Walking the Dog (1)
He spoke first.
“Whatcha wearing gloves for this time of the year?” he asked. (It was February, remember?) “Ya don’t see fishes wearing hats, do ya?”
“Um, well, you’re right. I don’t. Good point.”
“I met you once before, didn’t I?” he said. “Your dog, it’s Japanese, innit?”
“Well, Tibetan, actually.”
“Yeah, right. Japanese.”
I waved and we passed on.
Today, I ran into two of the village yentas and asked them about this man. "Oh, the man with no teeth? [Why hadn't I noticed this?] He lives in Hildersham. He's, well, not all, you know, there. You have to watch out for him; once he starts he'll talk to you for hours."
"He's the janitor at the slaughterhouse," the other one said. "He's had a run-in with the police, apparently, but he told us it was only a £30 fine."
What sort of offence merits such a small fine? Smoking a cigarette at work? Confusing Japan and Tibet? Stealing hats from defenceless fish?