Thursday, May 3, 2012
The sick aspidistra.
A trip to the barbers. Wilf makes his way to a spot on the linoleum between the chair and the sick looking aspidistra . It's unclear whether the aspidistras sickness is due to lack of light, lack of water , or the small mountain of cigarette butts that can be seen rising from its wicker pot.
The ' salon ' full . Four ageing residents of the old folks home squeezed tightly onto the sofa. Two more leaning against the wall , another sprawled in the armchair. Each morning after breakfast they gather here to read the barbers copy of the local newspaper and put the world to rights. Angus shakes hands with all of them .
While the clippers hum the conversation flows. Madame DuBois, the primary school teacher has bought a Korean car . '' She'll regret it. Fiddly thing . Not made for our roads ". A synchronised tut of disapproval. A gentleman in a well worn suit with eggs stains on the lapels informs us that Jacques the farmer has had his lettuce crop ruined by the rain . Leaf rot. '' What's happened to his endives ? " Silence.
Angus is asked what sort of dog Wilf is. Polish ! The word repeated slowly . Po-lo-nais . They look at their feet . More silence . '' Didn't Claude marry a Polish girl when he came back from Algeria ? ". ' No. She wasn't Polish she was Belgian . Or was it Dutch ? ' .
Through it all Wilf snores contentedly away. An occasional trumpet of wind . Quite audible in the confined reaches of the barber shop. No one seems to notice. €17 , including tip, handed over , Wilf and owner get into their British four wheel drive and depart . As we pass I can almost hear them saying '' fiddly thing. Not made for our roads ".