old money

     [A sheared hedge] … “signifies vision, persistence, and patience – qualities we crave in today’s world.  Yet many people do make the commitment.  They create hedges, care for them eagerly, and gain much satisfaction from the process.   Why?  Perhaps it’s because shaping a hedge is the closest most of us will ever  come to doing sculpture or erecting a monument, but I think the real reward is more mundane.  Shearing is very empowering – it gives you an exhilarating sense of control and achievement.  You can stand back afterward and say, look what I’ve done.”
–   Rita Buchanan, All About Hedges


     I was doing a little pruning of the everpresent hedge of the a.m. (It’s a Ligustrum vulgare if you must know) when I espied Dr. Brunel approaching. Now, if you have never had the misfortune to encounter Dr. Brunel on your travels, then believe me Sir, a chill descended down my spine.

     “You’re doing that all wrong!” he opened his account with. 

      “I believe that you are incorrect dear boy,” not to be outdone

     “Clearly you are using the T-hybrid 236H patent approved Hexcrank Secataurs when the H-Clasp 267J would obviously be more appropriate.

     I believe that well known opium fiend W. Burroughs wrote something along the lines of : “if when in the presence of a certain person you feel as if you’ve just lost a litre of blood, then don’t go near that person”.


     Yes indeed, we were entering the realm of the pointless argument. Of course, the best move to make when faced with such a scenario is to change the subject immediately, if the interlocutor has a rather flimsy grasp of dialectic and the powers of logic.

half a set of triplets, yesterday

half a set of triplets, yesterday

     This reminds me of the horror of a recent discussion about why the imperial system was superior to metric system. The argument goes something like this. Imperial is the finer system because its BRITISH and more accurate. After a little thought it seems the only thing you have to remember is that it is based upon the almost universal fact that we have 10 fingers. Obviously the imperial system would prove a slightly trickier range of arguments:
12 inches in a foot : 10 fingers + 2 elbows
3 feet in a yard : 2 kindneys and a liver
220 yards to a furlong: the year the Goths invaded Asia Minor
8 furlongs to a mile: days in the week (according to The Beatles)

Obviously this gets the good Doctors goat up like billyo. However, he does stick to his guns despite the logical onslaught. I try another tack with him: These are indeed the ONLY secataurs for the job; for as I have not yet revealed my hedge is metric. Imperial secataurs would prune too far. The Dr. casts a suspicious glance at my otherwise unremarkable hedge, muttering something that escapes me. This seemed to be an opportune moment to move the topic of discussion to something that would be easier for him to digest.

“Rather chilly this a.m. what?”

“I make it about 60”

     Oh dear into the steamy area of his beloved farenheits. Any system that bases on of its “fixed points” on the temperature of your armpit has to be at the least slightly dubious. It’s not as if we go to the trouble of calibrating are armpits any more.


1 Response to “old money”

  1. 1 Stefan III of Bordeaux
    June 22, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Ah yes, Dr Brunel, the thinking thugee. I’ve always thought that the most efficient method of keep Dr Brunel from debating the tits off anything is to sit him in the middle.

    I remember Dr Brunel having too much to tipple one evening and vomiting in litres. A slur he vigorously denies based upon the fact that he had only been drinking imperial pints all night.

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