Sticking Flags in Stuff
"It's not theft. I'm staking a claim."
So says Harry Barrel, who for the last fifty years has been going round sticking flags into other people's stuff. At 76 years of age, Harry is a familiar sight around Doncaster and those outlying villages fortunate enough to be situated on a convenient bus route. Locals are used to seeing him thrusting flagpoles into things that don't belong to him, but which he thinks ought to. No one is clear about why he has chosen to terrorise Doncaster in particular, although it's fair to say that if he tried the same sort of nonsense in Glasgow, which is where he actually lives, the locals would most probably have sorted him out years ago.
His most recent spree saw him in court after he impaled a Volvo and then tried to make off with it - an enterprise destined for failure since, impressively, he managed to drive the flagpole straight through the engine block. The vehicle barely managed a cough and a splutter before the local rozzers arrived to effect an arrest.
In summing up, the judge congratulated Mr Barrel on his athleticism - such prodigious strength being especially impressive for someone in such an advanced state of decay - but suggested that perhaps his talents might be put to better use. It needs to be said that this feller was relatively new to the business of judging - he still had the price ticket in his wig - and had he been older and wiser he would have known that his advice would fall on stony ground. In this instance, as had happened so many times before, Mr Barrel was unrepentant and used the occasion of his trial to make his case.
"Putting flags in things is a perfectly legitimate way of legally transferring ownership of goods," Mr Barrel announced, much to the delight of the spectators and assembled media, who view him as a combination of folk hero and batty eccentric. He continued: "Whole empires have been founded on the principle of sticking flags in stuff. It is a noble tradition, which I intend to continue, no matter what the consequences."
Mr Barrel was led away, accompanied by loud cheers, and it is reported that the court usher requested his autograph.
Some of the items that Mr. Barrel has 'claimed' over the years.