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Drop dead, the Englishman said

Tue 2015-Jan-13 @ MYT 03:33:04 am

A DAY IN THE LIFE

The village cafe was quiet late on Sunday night save for the excited patter of the ersatz Hooray Henry on the telly washing gently, unnoticed, over the regular gaggle of kakis huddled over dum at the long bench and a few kaki bola following the teatime Premier League match.

An uneventful first-half passed, the once-mighty former champions in humbler times striving to regain their rhythm, pace and touch against energetic upstarts.

Ho-hum.

It had seemed almost an antidote to the long adrenaline-fuelled day at the keyboard. But there was email to catch up on, while Abbas Saad and Paul Parker (from the sound of it) went through their paces at the break. Midway through, an English voice rises over the patter. “Drop dead” it says, a disembodied male white Anglo-Saxon, mid-30ish, the RPish tones a contrast to the drone of the punditry. Half a minute later, it says “You’re not listening”.

Mind elsewhere, eyes on the phone, two thumbs laboriously at another longish email, obviously not. The phrases had lodged in the recesses of the conscious, recalled only later. Had anyone else in the cafe been listening, they remained unperturbed, though past events had shown that among them were one or two with some acquaintance of its provenance.

From whence it came and why there was no way of knowing. There was purpose in it being said, the words deliberately chosen, but that purpose was as unknowable as the intended target. Previous encounters had made such a demonstration unremarkable, interjections at long range over the public airwaves almost a given on certain channels.

Friend or foe?

The obvious intent being to unsettle, the latter the more probable.

A disturbance from the force, one might well say. One is not amused.

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