Thursday, 12 November 2009

The screwdriver

Old Willie comes in. He's been in already today, asking for the loan of a wee screwdriver, to fix his TV. He still wants a wee screwdriver, to fix his TV. I still don't have one. Tomorrow morning is no use, because he can buy a set tomorrow morning anyway. He's desperate, so we cut a couple of bits of card into likely shapes, and he seems happy. He tells me there are some great fossils in here. Great fossils. Then tells me that he had found some once, and some pink stone. A guy from Perth had bought them all from him, and he had bought some fish.

He points at the Exogyra shells. 'Are these the ones you eat?'

'Well, they're related to oysters, so I suppose you could.' He picks up a silicified Turitella. 'Are these good?'

'Well, we don't sell that many. They're ok.' He puts it in his mouth and starts to crunch loudly on it. 'No, no - don't eat it. It's stone.'


'Yeah - it's fossilised. It's a fossil.'

'Oh.' Crunch. Crunch. ' I thought it was one o’ theym you could eat.'

Eventually, after some chewing, he spits some bits of it out. I hold out some tissue paper, but he puts it in his pocket. 'Out o’ the way.' Crunch.

He tells me about when he stopped cutting wood and went fishing in a boat. He knew where the oysters where, and caught huge haddock and herring. The fisherman asked him where he found them and he showed him. When he goes for a walk he keeps his eye open. If he finds something, he'll tip me a nod. He shakes my hand. 'Great fossils.' He shakes my hand again.

Crunch. Crunch. 'Christ - I'm still chewin’ that @*&#. I thought it was one o’ theym wee fish.' Crunch.

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