Alexia used to joke – and goodness knows it was the same joke every midday Sunday – that there were fewer deaths on Sunday so she would indulge in a wine or two and a cigarette.
They always had the main meal at midday-ish on a Sunday. On other days of the week the main meal was in the evening. Alexia’s little joke was undoubtedly because the list of names in the death column of the Sunday paper was a lot scantier than the list of dead people during the week. In general, all Sunday news was scantier. Of course in reality the number of dead on a Sunday was averagely the same as every other day.
None of this stopped Alexia from her little weekly joke as she settled in an armchair during pre-prandials, pouring a wine, and lighting a cigarette. “It’s safer to drink and smoke today because there are fewer deaths on Sunday.”
When Aunt Ethel called from the kitchen door that “Dinner’s ready!” (Aunt Ethel always cooked the Sunday meal) all rose except for Alexia. The newly lit cigarette held between her two fingers had burnt to the butt. So quiet and sudden was her death that not even the ash had fallen to the floor. No one had noticed.
When Merle read in the waiting room of Hair and Nails Beauty Salon that there were nematodes invisible to the naked eye swimming in her drinking water she just about threw up. She almost painted the walls of the beauty parlour with psychedelic chunder. For years Merle had thought she had eaten meat-free and then suddenly… a revelation…
Of course, she could boil the water first, but that would be no different from boiling a leg of mutton. She’d still be swallowing boiled meat, albeit dead worms. Distilled water from the shop was no solution. The nematodes had been ruthlessly murdered so the water could be sold in all its purity. She would not be party to such dastardly actions.
Merle’s husband, when told, had no such qualms. He had eaten meat wholehearted all his life, and thought that having digestible-friendly worms in his water simply added to things.
There was only one thing for it; from now on Merle would drink nothing but Coca Cola. So much more animal friendly. So much healthier. So much cheaper than buying bottled water.