Wednesday, April 25, 2012


my A to Z - every day of the challenge I will find a word by flinging my finger into my American Heritage Dictionary and then riff on it. The posts may be essays or poems or stories or memories. Who knows what will happen when we give Serendipity her wanton way?


"You've got to be kidding! There is no such word." The woman, who Patsy thought looked unfortunately avian, was in a quivering snit.
"Yes Ma'am. There is such a word.  Voidable. An adjective meaning capable of being voided, especially capable of being annulled."
"May I please speak to your manager?" The words were issued from her mouth as if they were hot bullets. The woman had gone beyond snit into apoplectic.
"You may if you would like to phone Peru. That's where she was last seen. My manager has done a flit - she's gone walk-about - she thinks she's in search of truth but I'm sure it will arise that she is merely in search of a good shagging - something you two might have in common." 
Perhaps Patsy shouldn't have added that last bit but it was too late now and quite frankly it had been too late the minute the woman walked into the office. Maybe she hadn't heard Patsy - it was quite common that a person could become deaf with rage. Patsy herself had experienced it in her last relationship. She had simply closed up her ears to Roger's insistent chatter about nothing.
The woman was rendered speechless. Patsy thought she might hurry things up by supplying all pertinent information as quickly as possible.
"I'm the only one in the office. Well, that isn't entirely true - there is Mr. Wapgood but he is more furniture than person at this point." Patsy pointed to a desk in the far corner. A very aged one sat there, a visor pulled down firmly on his bald pate, his breath catching in odd little puh sounds. He appeared to be asleep. Or dead.
"May I sit down? Please?" The bird woman was past all fluttering now and Patsy thought there'd be no harm in letting her alight. She was probably so overwhelmed with the unfortunate news and was feeling woozy from distress. Patsy could certainly understand that. It must be very perplexing and disturbing to find that the travel company which was supposed to take care of your every need had told you that your long anticipated trip to the Amalfi Coast had been cancelled because the owner of the villa had insisted that there be a voidable clause in the contract.
"It is unfortunate that you didn't thoroughly read the contract but there it is - right at the bottom of the fourth page - it is the right of said owner of Villa Faraglioni to cancel the contract for any damn whimsical thought they might have. I mean it doesn't quite say it that way but that is what it is meant. There isn't anything you or we can do. I'm terribly sorry."
"But what did the owner say - Mr. Antonio Carluccio?"
"Oh I didn't talk to him. One of his minions, a smarmy little pissant named Roberto, told me that his master had been hit by a bolt of lightening which apparently means he's madly in love with some bimbo and would be needing the villa to woo his new amour. So there you have it. Nothing I can do. We don't have one villa unbooked on the Amalfi Coast. I can set you up with a charming bedsit in Cornwall - dashing great view, rocky coastline. Really if you take some good red with you there isn't a bit of difference."
The woman rose and began to leave the office. Patsy thought she might be uttering death threats but then, Patsy wasn't easily unnerved. She picked up her cell and punched in a number.
"Roberto, it's me - Patsy. I'll arrive tomorrow afternoon. Get in a case of that Casavecchia 2004. And tell Tony I'll bring my string bikini if he'll get in some of that expensive sun block I like. I only want to bring carry-on."


Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I absolutely love that last bit! And what a great story built around what's often such a - well - uninteresting word. You've created such a crackling story with such a great sense of humour. Thanks.

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* Love it! Oh, what a cute little tale. I like Patsy's sassy ways... though I do feel a little sorry for the bird lady--she DOES need to get laid...