In the library I found they had a copy of a Hunter S. Thompson book – The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967 – which I hadn’t read, but then discovered that some twisted local, presumably the previous borrower, hadn’t so much taken it out to enjoy the adventures in Gonzo journalism which lay within because they’d been using it to press wild flowers instead. I knew this as, with my Sherlock Holmes-like skill, I detected evidence remaining within the book’s pages of some sort of large daisy; mostly because it was still wedged in there.
I do love a local legend; the affectionate term for the group of characters who, combined, can be defined as the people who make our communities unique; whilst, individually, they can be summed up as that nutter who lives down the road. I once found a national website called Local Legends, compiled from local contributions, which chronicled some of these hardy heroes who clog up our high streets. Looking up the local area the most amusing feature seemed to be someone called Mad Denis who had a biography which lets the reader know that he’s mad, and that he’s ginger, and that he’s well known for “showing off his large belly and shouting “I am the Lord” at the top of his voice”. I like it how his biographer felt compelled to finish off this Who’s Who entry with: “Not to be approached”.