This is lifted from Old Stokie’s contribution to the thread below. I admire it’s Beckettian qualities, by which I mean it’s spare rhythmic prose, it’s claustrophobia and it’s absurd sense of reality. The lingo is just how people used to speak when I was a boy in Stoke-on-Trent; it seems that the only thing that has changed on that score is that I have left.
Today. Lunchtime. I scrawled from under my car where I’d just changed the oil and filter. An old bloke was leaning on my fence. He looked like death warmed up. “You ok, Mate?” I asked.
“Ar. Just bin get me paper. That bloody bonk gets steeper every tarm ar woke up eet. Ar conner get me breath lark ar used ter.”
“Ar. Fifty bloody years on the bloody face.”
“Why dustner buy a scooter, yewther?”
“A bloody scooter! Ar wudna bay seyn jed on one o’ them. Ar’ve sayn ‘em up the bloody park. Theen got ther bloody dogs with ‘em sittin’ on the bloody things. The bloody dogs ar as fat as the sods wot ride ‘em. Bloody scooters! Ar’ll bay six foot under befer ar get one o’ them bloody things.”
“Ast got far goo, yewther?”
“No. Ar’ve just moved in one o’ the bongolows.”
“Them across theer?” I point to the bungalows across the main road. Old Elsie has died recently so I’m suspecting that he’s moved in there because I haven’t seen him before.
He looks ‘across there’ and grins. “Oh ar. Arm on the wrong side o’ the bloody strate.”
I grin. “Never mind, it’s ow flat to thee ‘ise nar. Shat be owrate?”
“Ar. Ar’ll say thee yewth.” And off he totters across the street to old Elsie’s bunglow.
I like the old guy. He’s an old pitman like me. I’ll look out for him in future if I see him coming up the street. I can always start the car and do a quick run around the block and pretend I’m passing and give him a lift up the bonk. 😉