Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 29 September 2011

No pictures, but you'll understand why

Two strange occurrences.

WE LIVE in a suburb with two community halls. One has seen much administrative turmoil which led to angry emails on the local website I used to run. Very angry indeed. Latterly things have been quieter.

Mrs BB. “I met X (Chair of the committee running the disturbed hall) today. I’m told the hall is to be exorcised.”

BB (Recently started writing a psychologically adventurous novel). “What was X’s demeanour when telling you this?”

Mrs BB “Confidential.”

BB (Ponders if there’s a place for this in the new novel. Decides not.). “Does exorcism cost a lot?”

Mrs BB “It’s free. But clerics don’t like getting drawn in.”

BB (Interior dialogue: Novel? Nah! Works Well? Perhaps)

RETURNING from Brittany we stayed the night in a town in Northern France which accommodates the French outlet of The Wine Society, a British organisation which absorbs much of my disposable income. I intended to buy good expensive wine duty-free.

The hotel was chosen via a guide I have used for decades and which is ultra-reliable. But there is always an exception. The hotel was scruffy, the patronne abrupt, the bedroom tiny. Also The Wine Society had moved to another town.

I was lying on my bed reading and rolled over on to my side. A heavyish “thing” slid under my shirt, down from my chest to my waist. I stood up, shook out my shirt, then looked on the floor. Nothing. Later, with the light on, I discovered a recently dead mouse. It looked incredibly poignant. I laid it on the outside window sill.

5 comments:

Rouchswalwe said...

No pictures. Good choice. Sometimes travelling on the words is best.

Hattie said...

I love your response to the exorcism thing. Perfect. And it's a comfort to know that we don't have the monopoly in the U.S. on religious loonies.
As to vermin: Terry goes out every night and collects slugs by the pound, and every day he traps at least one rat in a live trap. He also plugs coqui frogs, noisy little introduced screecher pests, with a pellet gun. But this is a laugh: he can't bring himself to kill the rats so he takes them across the way and releases them. Don't tell the neighbors!

Lucy said...

Is the administrative turmoil seen as the result of demonic possession then? I'm not sure inclusion on Works Well shouldn't be withheld until the exorcism can be shown to have worked well, however.

I think laying the dead mouse on the hotel reception desk, preferably at a busy time of day if such a thing occurred, would have been better still. Your story belongs in a catalogue of grim French hotel anecdotes; my brother had one involving a blinded songbird in a cage on the reception desk and a suppurating boudin blanc on the menu.

Barrett Bonden said...

RW (zS): I've often thought of changing the title to Words Well but I think that would be just a leetle too self-serving.

Hattie: Spiritualism is what they will be purging. As to the mouse, like Terry I felt sorry for the poor thing. Dying as it did from literature.

Lucy: What I had to face up to were the exigencies of journalism. The exorcism bit contains three separate stories each of which would have run to my prescribed 300 words. In choosing one (and hinting at the others) I was hoping to leave my readers wanting more - said to be a useful technique but somewhat manipulative.

The patronne was used to gestures like the one you suggest. Long after we were able to profit from it we Googled the hotel and released an avalanche of complaining reminiscences - including several involving mice. However the meal was quite good (boudin was off the menu) and because it was our last night I noticed a Nuits St Georges at a bearable price. This caused the patronne, now startlingly attired in electric blue, to walk towards the wine-rack. Uh huh, no NSG tonight, I thought. Instead she offered me a Pommard, something else from Burgundy and a Gevrey Chambertin which was "a little more expensive". Knowing me as you do I leave you to guess my decision.

earlybird said...

No pictues needed.