“Beauty,” my wife believes “Lies just beyond the next alteration to her wardrobe or figure.” Her search for the perfect husband stopped with me some years ago, and that jaundiced look around her eyes suggests that she still blames herself for ordering from the menu of life without fully weighing up the choices. I suppose it’s fair to say she is not alone with that feeling.
Anyway, I’m failing to get to the point, if I can remember what it is: I know it centres on memories of my old friend Charlie who did the “Mystic Shuffle” last month and who enjoyed the send-off a man of his character and social standing deserved I’m afraid; no one turned up for the service apart from myself and some guy who was seeking shelter from the rain. My good lady refused to attend, citing a backlog of ironing, but I suspect she did not wish to be seen in the company of morally worthless individuals, including her husband, whether in or outside the box. ( No thinking required inside the box apparently, but that’s another topic: I must not get distracted. )
Thinking outside the box is my forte, My “Specialité de Maison,” which actually means I often lose the thread of my conversations, wardrobe or anything else which is not firmly attached to my person. Still, where was I. Oh yes.
Charlie, God bless him, because who else would, was a man of colourful character whose egalitarian approach to life was born out by the fact that he managed to offend the vast majority of people he met without regard to race, sex, age, height or fashion sense. However, he had two friends, myself and Sid, (Who missed the funeral because he forgot to use the stairs when going down to the cellar recently, and broke his leg. ) We used to hang around him like those small fish who sit on the backs of sharks enjoying the odd morsel which escapes their host’s attention.
In our cases it was Charlie’s social faux pas which added spice to our day, and I will miss the drive and sense of purpose he brought to achieving social ruin before his demise. The lack of attendance at his funeral suggests he got as near as anyone can in achieving their life’s goals. Indeed, there was a certain edge to the vicar’s brief eulogy, possibly resulting from that time when our Charlie got a bit “fresh” with the vicar’s wife at some fund-raising gig to do with the church roof. On that note, I must say, the church remained dry throughout the service which just goes to show that not all these fund raising efforts are pointless, however poor the catering, but that’s another story.