Salesman’s sob-story

Tuesday 3 September 2013

At about 14:30 someone knocks on the front door of the Old Man’s house. By the time I get to the front door, the caller has gone. Two men are heading past the JGs’ house. The inboard man is, I think, the one who knocked on my door. He is wearing a dark-grey polo-shirt.

Sometime not long after 15:00, a rather tubby young(ish) man is at the CJs’ doorstep, speaking with Mrs CJ, trying to persuade her to take out a subscription to the Peakville Bugle for 20p per copy, including delivery. He tells a good sob-story, to the effect that the Bugle is in danger of closure — “just for 20p”.
“The Bugle‘s full of rubbish,” Mrs CJ tells him. He concedes that the content of the Bugle is not all that good at present, but says this is because the management have had to cut the number of journalists. They need more subscribers so that they can hire more journalists.
Mrs CJ finally yields to his pressure. “All right,” she says, with more than a hint of annoyance. Mr CJ is somewhere indoors.
(My own view is: “If you want to read a garbled version of half the story, read the Bugle.”)
A friend of Mrs CJ approaches her front door. He tells her that the road is closed towards Cypress Crescent.
I drive to cousin Naomi’s house.
Naomi is quite lively today. She tells me about Jen’s laparoscopic operation to remove a gallstone.
We discuss: French cinema; Wagner, and the recording in which Elisabeth Schwarzkopf sang the top notes for Kirsten Flagstad (Naomi does not approve!); Sophocles’ Antigone, and Greek drama’s relation to democracy; acting and Hollywood; dumbing-down, especially as regards what films are shown on TV.
After I get back to the Old Man’s house, I see the man who I think is the one who knocked on the front door at about 14:30. He is standing just downhill of Vinnie’s garden-gates, and he is shaking the hand of the Pigeon Lad, who is wearing a black top. Perhaps the Pigeon Lad has just told the man that he is already a reader of the Bugle?

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