One of the more unusual features of Pointy Town is that its sots and topers gather in beer palaces and gin gardens, rather than the more familiar vice versas. This idiosyncratic arrangement of drinking dens is thought to date back to the time of Robin Hod, the bricklaying outlaw dressed all in green, who stole from a ditch to give to a Boer. Who knew there were Boers in Pointy Town? It is possible that I have misheard or misunderstood the legend, wittered at me by a passing storyteller I met on a beaten track, and that Robin Hod fenced his stolen goods to a boor, or even a bore. There are plenty of both in Pointy Town, as you quickly learn if you spend any time in one of the beer palaces or gin gardens. What has always puzzled me, more than the possible colony of expat Boers in Pointy Town, is the nature of Robin Hod’s ditch theft. I mean, what could you come upon in the average ditch that would be worth stealing? Some mud? Brackish puddle water rife with tiny wriggling beings? A broken and rusty and abandoned pram or bicycle? Certainly not the latter, for the ditches of Pointy Town are famously free of such unsightly excrescences, swept clean, or clean-ish, as they are, once a week, on a rotation system, by the Pointy Town Ditch Maintenance Patrol. It is thought that Robin Hod recruited his so-called “merry men” from the ranks of disaffected or incapable Ditch Patrol has-beens. He tried to teach them bricklaying, but the lure of the beer palaces and gin gardens was too powerful. It was almost magnetic, if you can imagine such a thing.