Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Morbid Cow

Tuesday is local rag day. At lunchtime, on this day, I set aside my untidy heap of Guardian and replace them with my 'magic source sheets'.
If I make my own soggy sandwiches in the morning I can earn myself nearly forty minutes of grazing the local news and views. Today, along with my trusty, invisible ear muffs to drown out the latest diet news from my colleagues, I made myself a strong coffee and opened up my guide to the wondrous world of neighbourhood gossip.
I by-passed the story of Mrs Penberthy and her stolen milk bottles and only glanced over 'what's on in your area' ( not much usually), whipped out my pen and notebook and settled down to blissful peace with the obituaries.

'You morbid cow!'

Actually, as I was ploughing through the lists of recently deceased this first interuption sounded more like 'oobicow'.

'What?' I said, annoyed that the staff room had stopped eating their lettuce and were glowering at me.

'I said you're a morbid cow' my usually supportive workmate said 'you're writing down dead people aren't you?'

I nodded 'of course, what's the problem?'

'That's gross'

The rest of the crew nodded - gross, really gross and I felt like the cat that has just been caught licking its bum in public.

I wanted to say.....

'listen you cloth-eared bint, I like the obits, they embellish my life in a way that you can never hope to understand. Dead people are more interesting than Liz Hurley's half inch of cellulite or who's-got-their-tits-out in Heat this week'

...but I realised that my bad temper was still hanging around from the previous nights foray into WI land. Instead I smiled and tried to explain.

'You put dead people in your books then, that's even worse.'

'Don't you have to ask permission or something? another colleague asked.

'Educating pork' sprung to mind but I knew that if I didn't shake them off with a reasonable explanation then I was never going to get to 'G' and there are always interesting names in 'G'.

'So you just use them as a springboard then?

'Exactly.' 'Except when a whole one takes my fancy that is.'

Only last week I had gathered a 'Garfield Shenks', a 'Mordicai Treglowan' and a 'Loveday' that I haven't yet found a surname for.
Between the 1930's and the 1950's the Cornish were magnificent in their choice of monikers and as I am researching for a novel that is set in an 'alternative' Cornwall it seems perfectly normal to use this source of ready made research. I mean, listen to these....

Minnie Gembo

Jakey Moyle

Avergila Boslowek

Grenville Symonds

...who already reside in my new pages.

The title of Morbid Cow may be very apt but God knows what they would think if they knew that I liked nothing better than hanging about in graveyards on my days off, and who knows what the mortuary may hold!!!


Maxine Clarke said...

So what exactly is your job, Minx???
American names are great too, in a different way to those lovely Cornish ones.
The best one I recall from a stint there was "Pepper Leaper".
I kid you not!

Unknown said...

Oh more, more!!

skint writer said...

this is a cool post (sorry, I can't think of anything intelligent to say)

Tillerman said...

What a great idea. Those obits not only have cool names , you also find life stories that you could never invent.

Hmmm said...

Well I thought I was the square peg of the staff room, I read obits to see a) what occupation they did and if it had a bearing on longevity. b) Did they have a happy existence, (you can sometimes read between the lines) c) How many times were they married, and how many children did they have. The names are cool too.
As for dieting, give me STRENGTH to carry on. This woman (very needy, I can't stand needy people) has lost weight by going to that Rosecon woman’s sessions and as a 'reward' her husband took her out for a meal?!!!! I scream inside when I hear someone talking about the calorie content of a slimming bar. Why have women fallen for this trap? Stick insects with false boobs teetering on heels from the rolls to Harvey Nicks is not a woman, it's a hideous version of a woman. Botox, liposuction, anorexia, women are mutilating themselves, why?
When someone says "We are all on a diet here simper simper, I have to say, no I AM NOT ON A DIET. Diets don't work, the food industry feeds off the diet industry, and it’s a con.
Phew, sorry about the rant. Love your blog, I am going to try the earmuffs, I did think of using an ipod...

Hmmm said...

Is it a real cat?

Unknown said...

Hello Hmmm,
thought I had a bee about the place for a minute!
Check out my post called 'These hips are magic hips'(April archive)- it will tell you my thoughts on dieting!