They say only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. But it’s time to add to that list: hearing one person complaining about how another one uses their mobile phone. Will we ever hear the end of older generations, concerned about the developing squareness of young retinas, complaining to youngsters that “you’re always on that thing”? Or equally, millennials, seemingly born with touchscreen in hand, asking those older generations “What’s the point of you having one if you don’t answer it?”
It isn’t just limited to intergenerational conflict, however. Doubtless many of us, as we seek to forget that sitter on the third drive by staring at our drink in the pub afterwards, will have noticed a strangely prolonged silence around the table. We look up, only to see everyone staring down at their phones. “Blimey”, you muse, “what happened to the art of conversation?”
Now, shooting is a most English sport. In that, I mean that its rules are guided, largely, by an English sense of fair play and etiquette. This is the reason we leave birds that are too close, why we give our neighbours the first shot on a bird that’s 50/50 and why we warn our compatriots when a bird is coming over. It’s also the reason rugby players call the referee “sir”, tennis players apologise for net shots and cricketers stop for tea. Probably.
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