Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Fairlie: Well James, I have an umbrella problem. My husband is incapable of going past an abandoned umbrella. No case is too hopeless.

JV: Right.

Fairlie: He brings them home, and he takes them down into his shed, and he performs transplants on them.

JV: Oh, okay. Wow.

Fairlie: He’ll put different handles onto different bodies.

JV: Oh, yeah so he grafts them?

Fairlie: He grafts them and I think it’s unnatural. I think it’s playing around with nature.

JV: He’s a Frankenstein.

Fairlie: He’s like the Dr Frankenstein of umbrellas. And the scary thing is, when they’re fixed, he scratches his name and phone number on them and if you take one out and leave it behind somewhere you may as well change your name and go into a witness protection program.

JV: Wow. Woe betide those who lose one of his rescued umbrellas.

Fairlie: Exactly.

JV: Gee that is an interesting obsession isn’t it.

Fairlie: It is interesting. We’ve almost had accidents backing up on the road. He sees one and reverses.

JV: (laughs) Has he always done this?

Fairlie: It’s getting worse.

JV: Oh, it’s getting worse.

Fairlie: We’ve got so many umbrellas. I can’t tell you how many umbrellas we’ve got. He still keeps stopping and fixing.

JV: Fairlie…are you okay?

Fairlie: Yes.

JV: Do you need a moment?

Fairlie: (deep breath) I’ll be right.

JV: Wow. In all other respects a wonderful man?

Fairlie: Oh yes, yes, yes. Never a dull moment.

JV: No, it sounds like it! I’ve never heard of an umbrella hospital before. They’re reasonably cheap.

Fairlie: Yes (laughs)

JV: I like the fact that he’s possessive of them. I thought what you were going to say was that he…

Fairlie: No he’s not giving them away to charity or anything.

JV: Well I thought was that he might spread them back into the world. So that there were functioning umbrellas. Y’know ‘Oh that one works, isn’t that fantastic?’

Fairlie: Not a hope.

JV: Right. They become his.

Fairlie: They become his.

JV: Can you estimate how many umbrellas might be in the shed now?

Fairlie: Oh, well there’d be dozens of them.

JV: Dozens of them?

Fairlie: Dozens of them.

JV: What about…you’re on your way to dinner for example…

Fairlie: Oh no, of course we have to stop. Driving rain, you name it.

JV: Right, out he’ll get. You’re walking up the street and you’re going to go into a restaurant. He’s picked up a rescued umbrella?

Fairlie: That’s it. Sometimes he even puts pipes on them if he hasn’t got the right handle that’ll match a body.

JV: Well it’s good he’s got an interest Fairlie.

Fairlie: Yeah right.

JV: Does he ever turn any of these skills to anything else?

Fairlie: Leave it with me. I’ll think of something else and ring you again.

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