Friday, June 11, 2010

Waiting for the fur to fly

 The appearance of last week’s ramblings got yours truly into a certain amount of trouble.

Some colleagues felt that the shameless and extended plug for a certain Open Garden event in Weston this Sunday was in some way an abuse of its writer’s position.

And a female member of the Dixon household was, perhaps justifiably, a little bit miffed that her gentle and forbearing nature had been misrepresented both in print and online. Misrepresented to such a degree that, she contends, it amounts to defamation of character.

Yes, our cat is suing The Bath Chronicle for libel. With particular reference to the suggestion that she regularly lurks in the flower beds waiting to sink her claws into unsuspecting passers-by.

Now any hack worth his or her salt will have more than a passing acquaintance with McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists.

The current, 20th, edition covers such essential topics as court reporting, copyright, protection of sources and defamation.

But nowhere in its 570 pages does it suggest that a moggy may take her owner – or indeed her owner’s employer – to court. And even if she could, we’d have – courtesy of McNae’s – any number of defences.

Take your pick from justification, innocent dissemination, fair comment, privilege, qualified privilege and “other”. The cat hasn’t got a leg to stand on, litigation-wise.

 She can roll on her back and look cute all she likes, but at the end of the day we know she’s a lean, mean, ludicrously fluffy biting machine.

And rather than wasting her time and money dragging us through the courts, she’d be far better off going to the assistance of some of her larger feline cousins.

The San Francisco Fudge Factory, in Church Street, near Bath Abbey, is one of the sponsors of the Lions Of Bath 2010 project.

Their lion sculpture, The King of Fudge, took pride of place (geddit?) on the roof above the shop. The work of artist Gareth Sayers, The King is one of the simplest and most distinctive of the sculptures appearing across the city: a shiny chocolate head revealed by a peeled-back “mane” of gold foil.

He looks regally distinguished and good enough to eat, both at the same time.

Or at least he did, until some scumbag pushed him off his perch last Saturday night.

You wouldn’t really want to get inside the mind of the peasant who did it. It must be a rather dank, sweaty and unpleasant place if its owner’s idea of a good time is going to the trouble of climbing onto a roof and vandalising an attractive and valuable work of art. Enough said – anger is bad for the heart.

King of Fudge has been taken back to Lions’ Den central for repairs.

And let’s just hope the culprit doesn’t have a midnight encounter with the man-eater outside the Cork Vaults in James Street West. Because our cat would be more than happy to lend a paw.

No comments:

Post a Comment