Friday, March 17, 2006


A wake

It's January and in the back room of the pub they've hired there is still evidence of tinsel and glitter and fairy lights around the door jambs and fittings.

The secondary mourners arrive first, the men wearing off the peg black suits with un-adjusted sleeve and trouser cuffs and their girl children dancing behind them in their newly tailored dresses and over-large new shoes bought for the occasion.

An old woman in her best hat with the feathers and the fur coat smelling of moth balls and a cup of sweet tea spilling onto her best stockings:

"Always go straight for the buffet after I's buried a relative... mourning always make me so hungry, you know? And Reverend Williams, well didn't he just deliver a most moving and respectful service? The family always use him, he's the best. But my, it always seem the better the service the hungrier I am...."

Soon the old lady and the nephews and nieces are dragging the lake for the sons and the daughters and poor sister Rose and nobody's looking twice at anyone younger than eighteen in there.

The manager is a coat stand: "What the hell, that's what the bastards are paying for and it's a slow day Tuesday - after this all we got to look forward to is Halloween; I'm gonna have to lay people off...."

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