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Another Brick In The Wall

21.3.11

In a move that can only have been inspired by the opening scenes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Audenshaw has been granted a wall by the great powers. Like the monkeys that we are, we can only shriek at it in wonderment. Where did this wall come from? What does it mean? And what profound truths does it possess concerning our state of existence?

None, really. What actually happened is that Tameside council have enraged local papers by replacing the local playground with a wall. Yes, they ripped down a playground and, as an alternative source of entertainment for the young, built a wall.

Annons

To be fair, the council have already baulked at the Manchester Evening News' description of the wall as 'a wall' because apparently it's not just a wall, it's a 'kick wall'. According to them, children love kicking things against walls. I thought children loved Shogun 2: Total War and filming each other making out on their phones, but no, right now it's walls they're going nuts about.

Excited by the new arrival, we went down to Kevin's News and bought ourselves a penny flyer (northern for cheap plastic football) and went to enjoy our brand new public wall.

Quickly we grew tired of the penny flyer's insistence on flying to the side of the wall, over the top of the wall, and in any direction other than the wall. Clearly, for our purposes, the Audenshaw wall wasn't nearly big enough. But hang on – what's this?

It's David Beckham and his mate and his mate's dog! And they've got a proper football.

We had a kick around and Becks told us that the wall was a "fucking piss take" before his dad shouted across the road telling him to "mind his fucking language" and stared at us suspiciously. No matter what that spoilt millionaire Becks thought though, kicking the ball against the wall was pretty enjoyable.

Kicking something against the wall had been a hit, but what about going around the wall? Would that prove as successful? We stole David's bike and rode round the wall a few times before he made us stop and give it back to him. He looked unimpressed.

Annons

What about going over the wall? Perhaps conquering this wall would help us understand its power.

No, that was too dangerous. David showed us the grazes he'd got on his arm after trying to do the same thing and we decided it was all a little 127 Hours for us. Sadly, like its Berlin counterpart, perhaps this wall is going to do far more harm than good to the people of Audenshaw.

With that sad thought in mind, we glanced around the wall. The Audenshaw park, like many on our fair isle, was littered with WKD bottle tops and in the baking sunlight shone shards of broken glass – a potent metaphor for our times.

Grace, a local pensioner who asked not to be photographed, was in the park walking her spaniel, Albert. She said that the wall is "bloody marvellous" which, as anyone who is au fait with acerbic Mancunian humour will appreciate, meant that it's a lump of shite. We tried to pile on the pathos by recreating the shot from the opening scene of Kubrick's Space Odyssey, but it wasn't enough.

Bored out of our wits and unhappy with the way the day with the wall had gone thus far, I decided to piss on the wall. After all, it is a wall, and what else do young men do with walls?

Significantly, the urine splatter arced into the shape of a *sadface*. So we sloped home, disappointed with our wall.

We left Shepley Wood Park and walked home, pausing only to take one last sneering portrait shot. "Playground"?! You can take your bloody kick wall and shove it up your arse, Tameside council. Pathetic. Your lackluster wall has made a mockery of this local anthem.

[audio:http://viceland-assets-cdn.vice.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/04-wonderwall.mp3|titles=04-wonderwall]

SAMUEL BREEN & HANNAH LONGSDEN