Wednesday, September 23, 2015

There was no prize

When she sat back down at her table she found that a group of men dresses as condoms were staggering across St Helen's Square. They were in one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and they were dressed as condoms. What was wrong with Benidorm? Or Magaluf? ("You want everyone to behave better, but you don't behave better yourself," Bertie said.)

One of the condom men squashed himself like an insect against the large plate-glass of Bettys and leered at the diners. The pianist glanced up from his keyboard and then continued serenely with Debussy. A van drew up in the centre of St Helen's Square and disgorged several people dressed as zombies. The zombies proceeded to chase the men who were dressed as condoms. The condom men didn't seem very surprised, as if they were expecting to be chased by zombies. ("They pay for it," Bertie said.) Was this fun? Viola despaired. It was possible, she thought, that she had won the race to reach the end of civilization. There was no prize. Obviously.
— from A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson.

It's a devastatingly lovely book. The above excerpt should not considered representative, but it did make me laugh amid the general bleakness of war, and of life in general.

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