Monday, February 09, 2009
Mrs. Tavish, who runs the post office, always has a kind word for those that take the trouble to pass the time of day with her. “Life’s never to busy to be pleasant,” she says, usually as a pointed comment to someone who’s asked for a stamp and just stuffed the money through the gap in the bullet-proof, hammer-proof and stinky-breath-proof plastic screen over the counter. “Good day to you,” she’ll shout over the ringing of the door bell as they leave, more a curse than a blessing, but then she’ll turn to the next customer and smile as if she’d been given flowers.
Tommy Tavish is somewhat less enthusiastic about his customers. He retired at 55, expecting to pack up and move to warmer climes. Brighton, perhaps, or Swansea. His surprise when his wife applied for – and won – the position of postmistress took all the joy from him and now he sits in the kitchen – or on the bench at the front of the shop if it’s warm – scowling at the youngsters and offering his toothless grin to any single ladies that go past.
They tell his wife about his advances over the purchase of a stamp and a pot of tea with the parcel weighing station as a makeshift table. “Silly old fool,” she says, blaming him still for a loveless marriage. “He’d run a mile if any of them showed an interest. I wouldn’t mind but his relevant parts haven’t even worked since the silver jubilee.”