April 21, 2003

No Surburban Stereotype Here

Ran into ye olde Brit today. She's a local used bookstore owner, eccentric as the day is long. A Baptist who flew in the British lady air force back in the 50s, she found herself (mis)planted here and longs to save enough money to retire to Washington state. (She says she took a hit in the stock market, like everybody else).

Her prose has a sort of "English as a second language" quality that I find fascinating. It is a collection of non-sequitors, haikus and Orwellian overtones that require diligent study to unearth the meaning. She's intelligent and well-read so it is all very puzzling. Speaking with her does not result in this sort of confusion.

Truth be told, I most enjoy the large placards on her front lawn. Today's offering: "City Flooded my basement! Neither response or call. Peace, Harmony and Productivity!" The other side disparaged a local mayoral candidate, at least I think that was the intent.

She sounds crazy but she really isn't. She is perfectly lucid in normal conversation. I've not yet worked up to how to say, "where did you learn to write?"

But vive le difference. She makes the lives of commuters a little more interesting, and for that she deserves a shorter Purgatory.

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