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Blair Park (standard:Satire, 2132 words)
Author: red1holsAdded: Sep 25 2003Views/Reads: 2894/1766Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
I'm trying my hand at a touch of satire. What other way have I to bring attention to a subject that I feel strongly about.

Before I was called up, I used to relish my time with Grandpa. After
fetching him from the retirement home, we would walk around the town. 
As we walked, he would tell his stories of the olden days, before the 
days of the ‘Borton Well-Being Committee'. How I loved those stories. 
It was the way that Grandpa could weave a tale plus the thrill, danger 
and romance of life in the early Twenty-First Century. 

Now he's gone. Taken to the great Osteopath in the sky. Now there is one
last act of devotion to perform. 

I decide to walk to Blair Park rather than take the shuttle bus. When we
were together we always walked. Wind, rain or shine, Grandpa insisted 
on that. 

“I might be old, but that is no excuse not to look after myself!” He
would scold if I suggested anything else. 

As soon as I reach the park, memories of Grandpa flood back. My eyes
sting and there is an annoying itch in my throat that swallowing won't 
shift.  Trying to find a place to be alone, I wander from the path. 
Even though there aren't many people about, the park is too small to 
give solitude. In the end I hide myself amongst some overgrown shrubs. 

“Here you are Grandpa, just like you asked.” Tears well up in my eyes. 

The leaves on the bushes rustle and I hear Grandpa's voice with its
ever-present hint of a laugh. “Good lad! This'll do just fine.” 

It was only a year ago that he had told me he wanted his ashes scattered
here. It seemed a strange choice. I saw a small pocket park in the 
middle of a sprawling, late Elizabethan housing estate. Grandpa saw 
what used to be. 

“You see all of this?” His gnarled, leathery hand made an arc from the
derelict business park to the very edge of the housing estate. “All of 
this land used to be sports pitches.” 

There was only bland and unimaginative planning from the turn of the
century, Grandpa saw row upon row of manicured pitches. He pointed out 
where the old cricket pavilion stood and dug his heel into some soft 
turf where he claimed to have had his most glorious sporting moment. 

“You played football?” I was incredulous that my grandfather played a
sport long since banned because of the number of serious injuries. 

Grandpa laughed and in a hushed whisper went on. “I played rugby too.
Quite a decent prop forward in my day, even if I do say so myself.” 

I looked at him with awe. My Grandpa had actually played rugby! A sport
so brutal that people had been known to actually die during a game! 
Rugby was banned long before other competitive sports. It was difficult 
to believe that my own Grandfather had played games where people were 
classified as losers and had their self-esteem diminished. 

“I wonder if Tony Blair appreciates the irony?” 

“Who's Tony Blair?” My question caused Grandpa to spin round and face me
as if surprised. 

“He's the guy they named this park after.” Grandpa gave a gruff laugh.
“This was supposed to ensure that his memory would live forever. Some 
good it did eh? Youngsters today haven't got a clue about him. Come on. 
There's something else I want to see.” 

We wandered out of the park and onto the housing estate. After a few
hundred yards we came to the Borton Wellness Centre. The modern fitness 
centre gleamed behind high walls and security gates. 

“There you are lad. That's where the Borton Sports and Social Club
stood. That's were we used to go after a match and have a beer or two.” 

It's difficult to know what surprised me more; the fact that Grandpa had
been a member of the Borton Wellness Centre or that he drank alcohol. 

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