Sunday, February 14, 2010
Return of Keats and Chapman
Keats and Chapman hired a gardener, one Shmuel Abramovich. It all worked out very nicely, and a dab hand he proved to be in the cabbage patch, and as for the turnips! Unrecognisable was hardly the word, from the washout of last year’s paltry crop. Soon it’d be like New Jersey in a Philip Roth novel, Keats joked. How, Chapman foolishly asked. With a rose in bloom on every corner, honk honk, came the reply. There was only one problem. Shmuel repeatedly, and in ways that seemed beyond his control, broke into Fiddler on the Roof routines, usually in response to some gardening-related stimulus. ‘Shmuel, I was thinking about the marrows for the garden fête...’, Keats would begin, only for Shmuel to launch into a rendition of ‘If I Was a Rich Man’, kicking and lurching round the garden in a most theatrical way. It got worse and worse, to the point where he was ringing in sick most days. Chapman decided that firmness was required and, noticing a climbing-plant infestation on the side of the house, made him come back to deal with it. But it was too much for Shmuel, and a half-hour of klezmer-themed song and dance routines later, the poor man keeled over and died. ‘I blame myself’, announced Chapman. ‘Don’t do that’, said Keats, ‘It was obviously a case of Poison Oi Vey’.
Off to the sunny south-west for a few days.