“Perfection,” as my wife might observe, “Lies just beyond the next alteration to the 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 am straying from my point, if I can remember what it is. Ah yes, it centres on memories of my old friend Charlie Nuggett who did the “Mystic Shuffle” last month and who enjoyed the send-off only a man of his character and social standing could achieve 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, among other things, she did not wish to be seen in the company of morally worthless individuals, including her husband, whether in or outside of 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 “Spécialité 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 was a man of colourful character who managed to offend the vast majority of people in our community without regard to race, sex, age, weight or fashion sense. However, he had two friends, myself and Sid, who missed the funeral because he broke his leg when going down to his cellar recently. Sid and I 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 indiscretions which added spice to our day, and I will miss the drive and sense of purpose he brought to achieving his social ruin although the lack of attendance at his funeral suggests he got as near as anyone to achieving his life’s goal.
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 his wife at some fund-raising gig to do with the church roof. On that note, I suspect my wife’s irritation is compounded by the fact she was one of the few women he never attempted to get fresh with, which I think she took as a back-handed insult: there really is no pleasing some people !!