Murder on the High Street
Once upon a time, on one high street far,far away, there was a green fruit & vegetable cart driven by a giant pink & furry rabbit. Standing outside, ignoring the rain. a young Pakistani guy, climbing on a precarious ladder made of extra-juicy (almost rotten) watermelons , was shouting:
-One pound a bowl! One pound a bowl! One pound a bowl!
That morning, vigorously, professionally, without stopping to breathe, the young Khan had given the impression to take his position of part-time barker one step too far. The pale & valiant lads in freezing cold occupying the lucky corner between the betting shop and the Job Centre were having a gross laugh.
Both sides of the high street were dominated by Victorian architecture, some period buildings in need of costly restoration had received few years ago the felicitious cash injection of some Cypriot property developers, turning them into a boutique hotel: Ophelia 2.0.
What was in remote time the hub of the community, the public house 'Old Witches & Holy Cows', had fallen on hard times due to the smoking ban, alcohol duties rise & widespread repulsion for cheap food material. Now, embellished by a rainbow of magenta & deep purple display windows, The 100-year-old pub is a pictoresque betting shop, last branch of a national chain. So welcoming, so cosy & so warm inside, that ladies with beady eyes go thorugh the threshold wearing nothing but pijamas.
Kids love the pink reflection of the slot machines and stop outside the shop after school, making a circle and singing:
-London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down...
Occupying the last bit of the high street, when once upon a time stood the book store 'Eliot & Pound', there is the cathedral of hope & security, the so called Job Centre. Refurbished in industrial design, it's full of steel & neon. Office workers inside wearing cloud grey suits with an air of extreme solemnity are waiting for the queue of tracksuits to come in.
When the hunched old lady knocked on young Khan's head with her old walking stick, it was like the whole universe echoing inside his skull. Neverthless, he was able to maintain his balance taking a step further on the pile of watermelons and fondling his hair like a wounded kitten. Admiring the scene, the white lads standing opposite were smoking with gusto artisanal cigarettes and making demotic jokes.
The barker, proudly, restarted immediately:
-One pound a bowl one pound a bowl one pound a bowl!
All the weary woman wanted to know was the price of two bowls. Accustomed to the old marketing techniques, she assumed a discount when you buy in bulks. Contrarily, Khan in his part-time job position had been taught to repeat & repeat over again the same slogan. At that demand, he had to pause, almost blocking his stream of consciousness;few seconds to reflect and a no-brainer for young Khan and the giant pink & furry rabbit:
- Two bowls two pounds! Two bowls too pounds! Too bowls too pounds!
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