Sunday, October 14, 2007


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"All right lad, I'm finished. I've just got to put mi good suit on and we'll go."
He walked over to the living room door to were his suits were hanging on a large nail.
"What color do you think I should wear? Navy blue, dark blue or dark gray?"
"The dark blue one looks good Dad."
"Ya mean this one?"
"I bought this one off of mi last winnings on the nags. I had a few bob on the Trifecta and it came in. Paid a good price too. It cost me a couple of hundred quid. It's pure Worsted English wool. It'll last me until I kick the bloody bucket, then they'll probably bury me in it."
"It's a good looking suit Dad."
"Here lad, feel the weight of it."
"Shit, that's pretty heavy."
"Yeah, that's how you tell a good suit. Those modern flimsy bloody things they call suits these days aren't worth a fiddlers fart."
"Why don't you keep 'em upstairs in your wardrobe?"
"It's too bloody cold up there lad and besides, I'm getting too bloody old to be gallivanting up and down those 'dancers' every time I need something to wear so I hang 'em behind the door. That way, they're good and warm when I go to put them on."
I sat there quietly and watched him get dressesd. He was beginning to shape up like the gentleman he was.
"What color tie do you like that'll go with this?"
"Let's see. I like this one but it doesn't go with the suit. How about the maroon paisley one?"
"Just what I was thinking lad. I'm not to keen on wearing ties but I can't go out in a suit without one."
He didn't have to tie his tie 'cause he always left the knot in them so he could slip it over his head. He grabbed his black brogues then sat down in his chair to put 'em on. Once they were in place, he grunted as he bent over tie 'em up.
"You want me to tie 'em up for ya?"
"What? You must be bloody joking! The day I can't tie mi own bloody shoelaces will be the day I curl mi bloody toes. I may be an old man but I'm not a bloody cripple."
"All right, just asking. Don't do ya' nut."
"Tie mi shoe laces! What bloody next? who the hell do ya' think has tied 'em all these years? George Swindells, that's who!"
'Better not make that mistake again.' I thought, as I watched him. He's a real independent old bugger."
Once his shoes were on, he gave them a quick dust-over with a a polishing rag.(not that they weren't clean and ready, that was his habit.)
He went out into the hall and got his good, best Trilby off of the peg, his good gabardine overcoat and silk muffler. Once he had the Trilby on his head at the proper angle, he said to me,"How's that lad? How do I look?"
"Great Dad. I'll bet you're the best-dressed man at West End Club tonight. Those old women down there will be all over you like bees 'round a honey pot."
"I'y, you're probably right but they'll be awfully disappointed when I leave on mi own."
He looked like an old Duke or Earl as he pulled on his good overcoat and when he'd finally got it sitting on his shoulders right, he said, "All right lad. I'll just put this fire guard up and we'll be ready to go. Old George Swindells is ready for a night out and a couple of pints of Websters Bitters."
It was pretty cold out as we walked along the back street of his house. One of his female neighbors who was putting the milk bottles out said, "Evening George. Ya going out for a while?"
"I'y." he said as he walked past. "Ya know who this bloke is?"
"Can't say I do George."
"It's mi son. He's come over from Australia to visit me."
"Oh, how lovely for ya George. He looks just like you."
"He'd bloody better or i'll want to know why!"
"Well, have a good evening George and mind how ya go. It's still slippy out from the snow."
Without another word, he set off up the street at a reasonably fast pace.