Monday, August 18, 2008
To be fair, I’d have to admit that not all the residents of Laverstone are destined to become brickettes on the barbeques of Hell. There are several* people who are either virtuous to the extreme or else so devoutly religious in a non-Christian/Jewish/Islamic or other faith derived from the Pentateuch that they have plans elsewhere.**
Take Wilfred Benbow (please!). He was brought up in an orphanage run by the Sisters of Just Rewards and is as devout as they come. He never misses a mass and prays for all eight vigils every day like a monk. If there had been a monastery in Laverstone he would have entered it and spent his life happily devoted to peeling potatoes. Instead poor Wilfred, who is perpetually a blank document in need of a memory stick, became a park keeper through the Government’s employment initiative and the council’s disability tick boxes.
He spends his days pushing a broom around the Royal Park and chipping old chewing gum off the paved areas and benches. He’s as kind a man as you could hope to meet; the kind of man who, if asked for a glass of water, would invite you in for a cup of tea***.
If Wilfred has a fault at all, it’s his hatred of pigeons. He has to clean to park statues.
*Isn’t it odd that ‘several’ is an amalgamation of ‘sever’ and ‘all’, as if by singling out these people from the crowd I have doomed them to wither and die.
**Though it has to be pointed out that since every religion has a ‘non-believers go to Hell’ clause everybody ends up down there, since, for example, the most devout Hindu is a Christian non-believer.
*** Which explains why he owns nothing but a chair and a kettle and a Kenwood Veg-o-matic.