So I went into the pub and sat down with Mr Crown and Mr Sceptre. And I said unto them, speak to me of ‘marriage’. And Mr Crown (C) said, ‘give it a go; I’ll try everything once’. And Mr Sceptre (S) said, ‘I think it’s old fashioned; been there, done that!’
And so I said unto them, speak to me of ‘children’. And Mr C said, ‘give it a go!’ And Mr S added, ‘I would have more. A nice red haired woman, Russian girls, and a place in Cornwall where you can swim every day’.
And so I said unto them, speak to me of ‘giving’. And Mr C said, ‘give it away and then you’ve got more space. I gave my TV away and I got a whole space in the corner where I put a chair that I found in the street. Lovely view out of the window. I gained more than I lost … people have often bought it for themselves anyway.’ Mr S said, ‘giving is important. Universal law. If you give you often get back more in life’.
And so I said unto them, speak to me of ‘eating and drinking’. And Mr C said, ‘it’s a pleasure when it’s a necessity but when you are not hungry it is the worst thing that you can do. If it relates to hunger and that, it’s brilliant. But it can go a bit pear-shaped when it’s for pleasure. Over-eating is a bad thing’. Mr S said, ‘I love it. Meals. Guests. The French way; nine or ten course meal with lots of talk in between. Or a boil in the bag!’
And so I said unto them, speak to me of ‘work’. And Mr C said, ‘it’s good’. And Mr S added, ‘I enjoy it. Work tends to have bad connotations but I tend to enjoy it – it’s not work!’
And so I said unto them, speak to me of ‘joy and sorrow’. And Mr C said, ‘Give it a go; Friday joy, Saturday sorrow, Sunday joy’. Mr S added, ‘I want to be emotional; be sad and joyful. I think of my daughter sometimes and I cry … both joy and sorrow come together.’
And I said unto them, speak to me of ‘houses’. And Mr C said, ‘bigger than a flat. Parents have houses. OK for grown-ups. Problems with roofs. You can only live in one room at one time. So if you have a house with eight rooms, seven eighths will be empty at any one time. I had a friend who moved out of his house and dug a hole in the garden and lived in it.’ And Mr S added, ‘I enjoy living in my house. But I am sad about the financial side – rents are too high; a noose around the neck. Smaller; should change as you get older.’
And I said unto them, speak to me of ‘clothes’. And Mr C said, ‘as you get older they are a better idea. Pants and socks you should buy new, everything else can be bought at the charity shop.’ And Mr S added, ‘I like to go clothes shopping with the boys at TK Maxx. Bit posh and the click of shoes. Makes me feel better.’
And I said unto them, speak to me of ‘buying and selling’. And Mr C said, ‘buying is easier than selling. Giving away is easier than eBay, boot sales and ads. Buy and give. If you buy, you lose the space.’ And Mr S said, ‘I don’t think of it’.
And I said unto them, speak to me of ‘crime and punishment’. And Mr S said, ‘it’s complex. In America there are too many people in gaol … one in seven are black.’ And Mr C said, ‘I’m a man whose glass is six sevenths full.’
And I said unto them let us cease from this endless questioning but before I stop, tell me, ‘what other questions should I ask?’ And Mr C said, ‘what do you think of toilet paper?’