As I walked down the busy footpath with my wife, knowing I was late for Mass, my eye fell upon one of those unfortunate, ragged creatures that are found in every city these days.
Some people turned to stare.
Others quickly looked away as if the sight would somehow contaminate them.
Recalling my old priest, Father O’Toole, who always admonished me to “care for the afflicted, visit the sick, feed the hungry and clothe the naked,” I was moved by some powerful inner urge to reach out to this unfortunate person.
Wearing what can only be described as rags, carrying her treasured worldly possessions in two plastic bags, my heart was touched by this person’s condition.
Yes, where some people saw only rags, I saw a true, hidden beauty.
A small voice inside my head called out, “Reach out, reach out and touch this person!”
My kindly intervention was violently rejected.
Indeed, to my shame, my wife of forty years joined the attack!
‘My aunt was a very nice person who often cooked meals for me’, admitted Nobu Taki when questioned about her murder. ‘In fact she was a saint. But our family business was badly strapped for cash and I had to do something!’
The family had an undertaking business and he naturally assumed his rich aunt would choose the family firm for her burial. She had indicated this preference. Unfortunately when she expired so suddenly, the choice was taken from her and her next-of-kin chose a rival firm. Funerals in Japan can cost over $20,000, a sum sufficient to help rescue the family firm.
‘I broke into her house and beat her to death with a golf club. I only did it to protect the honour of our family. I thought that the suicide note that I faked would convince everyone. I see now that I made a basic mistake by signing my own name at the end of it.’
The note fooled the police initially who put the death down to suicide [possibly the most extreme example of self-mutilation they had ever witnessed?]. It was only when some one noticed the Taki funeral service was on the point of bankruptcy that the note was checked again, and Nobu was taken in for questioning.
I was walking briskly in the stream of Christmas shoppers along Hill Street the other day when suddenly the single mother in front pushing her mewling, grotesque baby in its pram stopped sharply without indication or warning.
I was uncontrollably propelled forward, colliding with the buggy and sustained an abrasion to my ankle.
I am writing to enquire whether you can offer any indication of what fair level of compensation I might claim for physical injury and the emotional trauma I have suffered, before I make my way to a reputable solicitor.
Your letter leaves me puzzled!
Was the young lady in question wearing a label saying ‘Single Mother’? Otherwise how did you know she was? How does a baby mewl? What characterises a ‘grotesque’ baby?
Did you think they all should have been equipped with flashing indicator lights, or braking and/or hazard warning lights?
By the way, what IS a reputable solicitor? (Perhaps I should submit this to the Editor as an oxymoron?)
Are you, by any chance, a product of the Government’s ‘Care in the Community’ mental health programme?
Did you forget to take your pills?
Please include your full address when replying so I’ll know which end of town to avoid in future.
Hidden in the bureaucratic gobbledygook below are common proverbs and expressions. The answers are below.
Scintillate, scintillate, minor asteroid
Members of an avian species of similar plumage congregate en masse
Surveillance should precede saltation
Pulchritude possesses merely cutaneous profundity
Do not become lacrymose over precipitately discharged lacteal fluid
Avoidance of grime encrustations is contiguous to rectitude
The stylus is more potent than the claymore
Male cadavers yield no testimony
Efforts to indoctrinate innovative manoeuvres to superannuated canines must fail
Twinkle, twinkle, little star : Beginners’ luck : Birds of a feather, flock together : Look before you leap : Beauty is only skin deep: Don’t cry over spilt milk : Cleanliness is next to godliness : The pen is mightier than the sword: Dead men tell no lies : You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.