Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A First Foot

If you have ever been visited at 10:15 am by a lady who looked exactly like deceased spiritualist Helen Duncan, jailed under the Witchcraft Act in 1944 for pretending to conjure phantoms, then you will be well aware of the initial shock that accompanies the encounter.

Your heart palpitates. You say, "Helen Duncan, can it be you? Have you returned from the dead to reap revenge on the authorities for convicting you under such an outdated law in the 40s? Your manifestation in ghostly form doubtless proves the validity of spiritualism and may hence clear your name, but would a posthumous pardon really grant you the eternal rest you crave? Such concerns are the domain of the living, Helen, and should not bother the dead. You are past such earthly tribulations. Enjoy your afterlife, Helen. Step into the light. Step into the light." Then you waft a joss-stick to facilitate her departure.

And if your encounter ran similarly to mine this morning, the lady will appear confused then announce that she is actually alive and a member of Care in the Community who has come to cheer you up during the festive time of the year. The lady claimed that she was distributing New Year 'First Foot' gifts to the poor, needy, and demented of Dundee using presents kindly donated by the affluent, independent, and sane of Dundee. I must have been mistakenly placed upon the list, but I did not let on because I am so deperately poor and could use anything of material value.

I was presented with a Zaphod Beeblebrox figurine, a 'Grow Your Own Crystal' set, and some shortbread. I thanked the lady, then stared meaningfully at her until she left. I do not know what a 'Zaphod Beeblebrox' is, but the figure depicts a grossly deformed man with two heads, so I committed it to the flames at once. The 'Grow Your Own Crystal' set will be useful, because once I have grown the crystals, I will set them in golden rings and sell them on Ebay for profit.

I ate the shortbread.

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