Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Do Not Notice This Notice
It is a sad thing to report, but English towns like Laverstone in small boroughs* are, while not actively xenophobic, not conducive to foreign languages. As a postman of long standing, William Burroughs watched the Indian family move in to the bungalow on Maypole Road and knew there was something to be wary about when the mother carried in three suitcases, two carrier bags and a bird cage at once, one item to each hand. Sidney Coulter, fresh out of art college and making his first delivery, had no such prior knowledge of number twelve and should have paid attention to the sign screwed to the front gate. It was only after she found the body, bloated with poison from the dozens of imported snakes roaming the garden, that the goddess Kali realised her mistake. People generally didn’t read important notices, even bi-lingual ones, when the sign was in an English village but carefully lettered in Urdu and Guajarati.