Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Mosquito On The Wall

A short trip down Rhodesian Memories of a one way street.

(Presuming, of course, that a spot of course language might activate some inebriated brain cells enough to shout ‘Admin, admin – ban the devil’s spawn from this cyber site, etc, etc. Yawn.)

So – where was I? I forgot what I wanted to tell you about this particular mosquito besides the fact I sprayed it with hair lack and I will chisel it off tomorrow.

Instead, I have another yarn to spin.

It was by chance that whilst passing a chair at the Red Cross Second Hand furniture shop, that its colour of dirty light brown, made me think of those chairs we sat on in days long by at school.
I needed to take a closer look. And to my delight, my artistic eye for detail discovered ‘life’ in, on and under that chair. A time capsule of buttocks that once fitted neatly -  but at our age would now overflow.
Now, as you read this, it will trigger something in your head, a cloud will disappear and you will be able to see the chair – for, what is the big deal about this old school chair?
Not a lot. Really? Work out how long you sat on them, young and itching with desire to do anything but sit on that chair.
Ah, the visible part. The front of the back support - now covered in grease and grime and ink stained fingerprints, but only at the top. Further down, decades of shifty bottoms kept it clean.

Ah, see – the stains are all around the rim, except at the front where legs dangled over.
Oh. Holes. There has to be holes. Usually dug with the point of a compass - amazing concentration of destruction. Dig through the veneer and expose the chipboard.  And how it soaked up the ink from a fountain pen cartridge!
Spin the chair upside down. The underside of the seat tells a filthy story. Lumps of ‘bogeys’, hard, faded green and mixed with strange black lumps. Snail trails long gone, a few curling flakes - all that is there to show the long one someone dragged for at least 15 centimeters before it finally, and reluctantly, left its owners fingernail.

Then, but of course – the chewing gum. A marvel of nature (not). Lumps of them. Harder than Trinipon 13. Masticated till nothing more than chewing on a lumps of plastic. Juiceless and tasteless. What went in the mouth full of deadly toxic chemical colours and enough sugar to rot its way through a moles molars (all digested), now becomes a putty for a chair.

The remnants, still bearing the owners final bite, now nothing more than an ugly lump, suspended in time, upside down on the bottom of a school chair.
But amongst this mess, in layers upon layers of time – there are secrets. Pencil faded, biro also, but some felt pen words of knowledge still to be deciphered.

‘Tim Bell is a morph’, ‘I love Mr Watson’ (of course we do not know if this was written by a male or a female pupil), and more – some too profound to let you read, for I must think of your sensitive souls.

But to end this yarn of true spin –

Look carefully at the back legs. The ends, with rusty flakes pushing through the plastic caps. Withered and worn through. But where they meet, under your bum, there are serious cracks. Yes – the true school chair – the rocker. Ah – those delights of swinging on the back legs, feeling cool – till they snapped off.

Karl Greenberg is the author of the cult classic books  Last of the Rhodesians -
The Gokwe Kid and Simply the Pest.

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