Tuesday, March 02, 2010
cheers, scam, clank
This piece of detritus needs no caption.
Extravagant personalities are often rewarding company, even when they are obvious rogues. As I am walking down Mount Sion this sunny afternoon, a Mercedes draws us to the curb. Behind the wheel is a laughing, black face. The driver lowers the window to talk to me across the empty passenger seat. He is still laughing. "Do you know anything about watches?" he says. "Mercedes Benz are giving away Rolex watches. I work for Mercedes Benz in Sevenoaks. Look!" He hands me a watch with Rolex on the dial. "It's scratch resistant glass," he says. It has an unlikely label on it, indicating a price of £475.00. "I've been selling them, " he says. "Look at all this money." He waves wads of notes at me. And continues to laugh. " How much money have you got on you?" he asks. I say: "I don't want a watch." "You sound quite posh," he says; "What do you do?" "Not much," I say. "How much money have you got on you?" he persists. "About 10p," I say, "and I don't want a watch. He laughs, but this time with less false hilarity. "Well," he says, "It's been nice talking to you". I reply in like manner: "I've enjoyed our talk," I say. And I have: it's not often that I meet a laughing salesman of fake watches, dishing out his wares through a car window; and certainly not on the peaceful, brick pavement of Mount Sion.
We are sitting outside The Compasses in the sun, when a woman passes carrying an orange, plastic bag in each hand. The bags are full of bottles. The bottles clank merrily as she goes. They promise a celebration. And why not? Spring is on the way.