Now there is stupidity and there is criminal stupidity. We are having a heat wave. The temperatures have been hovering in the high 30's C all week and it is likely to continue well into next week. (For those of you used to the old style of temperature reading this is hovering around 100'F.) Yes, I complained about the heat before. I am not a hot weather person. I hate the heat. I am going to be a climate change refugee. I can just see that.
But, I had to go out yesterday. Things still need to be done. Oldies need to be checked on. People are absent from their homes and need mail taken in. Animals need water bowls filled. I share the responsibility for these things in an effort to be a good neighbour. This is how I happened to be out at a time to see two women working their way down a neighbouring street. They have two small children with them - and Bibles. They have hats - and religious literature. The children are aged about two and four. They are silent. They look heat stressed, frightened and cowed.
These people are out in 37'C heat and they do not have water.
They come out of one gate and move towards the next one. I know the man standing there at his letter box. I also know, from past conversation, what he will be thinking so I ride up calling out, "Kalimera..." and ask him how he is in Greek. The women stop. I say, "It's no good talking to him. He doesn't speak English. What is more...." and I let them know about the dangers of taking two small children out without water in that heat.
They look at one another. They say nothing to me.
"I report you," my "Greek" friend says in a passable imitation of the Greek accent of his neighbour. They move off more quickly than before. They do not go into the next house. There is a car in the sun further along the street. They get into it. My "Greek" friend is taking note of the number.
"I will report them too," he tells me, "And I will report both of us to Spiro as well." He manages a smile as he waves his hand at the Greek neighbour's house. I will leave it up to him.
I ride on wondering about what sort of deity demands you endanger the lives of young children by taking them out into the heat without water. How much does it cost to save a soul?