Monday, June 25, 2012

The British Eccentric

When I moved to England, I thought the term "British eccentric" had to be a falsehood.  Let me tell you, it isn't.  I thought I had seen eccentrics when I was living in South Carolina. The southern United States has a long tradition of eccentrics. We had a man who we thought was an American Civil War reenactor. It turns out he was just a guy with a really long beard who wore a confederate war hat and carried a brief case (containing God knows what), who sat at the local barbers shop to shoot the crap and trade fishing stories with the local folks...cause he could.  Believe me, we're loaded with eccentrics.  Here though, I can't throw a stone without hitting a colorful person.  For the record, by colorful I mean off their rockers and don't give a flying crap.  

When I first moved here we had a neighbor who would mow his lawn while wearing loafers and a tweed jacket...in the middle of July.  Then we had builders of a certain age (above 40 years old) who would blast loud techno music while they were laying bricks at the neighbors house.  There was also the man at the market who had shorts so short that I nearly saw "the twins".  This past week however took the cake.  The entire chocolate cake.

While I was doing my weekly errands in the local town, I saw two older people walking down the sidewalk.  They were the cutest elderly couple ever in the history of ever.  There was a dear old lady and a sweet old man. As they approached I could hear a jingle bell.  Odd.  Then I noticed there was a bell around the older gent's ankle.  Yes, a bell on a rope around his ankle.  He was jingling and jangling as he walked.  No, he wasn't a Morris dancer.  Well, at least he wasn't dressed as one and by my estimation he probably would have broken a hip if he tried to Morris dance.  There was a BELL AROUND HIS ANKLE!!  

At this point I couldn't help but kind of laugh to myself and wonder if it worked like a cat collar with a bell....

"Hush Mabel, Henry is coming.  I can hear his bell."