Fluff and Unsense

Happy New Year, gluttons for Punishment!

True story. A friend of mine, whom I haven’t seen for a while, does not conform to conventional concepts of intelligence. He knows everything there is to know about hunting rabbits and raising ducks, but in other spheres it can be difficult for him to get a grip on things. I nearly came to blows with him once because he thought that bellybutton fluff was naturally produced by the navel, i.e. it made its way out from the inside, and thought I was out to humiliate him by proposing that it came principally from clothing fibres.

Another time he was in London and got beaten and mugged late one night near King’s Cross, when he was blind drunk. But he had enough wits about himself to plead with his attackers that he should at the very least be left with enough money to get the bus back to where he was staying, because it was nearly twenty miles away. His plaintive plea, amazingly, was enough for his attackers to throw him a fiver.

To which he replied, ah, thanks very much lads, that’s awful decent of yis, great stuff.

What is it about the modern woman and shopping? I have no idea, but that was the question posed to me by the man who came to fix the washing machine this morning. I had no answer. The thing was, the way he looked at me when he asked the question he was just like a fat version of a tutor I once had who used to ask me questions that made me feel like an idiot. And I started cogitating: just what is it about the modern woman and shopping? I started thinking back to those images engineered by Edward Bernays of the women parading down the street in New York smoking cigarettes. It took me a couple of seconds to realise that he didn’t need an answer; he just wanted me to say something like “tsk, women, eh? All the same. Can’t live with ’em..” so that he could tell me about how his wife was out using his credit card.

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January 2010

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