The tell-tale signs are the little holes, and the silhouettes of the numbers. That curving cat’s tail in no.31 (above) – I can just see the painter trying to replace their street number with a paintbrush saying oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck I’ve gone too high, let me just make the sharp pointy end and it’ll still look like a three…
Other numbers, only one of the digits is missing. Oh, for the poor number left behind! These numbers belong together, they are ONE number. It’s beautiful. Can you imagine the torment if your partner was sent away on ship to China to be melted down and put into a computer that will TAKE OVER THE WORLD! (Or at least, Africa.)
Imagine coming out of your house and saying oh fuck, the arseholes nicked the bloody numbers… Or actually, they just managed to get away with one. For what – a buck? Less?
You’ve seen the local pavements when they’ve had their cast-iron rainwater conduits pulled out. And the missing water mains covers. And the broekie-lace wrought iron balconies, reduced to a few stubs of plaster.
We say – HEY!!! Fuck those scrap dealers – they should just refuse to take it! But the truth is, none of us are any better than the scrap dealers – we’re all fences for stolen goods. We eat in corrupt ways, we consume, we pollute, we line the pockets of all sorts of heartless bastards, we bribe city employees given half a chance.
We’re stealing from ourselves.