Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Driving my truck to Fakenham to buy a tree I heard a dull thud. In the mirror I saw a small cloud of feathers but no corpse. At the garden centre I was lugging the tree in question - not high but wide - back to the truck when I noticed a haunting shape on the front bumper - a wing spread as if glued, a tail projecting downwards and a single claw frozen in its attempt to reach the ground. A pheasant had, somehow, flung itself into a small, square void in the bumper. On closer examination, the composition took on a cartoon aspect. There was no blood and the poor creature had been distorted as if he had been hit by a frying pan or a piano. It was, I realised, Road Runner and I was Wile E. Coyote, triumphant at last. I couldn't eat him, it is, apparently illegal for the killer to eat road kill. The next guy in the next car - this being Norfolk, it will be a wondrously ancient man in a wondrously ancient Datsun Cherry - can feast to his heart's content. This is to stop people deliberately ramming deer and, I suppose, pheasants, but you'd have to be a pretty amazing driver deliberately to ram a pheasant.
Anyway, the big news this Christmas from the keyboard of Mr Coyote is that we are closing in on Escoffier's umami, the fifth taste. Meanwhile, here's a good laugh, hat tip Ironic Daughter. It's a small reminder that there is no such thing as a financial expert, there are only various grades of vain, deluded nutters. And, of course, we are at the glorious climax of The New Labour Project. The nation is crippled by insane levels of private and public debt, our military has been humiliated and we are over-run by prick-nosed bureaucrats with their CCTV cameras. Things could only get better, eh, Tone?
But it's Christmas, I must not be bitter and even Gordon Brown has feelings - mainly insensate rage, but that too is a feeling. Finally nailing Road Runner was, I am sure, a good omen. No longer will I find myself running in mid-air before looking down, shrieking, and plunging into the abyss. The point was, you see, that I, Wile E., only plunged when I realised there was an abyss. On the way down, I always mentally quoted Shakespeare - 'I have drunk and seen the spider'. Without that terrible knowledge, I could have run on happily. So my New Year Resolution is - I will look down no more. The abyss and the spider will remain unnoticed. I will run on confidently, trusting the 'sanity of my vessel' in the words of a poem and a poet, beloved by me and great, good Nige. And if the vessel sinks?
'....it may well be in answer
to the reasoning of the eternal voices,
the waves which have kept me from reaching you.'
Thanks for reading and thanks to my consolingly witty, urbane and erudite commenters. Happy Christmas.
Wile E Coyote, Norfolk, 24/12/2008
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:19 am