Sunday, 16 June 2019

Write-In 2019: 'To Whom It May Concern' by Sarah Mosedale


To Whom It May Concern
Receipt in Full and Final Acknowledgment of a Series of Serendipitous Circumstances

  • The cancellation of the 18.02 to Dalkeith, obliging me to catch a later train
  • The presence, on that train, of a man with a monkey, a sight never before witnessed, a sight which was to have life changing consequences
  • The determination of said man to extract payment from his fellow passengers by means of causing them to have their photographs taken with said monkey
  • My lifelong aversion to the smaller apes, particularly when costumed in knitted yellow trousers, an aversion dating from an unfortunate incident during a visit to Edinburgh Zoo as a child
  • The presence of an exceptionally attractive young gentleman and a fire extinguisher
  • The existence of a buffet car, by no means an everyday occurrence, which caused me to first encounter man and monkey on my return, they having gained ingress to my carriage in the meanwhile
  • The not inconsiderable alarm this encounter occasioned, causing me to gasp and lose control of the tray I was carrying
  • The absurd over-reaction of a nearby lady who took exception to the minor inconvenience of a little hot tea arriving in her vicinity at speed
  • The bumbling attentions of an elderly gent the said lady then received, to provide which necessitated him laying aside his pipe, which he did carelessly
  • The conflagration which ensued after the pipe became intimate with a newspaper
  • The swift and athletic response of the aforementioned young gentleman, wielding the fire extinguisher with aplomb
  • The speedy exit of man and monkey
  • The amusement this sequence of events generated in both myself and the young gentleman which, not shared by all present, precipitated our retiring to the buffet car, there to explore further our mutual interests.

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