Tuesday 21 September 2021

Three Chairs (Four) The Wise

The old guy was down by the bins this morning trying to dispose of the biggest pizza carton I’ve ever seen.

‘There’s no way you will gat that in there’, I offered.

‘Oh yeah, says who’, he replied.

I looked around thinking that that was pretty obvious but it turned out the vicar was walking past, the bins are next to the church, so I pointed at myself.

‘Yeah, and who are you from Adam’, the old guy continued as he pushed on the empty pizza container.

I myself was intending to leave a set of dining chairs at the bin: I knew full well they wouldn’t fit in even without the encumbrance of an oversized pizza box, so I set them in a half circle on the pavement.

The old guy and myself sat down to chat.

‘I haven’t seen you for quite a while’, I began.

‘Have you been to The Opaque Tomato, by chance’ he answered.

Conversations with the old guy are rarely linear.

‘What is The Opaque Tomato?’ I asked, using the same capital letters that he had used.

‘It’s a pub. He only serves craft wine.’

‘Craft wine?’

‘It’s like craft beer. Can I have these chairs?

I said that he could and tried to imagine what craft wine could be.

‘Don’t think about it’, he suggested, ‘just add it to the list.’

‘What list?’

‘Wild Air, Smart water and a female James Bond’


‘What’s the point? Just write a new story.’

I thought about saying ‘what’s the point of anything’ but wondered what the point would be, so I said nothing.

‘Cat got your tongue eh?’, he grunted.

It was a beautiful morning, the first light of dawn was creeping around the spire of the church, dew settled on the stain glass sparkled and a bird somewhere was singing.

I looked around.

I was alone sitting on a single remaining chair.

A fox sulked past.



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