Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

The incident I am about to recount I make no judgment about, other than that I believe it tells us where we are in the cycle of civilisation and that it is helping me orientate myself.

A friend of mine was walking her dogs at the same beauty spot I walk my spaniels, when a car screeched into the car park sending children scurrying for their lives. My friend ran up and knocked on the window and the window was wound down to reveal a man in a dress and blond wig. My friend said, 'What are you doing? You could have killed a child. Slow down!' And the man replied, 'But I'm a transvestite.'

My friend tried to pursue the issue, pointing out that, be that as it may, he couldn't speed or run over children. But he countered that suggestion by bursting into tears. And at that point she had no choice. She had to desist. Her argument was defunct. She was intellectually, morally and politically beaten. The speeding transvestite had upheld his right to drive in the manner he felt most expressed him, given the cultural and societal stresses he was under. He was validated. He was beautiful in every single way. Words would not bring him down. Certainly, no farmer's wife in wellies was going to bring him down today. And so on.

Now, for my next trick I am going to tell you about another incident that happened to me in the same vicinity the other day on my way to the horses. It was a very cold, frosty morning, minus two at 7 a.m., and I was worried about the troughs being frozen.

But a road worker flagged me down by a line of cones and attempted to stop me just shy of the field where my horses live. He told me I could go no further as they were about to start tarmacing the road. I must take a 20-minute diversion.

'In 20 minutes the horses could be dead from dehydration colic if the tanks are frozen,' is all I could think. So I shouted a lot of hysterical stuff about livestock that I hoped sounded baffling, adding, 'And anyway, I know what you're doing. You're filling Tony's pothole, which you should have filled years ago!'

Tony is a local guy who has been trying to get the council to fill the small pothole outside his front gate for several centuries, or so it seems. …

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