The residents of the village of Aston Tinker, somewhere off the M5, have drawn up a petition to rid their streets of a long-standing scourge. The locals are proud of their quaint English customs, but one tradition has been ruffling a lot of feathers in Aston Tinker: Morris Dancing.
The strange sight of beardy middle-aged bouffant-shirted hipsters with bells on their ankles and garlands around their necks may be normal in somewhere like London’s Shoreditch, but in Aston Tinker, people are having none of it. With a population of only 681, and a plague pit dating back to the 15th century, it is feared that the peaceful character of this sleepy village are at stake.
Local undertaker and petition organiser, Reuben Netherfield, explains the situation. “They come jingling down Goose Lane in the morning, all 12 of them, and start up in front of Ladbrokes. They have sticks which they clatter together, and stupid flowery hats which they throw into the air at the end. It’s a God-awful din. They’ve got to go.”
Starbucks barista Emily Bellamy agrees. “We haven’t had such a wanton display of mayhem since the Hell’s Angels used to meet in the square regularly in the 80’s. In fact, I’d rather have them in my coffee shop any day, than these so-called Morris Men. They’re just arseholes.”
Head Morris dancer, Maurice Clapper, doesn’t understand the fuss. “We’re only havin’ fun. Obviously, all the girls in the village are in love with us, and want to try on our hats. They’re our groupies, I suppose, we calls ’em The Tinkerbells. We get ’em pissed on elderflower wine and take them back to the cricket pavilion. They loves it.”
Cassie Halliday, 23, is one such groupie. “They’re so fit, with their baggy white trousers and bicycle clips, and pink elbow ribbons. Me and my mates like how dangerous they are. I’ve shagged about half of them.”