re­place lost bob­bies’. This fatu­ous state­ment is credited to our new Chief Con­sta­ble, Alan Pugh­s­ley, who is shown grin­ning widely, pre­sum­ably as the con­no­ta­tions of his dec­la­ra­tion hit home to him.

He tells us that is­su­ing cop­pers with iPads is the way to keep them on the streets where we’ll be able to see them, rather than hav­ing them nip off to the po­lice sta­tion to do their pa­per­work.

Our streets are al­ready made haz­ardous enough by girlies of all ages and both sexes scut­tling along, heads down, tex­ting their im­mor­tal thoughts to the world. Are we now go­ing to be ploughed into by bob­bies do­ing the same thing?

What­ever the out­come, it’s good to know we have a Chief Con­sta­ble with a sense of hu­mour.

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