The Ventilator

Incorporating The Ranger's Blog


The Ranger has a topless meeting

Matthew Chatfield
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Become a ranger – save the environment with your bare hands, whilst getting plenty of fresh air and exercise… or so The Ranger imagined when he signed up many years ago. there’s a bit of that – but these days it’s more likely to be saving the countryside by attending meetings about such excitements as anti-skid surfacing.

Meeting © clagnut

Still, it’s not all gloom: how about this – all The Ranger’s meetings last week were topless. Yes, topless. But before you get too worried, be assured it’s just the latest American business-speak for a meeting where nobody takes their laptop. Taking a laptop to meetings? Well, if that’s innovative then The Ranger’s always worked at some real cutting-edge places. Still, you get to find stuff out at meetings, and at one meeting a few months ago he learnt another bit of jargon that made him think. Whilst discussing a forthcoming development in a former industrial area, the developer announced his intention to “do an ecology strip” after the protected reptile species had been relocated elsewhere. How nice – perhaps this was going to be like a ‘beetle bank‘ or similar linear conservation feature. But no, it pretty soon transpired that to a builder, an ‘ecology strip’ means just that: you go in, and strip out the ecology, storing it all in a big heap for reuse nearby when you do the ‘landscaping’. This then stops any ‘ecology’ coming back after you’ve finished translocating it. You learn something every day, at meetings. Somehow, this reminded The Ranger of a clip from an Australian documentary from many years ago where a bullish politician is being interviewed about a maritime environmental disaster. and protests “The ship was towed outside the environment…“. See the whole thing here:

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

2 thoughts on “The Ranger has a topless meeting

  • The Virtual Ranger

    An excellent Naturenet April Fool. I was almost taken in by the BBC’s flying penguins, but the CGI looked a bit rubbery towards the end. Greyhound racing on ice was another one.

  • The Virtual Ranger

    So I do topless gardening – I don’t take a laptop.
    No way was that a real interview! Pure comedy. Give that man a Perrier award.

    The Ranger responds:
    you sussed it – it isn’t real. It’s from A Current Affair, an Australian current affairs programme. It concerns an oil spill which occurred on 21st July 1991 when a tanker called the Kirki lost its bow. The performers are John Clarke (Senator Bob Collins) and Bryan Dawe (interviewer). Fantastic stuff. When I first saw it I thought it was real (until the end) which made it even funnier. I think the illusion was helped by the fact that it’s obviously quite old (was it really like that back then?) and Australian (if anyone could be that blunt, an Aussie could).


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