A FETE WORSE THAN DEATH?
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Take a stroll with us through the little sideroads of haulage, the diversions and detours, the quirky, the quixotic and the downright strange...
Just like Dr Doolittle, On the Margin talks to the animals. In fact, such is our love for our furred and feathered friends, we are regular St Franc ises (St Frances?) compared with some of our bear-baiting, fox-hunting colleagues. There's been many an occasion where we've even thought the animals were beginning to talk back— until we found ourselves on the doorstep at three in the morning trying to make friends with next-door neighbour's Doberman. Believe us; we still bear the scars. So, following an introduction threatening to become more long and winding than a Beatles compilation, we'd better cut to the chase, which in this case concerns Bulldogs.
It's not often that On the Margin gets invited to village fetes (not since that misunderstanding over the tombola prizes) but it looks very much as though Mack Trucks is extending a paw in our direction and telling us to put on our party frocks and head down to its annual Bulldog Roundup.
Contrary to what the name would lead you to believe, It's not an event for pro-celebrity dog wardens but Mack's all-singing, all-dancing, all-bulldog-walking fund-raising gala day in Hagerstown, Maryland. Although its list of events — drive a truck, Dunk-a-Mack, pony rides— reads like a range of activities straight out of the fundraiser for your local church steeple, it manages to garner around $100,000 each year for local charities, as opposed to the E12.50 profit and bottle of undrinkable fizz that most village affairs end up with. It's a heart-warming tale of a true American icon, the image of which is only slightly spoilt by the note at the end of the press release reminding us that Mack is proudly owned by the Volvo Group. As American as mom's meatballs and crispbread.
Now don't ask us what we were doing when we unearthed these two transport-related websites —suff ice to say there's a lot of weird stuff out there on the internet which leaves us rather unsettled in a sweaty-palmed sort of way —www.milkfloats.org.uk and www.chevettes.com (worth it for the picture captions alone).
Chevettes we can sort of understand (the poor man's Escort) but a site for milk floats? Although now you come to mention it they do have some sleek curves...