THERE has been a worrying increase in the number of annoying local eccentrics across the UK.
The Institute for Studies found there are more local weirdos than ever before, doing things like wearing extremely strange clothes and playing tin whistles in shopping precincts.
Professor Henry Brubaker said: “From cider-swigging ranters doing kung fu moves in the streets of South London to top-hatted jugglers in Bristol, we are facing an epidemic of ‘characters’.
“In the past local characters were relatively inconspicuous individuals who simply wandered around with a mysterious carrier bag and had angry conversations with the ducks in the park.
“But now we’re seeing attention-seeking oddbods everywhere. People with silver bowler hats and roller skates smoking a spliff. Men taking beards to new levels of stupidity. Ageing crusties sneering at you for being ‘square’.
“It is now completely normal to walk through a town centre and have your young son ask, ‘Daddy, what’s that green-haired man doing with that ferret?’”
Local character Ozzie ‘Rat’ Thompson said: “I’m not begging but if you don’t give me some money I’m getting the bongos out.”