Saturday, November 26, 2005

Handcuffed by a word


They have taken the scaffolding away from JO’s.
JO’s is what the locals call the Spa shop in Llandrindrod Wells because the owner is J O Davies. The Welsh have a thing about names. A regular in the Griffin, Llyswen, was a man who’s name was Harold but whose history was that of a prisoner of war who stayed on when it ended. He was known ever after as Herman the German.
Dai Farter, another name I remember from the Griffin but I cant testify as to it’s appositeness since I never managed to meet him.
I am sure the Llandod locals when they christened it JO’s had in mind something more than just initials after all Spa has fewer syllables. Probably they liked the contrast between the idea of OJ and the idea of JO as men.
Last week when the scaffolding was up I called in to JO’s to purchase a ‘Bombay Bad Boy’ for lunch. (See Harvest below). Facing one of the scaffolding poles with her nose an inch or so from the metal itself and both hands clutching the pole at eye level was an elderly lady. I shall resist any mention of geriatric pole dancing because it would be in very poor taste but I think I know why she was there.

We used to have a Welsh terrier called Nippy and like all of his kind he was untrainable.
The only way to stop him from escaping from the garden was to shout loudly and violently STAAY!! . He would stop still and turn to look at you. You could see his brain calculating the possibility of your reaching him before he made freedom. His decision, escape or remain still and await capture was invariably right and sometimes very finely judged. Many times when he had decided on the open road rather than surrender he evaded capture by the slimmest of margins , my hand grasping for his tail as he forced his way through the hedge just failing.
I was trying to pretend to my wife that I had given up smoking and part of the plan was to use a mouthwash. I was just approaching by car the house swilling the stuff round in my mouth when I noticed Nippy strolling out of the gate. Coming towards him on foot were two neighbours one of whom was a retired clergyman. I had 3 choices of action but could only think of two.
Let him risk wandering into the busy road or quickly opening the door of the car spitting out the mouthwash and shouting as loudly and aggressively as possible STAAAY! I loved the dog and so chose the latter. What on earth the neighbours thought when they saw this violent performance with additional vomit I do not know.
Meanwhile back at the pole my theory is that either some social worker or perhaps relative of the lady in question wanted to pop into JO’s for their lottery ticket etc.
In an attempt to ensure that their charge did not escape they had positioned her holding the pole and uttered the equivalent of STAAAYY!

3 comments:

FBT said...

I miss the UK. Pls keep posting the pictures. It may look like a humble Spa shop to you, but it's immensely evocative to me.

Paul said...

Bore da !

MacDuff said...

Tlon I wouldnt dare tell J.O his emporium was just a 'humble Spa shop'

Paul, your knowledge of Catford and Welsh, for an American, shows an unusual interest in the 'outside world'. I shouldnt be surprised if the CIA wasn't watching you.