Sunday, February 13, 2011

Yes that will work

I'm not a good gardener, mostly because I'm lazy in not wishing to waste my time in that respect, but also because if there were such a thing as the opposite of green fingers I've pretty much got it locked. Still I appreciate the talent of my friends, family and neighbours who turn their gardens into horticultural wonderlands of colour and edibles.
There's a whole world of flower shows and vegetable competitions out there that I have no real interest in other than wandering through mostly thinking my, that's pretty, or my that's huge, I know there are certain criteria that have to be met too, though the rules are often obscure, I'm also told that jealousy runs rife in those communities whose idea of fun this is. I was brought up in a North East of England where prize leeks were grown and exhibited and learned a few of the tricks fierce rivals were prepared to go to to wreck a competitors chances, so this story doesn't surprise me at all.
Still I wouldn't have thought that the best way to deal with a worthy champion of the art would be to ask him not to bother anymore.

It is the ultimate accolade for a keen vegetable grower – a 73-year-old has been told not enter his village gardening competition because he is too good.
David Stirzaker has been asked by the organisers of the North Cadbury and District Horticultural Society, in Somerset, not to exhibit his produce at its annual show, because his impressive record at the event is discouraging others from taking part.
Mr Stirzaker – who has won 12 cups at the show in just four years, for his prize-winning carrots, parsnips and tomatoes – has pledged to take the matter to the Royal Horticultural Society.
"This is my hobby and I have been supporting their show for four years. I find the request very insulting – it is a competition so I would have thought it is down to other growers to try harder if they want to beat me," he said.
"I want nothing more to do with the society. I won't be showing there again and I have told them that they can come and collect their trophies."
You can't really imagine it happening in Formula 1 or any sporting activity, champions are champions after all and I doubt that he's putting off others from entering, simply setting the standard of what it takes to win. I might be wrong, but this has all the hallmarks of a jealous rival nobbling their competitor because they are better.

4 annotations:

All Seeing Eye said...

On the other hand, he should be a bit relieved that they've been so up-front about it.

As you hint, the alternative would be people pouring poison on his plants and wielding a pruning knife in the dead of night. Village communities get torn apart that way.

Goodnight Vienna said...

I can't imagine Vettel stepping aside, not even for Weber, on the grounds that he's the best so someone else should have a go.

This crazy thinking is spreading world-wide - and I don't like it. There's nothing wrong with healthy competition, whether it's between schoolchildren, job interviewees or vegetable growers. I know what goes into keeping a garden in tip-top condition for competitions and I feel sorry for this 73-yr old whose garden is obviously his pride and joy.

Captain Haddock said...

The very notion that there should or indeed could be competition in life .. that there could or should be winners & losers was totally anathema to ZaNuLiebore & they made damned sure to force that ethos onto Schools etc at each and every opportunity ..

This in turn has been assimilated into the greater sub-concious to the extent that if anyone is perceived as being "too good" .. he or she should somehow be castigated or at the very least discouraged ..

Is it any wonder that Britain struggles to produce anything like top-class Athletes ?

Yet another ill, with which we've been collectively saddled & which may be laid firmly at the door of B'liar & Co ..

English Pensioner said...

Unfortunately this is a fact of life. You can't force people to enter competitions, particularly where the only prize is a certificate and self-satisfaction.
I used to keep bees and the local bee-keepers' society had an annual competition for the best in various categories of honey. By the time I gave up bee-keeping (because I could no longer lift the hives), there was only one or two entrants each year from maybe fifty members as the same person invariably won, with the result that the competition was abandoned.
Similarly, with our local bellringers. There is an inter-tower striking competition each year, but of some forty towers eligible to enter, we now only get maybe four or so actually entering because they know they don't stand a chance.
At least this club is facing the facts and trying to avoid the competition dwindling away from lack of interest.