Dead at the wheel in Croydon

The story is simple: a man in Australia was given a parking ticket despite being in his car at the time. The attendant didn’t notice him, having approached the car from the rear, and put the ticket on the passenger windscreen.

The twist is that the man in the car was dead, and it was nine days since he had been reported missing. Apparently the parking officer is ‘extremely distressed to have learned of the situation’, which is understandable because it must be quite a nasty thing to find that you missed.

More here.

So, an oddity but not beyond belief by any means, what really astonishes me is that this took place in an area of Melbourne called ‘Croydon Market’.

Many of you reading this will probably not know of Croydon, but it’s generally regarded as one of the most dreary, miserable, soulless places in the UK. I grew up there and I have a peculiar fondness for its monolithic 1960s architecture. For some reason I like the huge lumps of concrete looming into the sky. I find it particularly amusing that the council, in an effort to make the place appear nicer, decided to set up coloured lights to shine on the buildings at night. Now, instead of huge dark rectangles in the night they have eerie spectral-hued buildings lurching like forgotten geometric gods in the sky. Fantastic! That perks the place up! Of all the places in the world that you could name your location after, why choose Croydon? I realise it was probably some home-sick convict long ago who named it, but even then I find the idea quite amusing.

To give some perspective to people who don’t know Croydon or its reputation here’s an example. The BBC cult TV series Red Dwarf is set three million years in the future. The human race is reduced to one man who is stranded a massive distance from earth. This man has extremely low standards of hygiene and etiquette, and even he thinks that Croydon is a dump. Yep, that’s the place that I called home. It probably shaped a lot of my attitude to cities and the bizarre sense of humour, because I think you’ve got to have a bit of a laugh if you live there otherwise you’ll turn into a psycho and start attacking church goers with a sword while naked (which happened a little while ago just outside Croydon).

Now sing along with me (to the tune of ‘Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner’:

Maybe it’s because I’m a Croydoner,
That I think the human race is doomed!
Maybe it’s because I’m a Croydoner,
That I love buildings that loom.
I get a funny feeling inside of me
Just walking up and down. (Which could be a knife)
Maybe it’s because I’m a Croydoner
That I love Croydon Town.

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