Once upon a not-too-long ago, there lived a little man in an old, old street. For a long time, the street was mainly populated by old, old people and the little man was able to win their friendship and trust by routinely asking them about their health, their daily movements and their daily intentions. He would even ask if they had any little odd jobs he could do for them in their homes, so that he could get to know their houses, and chat away to them until nightfall. He would also volunteer to look after their properties, look after the street, and guard all and sundry in the locality against the slightest breeze from the terrifying Ill Winds of Progress.
The old, old people tolerated the little man; for, although he was a distinctly inquisitive individual, he was a handy person to have around. Surely no robber or burglar would come near the place, when, at the first sign of a strange face, his window blinds would twitch inquisitively, or he’d tramp out into his forecourt to demand to know said stranger’s particulars or intentions. He was, the old people decided, a sort of guardian; the kind of person who could be relied upon to keep the street safe, familiar and stuck in AD 1956.