The Elastic Band Theory Article I | Local homeowners complain about neighbour’s elastic garden ornaments

Title for The Elastic Band Theory Article I by Francesca Burke

By Connor St. James, local reporter

4th September

Residents of Wisteria Avenue, Upton Chipping-on-the-River, have officially complained to Upton Chipping-on-the-River Council about the eccentric garden ornament choices of their neighbour, Ms. Tiffany Crawley.

According to the Wisteria Avenue Residents’ Group (WARG), Ms. Crawley, who is originally from Glasgow, is thought to have moved to the Cotswolds eight years ago from the Turks and Caicos Islands. During that time she has become infamous for eccentric behavior, such as adding infrared CCTV cameras and booby traps to her home, and installing a small moat around her house. The real issue arose, however, when she installed an unusual statue on her front lawn: a life-sized effigy of Sandro Botticelli’s paining The Birth of Venus, made entirely from elastic bands.

‘We could cope with the moat,’ said Mrs. Barbara Ophelia Nightingale Masters-Preston, President of WARG. ‘We don’t mind that she’s a bit eccentric, because she always says hello when she goes into the shops and always stops in to the local town hall meetings. We don’t mind that she occasionally has international guests and throws parties that last into the small hours and never invites us. We don’t even mind that she voted Remain, because obviously she is from Turkey. But we do mind about her strange fascination with making things from elastic bands. The statue is an eyesore, and it must be removed.’

It seems that in the past eight years, Ms. Crawley has purchased around 80,000 rubber bands in different shapes and sizes, and has constructed small models out of them. A drawbridge made from woven elastic bands crosses her moat. She wears a necklace made from elastic bands on a regular basis. When contacted for comment, Ms. Crawley would only say, ‘I’m not from Turkey, although I don’t know why that would have anything to do with my Brexit vote. Or my elastic bands.’

‘We all know that she earnt her money in… unsavory circumstances,’ Mrs. Nightingale Masters-Preston told us. ‘She’s really quite open about the fact she used to be married to a drug lord or a people trafficker or an investment banker. I mean, she’s never said which, but when tax season rolls around she’s always joking about shell companies in the Cayman Islands and recommending that we all think of inventive ways to tie up our assets. But that just does not excuse those awful statues!’

Mrs. Crawley has refused to remove the statue, which has become something of a tourist attraction and has its own account on Instagram. As there is no law against lawn ornaments, it seems that lodging an official complaint with the local council is the only thing WARG can do.

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Thank you to Liz for critiquing! Article II coming 28th January for patrons; online 31st January.

© Francesca Burke 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Francesca Burke and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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