Ní mise a chum seo. Le fáil ó snag.ie le Energia: maith iad! #SnaG18
Well said, Shay. Have followed your writing for some years, more power to you.
Cultural Appropriation or probably more accurately misappropriation occurs when a person adopts aspects and characteristics of a culture that is not their own. This can cause a great deal of insult to members of the chosen culture because it potentially alters outside perceptions of their culture, they find themselves being redefined often in a more romantic way or a way that fits the agenda of those that indulge in this. For instance Gypsy women are often portrayed as barefoot in flowing skirts, or dressed in dancing costumes that are more in keeping with Turkish Belly Dancers, in contrast they might be portrayed as evil crones casting spells.
Fashion retailers market clothing as Gypsy skirts or blouses the young women modeling the clothing are more often than not barefoot, and pouting upon the steps of a painted Vardo [caravan]. Gypsies are portrayed in an old world fairy tale way that has…
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‘Come here, I want you,’ said Mrs. Crotty.
‘What is it now,’ I said.
‘Coat. What shoes have ye?’
‘Good enough. Can ye climb in them?’
‘Can I what?’
‘You heard me,’ said she. Out the door she went. Had a ladder lined up, two large cardboard boxes, sides bulging out on them.
‘Everything goes into the elevator,’ said she. ‘Come on, give us a hand.’ She’d rounds of clothesline over her shoulder like a lariat, a hammer, and a carpenter’s belt.
‘Love the belt, Mrs. C.,’ I said.
‘Got it offa one of the workmen in the building this afternoon,’ said she. ‘John Joe. Donegal fella. Wasn’t he good to give me the loan of it? Hafta give it back in the morning. Pity.’
‘Where are we going?’ I asked.
‘E. 7th., between A and B.’
‘What ‘s there?’
‘You’ll see.’ We trudged through the shortcut on 5th, through the towers of flats, the ladder rattling behind, each of us barely hoisting a box. Rattling the contents of the boxes all the way, whatever was in them. Stopped at a spot next the Vazac Hall, a large red “X” painted on the side of the wall.
‘Wasn’t there a Slovak pierogi place here last year?’ I asked?
‘There was indeed. Hadta leave. Rent was ‘too damn high’ as the local people say.
‘Why are we here?’ I said.
‘Tis the site of the new franchise,’ said she. ‘I’ll tell ye about it after we get the signage going. Here, take one end of the rope and go up the telephone pole. Use the ladder to get started, and toss the end over the wire.’
‘Mrs. Crotty,’ I said.
‘If you don’t do it, I will,’ said she.
‘Wish me luck,’ I said. ‘God, you’re awful.’ Up went the ladder, and me after it.
‘I’ll catch the end and tie the kettles on. You go up the pole on the other side and help me get it across.’
‘In the boxes.’
It was not a smooth operation. But when we were through, it didn’t look half-bad. A line of battered tea-kettles, high above the street, steaming into the darkening winter sky. Steaming?
‘Mrs. Crotty,’ I said. ‘They’re steaming. Is this a conceptual art piece or what is it at all?’
‘Ha,’ said she. ‘Makes you think, doesn’t it? Something in itself.’
‘It does make one pause,’ I said. ‘What’s the point?’
‘Here,’ said she. ‘Take this piece of chalk. Draw an arrow from the pole to the “X”.
‘What’s the “X”? I said.
‘The “X” marks the spot, said she. (To be continued)
‘You wouldn’t believe what they’re smoking in the streets of New York,’ said Mrs. Crotty. She untied her headscarf, and began readjusting her collapsing bun. A hairpin scittered to the floor.
‘Try me,’ I said. ‘You might see annythin when you go out this late. Young wans out and the ne-er do wells beginning the work shift.’
‘Coconuts,’ said she. ‘It wasn’t unpleasant. Much better than that potpourri craic they were at this summer. It’d sicken you, you had to take a wide detour around that stuff. Anyway, coconuts.’
‘Did you actually see someone smoking a coconut?’ I asked. ‘What would that look like? Was there a mouthpiece, like on a Tiparillo? Was it a one or two-handed operation?’ I tried to picture it.
‘Couldn’t see round to the front of your man, he passed me out. I was walking the bicycle through a crowd on first avenue. Only a big cloud of smoke like a…it’ll come to me…a big cloud of smoke.’
‘Mrs. C., that’d be a vape.’
‘A vape? What’s that when it’s at home. Never mind. What’s that when it’s out on the town?’
‘Same in both locations. An electronic cigarette.’
‘Stop,’ said she. ‘Is that an app? Would you see a small little picture of it on your phone or the computer screen?’
‘It isn’t,’ I said.
‘A plug-in? Is it rechargeable?’
‘I don’t think so,’ I said. ‘It’s a cigarette substitute.’
‘How does it work?’ she asked. ‘Especially the coconut part of it. Do they come in chocolate?’
‘I have no idea how they work,’ I said. ‘You’ve seen the shops, surely. Remember Falafel shops, how they used be all over the neighborhood?’ I asked.
‘You’d miss them, you would,’ said she. ‘They played lovely music. ‘One of them up the avenue had videos, too. Handsome fellas workin in those places, a bit like some of the Connemaras or the West Cork lads.’
‘Well, goodbye to falafel, and hello to the vape stores,’ I said. ‘That’s what we have instead, now. Hundreds of flavors of mystery liquid that turns into inhalable flavoured nicotine steam in a cigarette holdery kind of a thingey. Chocolate, strawberry, Banana Daquiri, whatever you like. Vape stores are like those Eyebrow Threading salons. One day there aren’t any, and then there’s one every second block.’
‘The little chain shops do come and go,’ said she. ‘Back to the flavours. Have they Guiness? Colcannon?’ said Mrs. Crotty, sounding hopeful. ‘Maybe not. Well, coconut is a nice smell,’ said she. ‘If they want to vape morning, noon and night and turn themselves into palm trees, let them. What harm?’
‘No harm at all,’ I said. ‘Speaking of aromatics, fancy some spicy chai?’
‘Go maith,’ said she, putting a Donegal inflection on it.
‘I saw what you did,’ I said.
‘Breaking News for ye, Ms. Girlín,’ said Mrs. Crotty.
‘It’s not about some NFL player, God help us, or unseemly displays of flesh in Times Square is it,’ I said. ‘That seems to be all our local papers are on about, the past few days,’ I said.
‘Not at all,’ said she. ‘Let me be the first to tell you. The World is Flat.’
‘It’s been a bit dull around here,’ I said. ‘I wouldn’t argue.’
‘You’re not hearing me,’ said she. ‘Flat. F-L-A-T. Like a Staffordshire Plate.’
‘I’m sorry to break it to you, but that was breaking news around the time of Pope Urban the VIII,’ I said. ‘Long before that, to be honest.’
‘Arrah, you’re not with me at all,’ said she. ‘I only heard this the other day. It’s a new discovery. The information is barely out there. In fact it’s been Suppressed.’
‘With good reason,’ I said. ‘A: It isn’t true, and B: You’re being ridiculous only to get a rise out of me. I know you. Where did you hear this? The Gary Null show?’
‘A nice young man I met explained it all to me,’ said she.
‘Was this nice young man accompanied by a parent or guardian?’ Did you meet him on the swing set out in the park?’ I asked. Was he wearing short pants?’
‘He was wearing some very trendy-looking jeans, if you must know,’ said she. ‘And he was in his mid-fifties, I’d say. Had long blond hair, a touch of the Viking,’ said she. ‘Met up with him outside Porto Rico coffee on the bench.’
‘Where was he from–Cloud Cuckoo Land? There are alot of them around these days,’ I said.
‘Calilfornia,’ said she. ‘If ye must know. Would ye ever stop slagging and hear me out? I didn’t credit him, either, not at first.’
‘Go on, so,’ I said. ‘I’d hope not.’
‘Well, do ye know the way ye look out at the horizon,’ said she. ‘Tis flat.’
‘It would be,’ I said. ‘The earth is a big place, or so I believe. You’d have to see alot of it to see any curvature.’
‘That’s because there isn’t anny. None.’
‘But the astronauts can see it’s round,’ I said. ‘They have pictures.’
‘They saw no such thing,’ said she. ‘Twas all a cod. Just like that moon landing. ‘Twas done out in a studio. Out in Queens, I believe. You’ve no idea, how deep the fakery goes.’
‘You’re right, there, Mrs. C.,’ I said, ‘keep going.’
‘The earth doesn’t go round the sun, either.’
‘How is that,’ I asked. ‘The sun traces an arc from one side to the other, like on the Grandfather clocks you’d see, I suppose. How does it get back to the other side?’
‘The sun goes round the earth. Like a ball bearing going round the edge of a plate.’
‘That makes no sense,’ I said. ‘A ball bearing doesn’t do anny such thing.’
‘Fair enough, I can’t explain it quite the same way he did. Just believe me, the sun goes around the earth. And it’s a lot smaller and a good deal closer than they say.’
‘Is that it?’ I said.
‘No, there’s more, a good deal more. Wait till I tell you; there’s no global warming, either.’
‘What’s your man’s source,’ I asked. ‘The Tea Party Weekly Observer?’
‘Hardly,’ she sniffed. ‘Tis from a scientist. A Brit. On the Youth Tube. It’s not even in a book yet.’
‘Well that’s reassuring,’ I said. ‘You can’t go wrong with Youtube, for the breaking news,’ I said.
‘I know that tone,’ said she. ‘You’d want to hear my friend explain it. It’s all tied up with the wars and the oil business. The Masons are behind it. As they usually are.’ ”
‘Oh, no doubt,’ I said.
‘You see my point, then,’ said Mrs. Crotty. ‘Everything we think we know is wrong.’
‘I’ve no doubt of that,’ I said. ‘But still. Just because we’re often wrong about things doesn’t make a cockamamie theory right.’
‘Aren’t you always going on about keeping an open mind?’ said she. ‘I’d have thought you might hear me out on this. He was very well-spoken.’
‘Mrs. C.!’ I said. ‘I’m surprised. Was he good-looking at all?’
‘A bit,’ said she. ‘But that wasn’t it. He had answers for everything. And you know, it’s hard to remember the things we learned so long ago in school. I got very confused. He had this proof, having to do with jumping up in the air, and how, if we were busy rotating and spinning around and all, wouldn’t we come down in a different spot. I couldn’t remember the laws of gravity by the time he was done talking. I still think he might have something there.’
‘Maybe so,’ I said. ‘But I seriously doubt it. Sure lookit, ’tis very hot today, you’d hardly know your own name after a few hours outdoors. Iced tea?’
‘I might chance some,’ said she. ‘But we might take this subject up again. I’m not done with it, yet.’
I opened the refrigerator. The heat; I hoped that was all there was to it.
Heard the key turn in the lock, followed by a familiar sharp kick delivered to the door.’Lift the knob,’ I said, ‘that doorjab hasn’t been right since 1979.’ ‘Same as a good few,’ said Mrs. Crotty, dropping her bags. ‘Put on the kettle. I’m desperate for a cup.’ ‘You look, I don’t know…like ‘ ‘Like i’ve seen a ghost?’ said Mrs. Crotty. ‘Close,’ said she. ‘Wait till I tell ye.’
‘I met a Fairy in the road,’ said she. ‘Oh stop,’ I said. ‘I’m serious,’ said she. ‘Well,Isn’t that a lucky thing?’ I asked. ‘Ye don’t look happy about it at all’ ‘It isn’t lucky’ said she. ‘They’re not a bit like Tinkerbell or anny of those Disney versions.’ ‘What about the musicians who got tunes from them?’ ‘Arrah, they’d get a tune and never be right, since,’ said she. ‘Ye never get the whole story with that. People don’t tell ye the half of it. They’re mean-minded and generally upta no good, in my experience.’ ‘Where did ye meet him?’ I asked ‘It doesn’t seem like a conducive environment. Especially now that the neighborhood’s changing so. They’d hardly camp out in a juice bar. Or, God help us, the 7-ll.’ Oh, they’re definitely here,’ she said. ‘There’s alot of them congregatin in the McDonalds on First and Sixth. They go there in the afternoons and hang out all day, emptying the napkin dispensers and fiddling with the doors of the public restroom. But do ye mind the auld Dutch Church on 10th Street? ‘Where they have the poetry project?’ ‘The very one,’ said she. ‘Saw one there this morning. Skirping around the side and going round and round the granite stone circles. Up and over the iron fence and onto the sidewalk, him and his bandy legs.
‘How’d you know him?’ ‘He’d a Red hat,’ she said, ‘in a word.’ ‘That’s two words,’ I said. ‘Red. Hat.’ ‘Don’t be technical,’ said she. Not one a them wooly hats like the hipsters wear. ‘Twas a sparkly red fedora. Like something you’d see on New Year’s Eve. He’d on black skinny jeans and a black tea shirt. A pipe-cleaner of a fella, all wiry legs and arms. Hopped in fronto of me and started singing away, in a deep bass: “I’VE GOT A BRAND-NEW LAPTOP. I’VE GOT A BRAND-NEW LAPTOP.” Gyrating and swiveling like Elvis. Mortifying! You couldn’t look away. Good job I’d the sunglasses and hat on or he’d have twigged I was staring.’ ‘What harm is that?’ I asked. ‘You see all kinds in the street.’ ‘The look on him!’ said she. ‘If he catches your eye, he’ll folly ye all day long. He’d be after ye for God knows what. If he asked ye for annythin, you’d hafta give it, too, ’tis bad luck to refuse.’ ‘But you often give a bit of change to the homeless fellas. I know ye do,’ I said. ‘That’s different,’ said she. ‘This wasn’t like that. He had a look. ‘Twasn’t nice at all. The homeless fellas are nice, gentlemen as a rule. Annyway, I passed him out.’ She paused. ‘What’s that smell?’ said she. ‘Brimstone, God Between us and All Harm!!!’ ‘The tea kettle is after boiling up all the water,’ I said. Lifted the lid with a folded potholder; terrible hot. Plastic handle was darkened, nearly glowing with heat. An awful smell off it, and the twine stopper for the lid, burnt. ‘Malfeasance,’ said Mrs. C. ‘What’d I tell ye? He musta seen me taking notice.’ She took her apron off and turned it inside out. ‘I’ll hafta go round like this the rest of the day, see if I can turn the luck. In the meantime, fill one of the small pots again, will ye? Water boils the same, whatever the container.’ I took a pot down from the wall.
Couldn’t face going out with Mrs. Crotty in that oufit she got together in the Halloween Store. I mean, a leather corset over a flowered apron, over the goth gown. ‘It’ll never go on Broad Street–or anny street,’ I said. ‘You’ve to be a young wan for that. The state of you!’ ‘Wisdom’ comes with age,’ said she. ‘Oh true enough,’ I said, ‘but the street isn’t the place for it. This is New York. They don’t care.’ She looked a bit hurt. ‘I’m sorry,’ I said. ‘Just the way of it. America is different to West Clare.’ ‘You needn’t tell me that,’ said she. ‘Arrah, if that’s the way, that’s the way. We’ll ring up a friend or two and have a tune in the kitchen.’ ‘There you are,’ I said. I hated to be so dampening, but I couldn’t help myself. It’d be one thing if we were both dressed up as the Statue of Liberty, with the body paint and all. Made a note to file that one away, see if the paint would come off on the instruments. Might be a good idea for the 4th of July.
Woke with bit of the migraine today, but never mind that. There was a beautiful breeze, early on and I knew that most of the clients would be walking their own today; I’d get through it somehow. Mrs. Crotty saw my face and said she’d take the mad mixed breed out and on the way back collect the weekend Boarder, a more manageable mix–little black and white terrier-Maltese-Shihtzu sort of a fellow. Huge relief, you’ve no idea. A rough week with the barking and shouting, and it wasn’t just Crotty and myself. Guest dog took on protective duties and took a dislike to all the resident shihtzus, goading them whenever they’d get near either of us. I like when the boarding dogs become attached, but this one was codependent to a fault. We tried to guess her origins–Mrs. Crotty and I are both essentialists when it comes to explaining dog behavior. I said Irish Terrier and Shepherd– maybe part Jack Russell. Mrs. Crotty called her a Borderline Collie-Terrierist. ‘Prozac for that one. Long workouts in the Park. And DBT, pronto’ said she. ‘If the hospital won’t take her on your Medicaid, we’ll at least get a gentle leader halter for her. Sure lookit, she’s ate halfway through the one she came with.’
So, off went Mrs. Crotty, travelling teacup in one hand and Mad Mix, frayed leash and all in the other. Tried to breathe a sigh and feel the relief of it. Sat by the window in the fireside chair and listened to the workmen deconstructing an upstairs apartment. ‘Fair play to the workmen,’ I thought. ‘Lifting sledgehammers at 8 in the morning can’t be annyone’s cup of tea. Fell into a sort of zone when I heard a familiar kicking at the door.
‘Lift the knob,’ I said, ‘that door hasn’t been right since 1979.’ ‘Mary Pickford and that door were in their prime at the same time,’ said Mrs. C. She was right. Some said it’d been the home of the actors from the Second Ave. Yiddish theatres in their heyday at the turn of the century. Still had gas lines in the walls and dirty old cracked marble stairs. ‘It’s like the Strange Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,’ said Mrs. Crotty when I first asked her what she thought of it. ‘In more ways than one,’ I thought, but I didn’t say anything at the time. ‘How’d ye get on?’
‘Put the kettle on,’ said she. ‘I’ve had a bit of a fright.’ She dropped the new dog’s overnight bag on the bench and sank down beside it. Mad Mix and New Dog took to each other straightaway, and began a round of crouch, retreat and attack–they were as happy. I shunted them off into the living room. ‘Tell me,” I said.
‘I met a Fairy in the road,’ said she. ‘Stop,’ I said. ‘I’m serious,’ said she. ‘Isn’t that a lucky thing?’ I asked. ‘No,’ said she. ‘It’s one thing if Seamus Ennis meets one; there’d be music in the encounter; you could get a lovely tune that way sometimes. ‘Twasn’t like that. No overnight trips or parties on the Other Side,’ nothing like that. ‘You do look at bit shook,’ I said. ‘But where would a Fairy be around here? This is Manhattan. I only thought we had them upstate. Mike McGann’s wife said she could feel them in the Catskills one time when we were driving up, somebody else in the car agreed, and they talked about it nonstop from the GW bridge to Kingston. I’m not that sensitive, didn’t feel annythin. Haven’t the knack or whatever, upstate nor nere. Only in Ireland, back in the 80s’ ‘Oh, they’re definitely here,’ she said. ‘Around the yard of the auld Dutch Church on 10th Street, where they have the poetry project. Sometimes they help out on a Monday night. More often, they’re upta nothing good. Bring in the most addled 20 somethings they can find and get them to go up at an Open Reading. They thing it’s huge crack. Drives the young interns mad. Daytime, they’re hiding in the bushes or mucking about in the basement. Ask Philip Glass, I’m sure he’s seen them. God knows they love to interfere with the benefit concerts. Untune the piano, or spill beer on the dance floor for the avant-garde dance troops.
‘What about your fairy,’ I said, trying to reign in the tangent. ‘How’d you know him?’ ‘Redhat,’ she said, ‘in a word.’ ‘That’s two words,’ I said. ‘Red. Hat.’ ‘No it isn’t,’ said she. ‘It’s Redhat. It’s a different class of hat. ‘Twas a sparkly red derby, like something you’d see on New Year’s eve. He’d on black skinny jeans and a black tea shirt. Thin–a pipecleaner of a fella. And the cut of him! I heard him first, hadta look up from minding the dog. He’d a deep bass voice, and was singing a kind of bluesy-phrase “I’VE GOT A BRAND-NEW LAPTOP. I’VE GOT A BRAND-NEW LAPTOP.” He was gyrating and swiveling like Elvis or Shakira Thrusting. If he’d been at that in my parish back in the day, the priest’d have taken a switch to him, God knows, they couldn’t even tolerate the set dancing. I couldn’t look away–twas riveting! Good job I’d the sunglasses and hat on or he’d have twigged I was staring.’ ‘What harm in that?’ I asked. ‘You see all kinds in the street, no one takes anny notice’ ‘The look on him!’ said she. ‘If you make eye contact with one like that, he’ll folly ye all day long. The dog’d be no bother to him. Then he’d ask were ye married, had ye a boyfriend. I know them fellas. ‘I might have met a few of them, so’ I said. ‘But they’re no harm, just making conversation in their own way ‘I know,’ said Mrs. Crotty. ‘But this one was different. A bit more than divelment in his look, trust me. It wasn’t at all nice. You’d feel like ye’d been to hospital and had an xray taken of your soul. You’d have to see the eyes. Ye can’t engage, you’ll be all day and night and wake up in a different borough with scraps of paper in your pockets and a scratched out lotto ticket, and not have a clue who ye are or where the past five years went. That’s how they operate over here; I’ve heard the stories from some that made that mistake. Annyway, I passed him out. Got down to the supermarket, then Cooper’s Kitchen and Dempsey’s. There’s comfort in the local spots, isn’t there?’ said she. ‘The ordinary. Felt like I’d passed through a door and got back to the land of the living. Looked up and saw the hawks, and I felt unsafe again. ‘I think you might have done just that,’ I said. ‘A close encounter!’ ‘Too close,’ said Mrs. Crotty.
Went to one of those Indian threading salons, and dyed my eyebrows. Did it for the craic; that, and I was tired of looking like an exhumed Viking corpse. ‘The folly of vanity!’ said Mrs. Crotty. ‘Ye look like a Guy Fawkes mask in want of a protest.’ ‘You’re no help at all. No. help.’ I said. ‘What do you ye want me to do about it?’ said she. ‘Take heart; it’ll fade, everythin does.’ ‘One can only hope,’ I said. ‘Well, in the meantime,’ said she, ‘I’ll paint a goatee on ye, and ye can go Occupy something besides the kitchen and the dogpark. Plenty choices there: Wall Street, Fracking, Real Estate, Racism, Education, Iced Lotto, Littering, Tourism…take your pick. I’ll get a mask at the Halloween store and join ye. ‘Iced Lotto?’ I said. ‘Are you serious?’ ‘Latté,’ said she. ‘You know what I meant.’
Guy Fawkes, Part II
Finished walking the morning shift of dogs and met up with Mrs. Crotty on E. 12th. People were out and about with the good weather, doing the messages, studying their phones in the sunlight, lining up for salted caramel tarragon ice cream and the like. Posses of young men in shirts outside their trousers passed us, momentarily stopped from starting start-ups in rented fluorscent-lit rooms. A lone lean figure carrying a placard crossed our path.’ “6’7” Jew Will Rap for You”‘ read Mrs. Crotty. ‘I wonder what his rates are, would he be charging by the inch or the minute. Would there be a surcharge for consonance?’ ‘Ask him,’ I told her. But he had passed us by, with his long strides, and was headed towards the crowds around Union Square, just up the block. We continued on, following our plan; Mrs. Crotty to the Every Day is Halloween Store for her mask and me to the Strand in the meantime.
Tried to emulate the hawks above, sweeping the outside book racks for pre-war children’s books with a piercing gaze. Couldn’t manage in the bright sunlight; the glare defies focus. Also, I’m not a hawk, I’m a myopic person with a touch of the ADD. Still, landed on a few finds. “Linguistics and Narrative” — only $1.00. Just the kind of book I hardly understood before selling to the Strand 20 years ago. ‘Could have a second go at that,’ I thought. ‘Might be something in it I could use. Maybe it’d help me understand the logic Crotty’s neologisms. ‘Or not,’ I thought, daunted by the diagrams. Moved on upstairs to Needlework. A book on Gansey knitting leapt out. No, I’m lying, I pulled it out myself. Studies the photographs of old seamen in their beautiful jumpers: triangles; cables, diamonds; slightly vertiginous charts and morse codes to follow: P2K1P2KC3ExcelPowerPointTWCHBO and the like. Did I already have it? Made a note of the author and took it to the basement to hold. Outside again. Saw an enchanting hardback: with black and white photo plates: “Buttons I have Loved,”with its embossed moss-green cover fading to gray at the edges. ‘Who writes a book about their button collection?’ I wondered.
I’d have fallen into a reverie about that, but realized Crotty must be long done at the costume shop. Better get over there before she gets into something I thought. Made my way around a few gaggles and into the store with me. There she was, wheezing a out a reel set out on her concertina. A few Goth kids gawked at her, horrified, I think. She’d droppped the cardigan and pleated skirt. Eyeliner out to there, like Amy Winehouse in a blackout; a shredded black ballgown with a corset worn out the outside and a pair of witchy patent leather boots on her. “The Smokey Chimney and Paddy Ryan’s Nightmare,” she said, after she’d finished. Pleased with herself.
‘What happened to Guy Fawkes,’ I asked. ‘I thought we were going to go Occupy Wall Street this afternoon. ‘The clerks said they’re out of them. Won’t be any more until September. No one goes Occupying in the summer, it seems,’ she said. ‘Anyway, I thought I’d go with something different. A bit of edge. We can still go downtown,’ said she. ‘Oh right,’ I said. ‘Nothing says revolution like dressing up like Elvira, Mistress of the Night and playing a few auld tunes.’ ‘My thoughts, exactly,’ said she, missing my tone. ‘The no. 6 line’ll take us down. And if we can’t revolt, well, we might go busking around the Seaport. What do you reckon?’ ‘Give me a few minutes to think,’ I said.