I am not in the first flush of youth. I'm not even in the second flush of youth. I'm probably in the third flush of youth, the one where you need a wire coathanger to shift the persistent bugger.
So I was delighted to see Wirral council putting the blocks on Parkour, that new sport where a big load of teenagers do really impressive stunts by leaping off walls and bollards instead of beating each other up or getting casseroled on the drugs.
There's nothing I like more than seeing teenagers get a bit frustrated, as I have heretofore outlined, so this is a proper tonic. Well done, Wirral council.
Nevertheless, I can't help thinking there's a tiny flaw in their strategy, which I'm happy to point out, in the hope that they can find a way of sorting it out.
If the council was hell-bent on banning tiddlywinks, Ker-Plunk or bowls, its strategy would be spot on. Police could swoop on the games, confiscate contraband winks, plastic cocktail sticks or jacks and round up the feeble or old participants before they can say, "Cripes! It's the fuzz!". Bang! ASBOs all round.
But the thing about freerunners is that they don't have any equipment and they're really, really good at running and climbing. Unlike most police officers, who like a pie and a pint, though never on duty. Which would make catching them tricky.
The only solution is to capture a group of crack freerunners and turn them into police officers, specifically employed to capture Parkour enthusiasts. They could take police dogs, who are specially trained to run along walls and jump through hoops, with them.
And then the police helicopter should be called out to pick up the stragglers. Literally. With one of those massive claws they have in some amusement arcades.
This will definitely work.
Come on, Wirral council. If we're going to clamp down on harmless fun, let's be thorough or we'll look like frustrated, seedless joy sponges.