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An amazing Indian

  Tue 22nd June 2021

Ken, a mobility scooter-bound man who is retired but has found a new full-time occupation as a smoker, tells me with his authoritative sententiousness that there has been a hit and run incident involving an electric scooter. Violence, theft, blood.

"Life's risky, then you die, Ken," but his miserable monologue was not to be interrupted. Fines, no helmets, dangers, police. I forwarded no further comments. Fucking miserable cunt. But then, he enjoys the the resentful, nostalgic life of the OAP, and who am I to argue against anyone else's pleasure?

Sitting in the communal lounge to watch the end of Spain v Poland, he surprised and tensed me by coming to sit next to me. The football has been boring so far, apparently. "Ah but you should have seen Belgium v Denmark. Second fastest goal in Euro history, one minute forty-two seconds. End to end stuff." He was having none of it, all this involvement in anything. It's all over for you Ken, isn't it, apart from smoking and gossiping.

He sat there panting, up, and shallowly down, air fighting through the tar. I made regular comments on the play to shut him up.

I got the 7am coach to London to pick up the new scooter. I went up the stairs to a cramped first floor flat in Camden. There was a massive keyboard shuttered at either side by computers, and a framed gold disc on the wall. He'd had a hand in writing one of the hits for Firenze e la Macchina. I was impressed.

I scootered round Hampstead Heath to Paddington, where someone had understandably responded to living in Slough by throwing themselves under a train, so there were no trains for some hours. "Depression," said Julie Birchall once, "is the highest form of vanity." I'd substitute "suicides". Your life being shit doesn't give you a right to fuck others' up, not to gift nightmares to the train driver, who has possibly driven his last journey.

An elderly hardline mask wearer tucked fingerfuls of her sandwich under her covering to chew it. I ventured a comment on her Guardian cryptic crossword and she asked me where I was from. "Lancashire," I said. They were too. I put my hand out and she took my fingers only. "Oooh, we're not supposed to do that are we!"

The trains started running again after a couple of hours. The conductor made a fuss about my scooter and unplugged it from the socket when I was sat down and couldn't see him doing it.

No time, as I had hoped, to shower and change, so scootered straight over to where Mel and me were meeting my brother and his family for an Indian. The waiter kept saying "amazing" all the time. "Chicken korma?" "Amazing". "Six poppadums? Amazing." He pointed out a place for my scooter at the end of a long banquette seat and watched me struggle with lifting a twenty kilo scooter into its place.

My brother was on a high (in as far as teetotal Christians get high), having come from seeing his team win by penalties to get re-elected into the old fourth division. The food was bland Anglo-Indian, the waiter was amazing, but my chemist nephew told us about a project he's working on about how to reduce the use of fertiliser by crafting phenomerones to attract pests to what they think is a honeypot of sex, then killing them. My niece is studying forensic psychology. "Don't tell her too much," said my brother. I was shocked when the bill for me and Mel came in at £81 and asked the amazing waiter to enumerate the amazing items to us. I'm not used to these amazing Bristol prices.

This morning my brother emailed to say that his researcher son had tested positive for covid and was in bed, all weak, so "we've all got to self-isolate." I wasn't sure who was included in that plural, but it certainly won't be me. I rang Mel to tell her. "I wish you hadn't told me in one way." "I can't be arsed be with any of it any more. I'm pretending I didn't get that email, Mel. We've both been jabbed, I'm carrying on as normal."

I rang my brother to commiserate, but he was quite unconcerned about being inside. I forget that not everyone wants to go out as much as me sometimes.

The new scooter is a bone-rattler and is getting sold. It judders so much I've got an ache in my left thigh. Once you've got one though, they're as difficult to give up as I suppose people find cars.

1 comment

Comment from: kono [Visitor]

That sounds amazing!! ;)

the gig economy has cut into my Euro watching which is a bit disconcerting seeing that i love the football but i’ve still managed to catch a fair amount… Being part Scot and part Croatian caused a bit of dilemma the other day but i’ve always pulled for the Jocks seeing as that’s me Da’s side… besides coming from Cleveland and suffering heartbreak and defeat seem to go better with the Scots than with those World Cup Runners Up…

and you’ve been jabbed… there’s nothing to worry about… i’ve pretty much ditched the mask and my youngest gets his second jab in a day or so… if people would listen to science the same way the listen to (insert chosen diety here) we’d all be fucking back to normal. More car park missives coming to an inbox near you.

Thu 24th June 2021 @ 12:53 Reply to this comment

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