The Lady and the Box Part Two
Dive into Pete’s log, an android from planet Hy Man who, along with Mex has been sent to earth to discover the ways of us humans?
So far, they have discovered “hot” means more than just burn your mouth food, “cool” means more than just the inside of a fridge and the meaning of “chilling”, “chilled” and chilly” are as varied as dishes in an Indian takeaway.
Previously on the Lady and the box…
Pete escaping an Indian takeaway headed into the Edinburgh festival in search of the Lady and the Box. Alone he roamed the streets until finally through a crowd he saw her…
folded up in a see-through box dressed in pink.
Pete couldn’t help himself he just had to dive in…
Please read on…
The box shuddered as her bright pink legs moved, then a hand appeared, followed by a shoulder and pink hair…
Like a cat in a shoebox, the Lady in the box peeked out.
“Seaman,” she said, “did someone say, seaman?”
“He did,” pointed the Comedian to me.
“He did,” I said pointing to the comedian.
She looked from me to the comedian, “what has seaman to do with my box?”
“It all about the knots.” Muttered the comedian with an uncomfortable shuffle.
“It was but a mere joke,” I added.
The lady in the box who went by the name Matilda, eased herself out and sat on the edge, once unfolded she looked a lot older, more of a gran’s vintage than a granddaughter.
The crowd looked disappointed, her stick-thin body, when squashed into a box, had men gapping and drooling. Now, unfolded in a wrinkled bodysuit (not the best Lyrca I had seen) the lady in the box seemed frail rather than elusive.
She eyed me, and with a small cough demanding to know “where my spot was?
“Yes.” She gestured to my golden suit, “I mean what are you? One of those boring statues, standing with no feet? Hardly talent, I mean, you try squeezing yourself into that box five times a day with last night’s vindaloo making itself known.”
“Vindaloo?” muttered a voice from the crowd.
“You eat vindaloo before squeezing,” muttered another voice.
“Jesus,” chuckled the comedian. “Glad I’m standing upwind.”
‘Well it’s that or dhal, beggars can’t be choosers,” snapped Matilda now completely out of the box. “What do you expect when you get free accommodation above an Indian? Fine dining? Corden blue chicken?”
“Thought you were a vegetarian.” Said the comedian, who to be fair was of the same vintage as Matilda.
“I am when I can afford it.” She huffed.
Matilda glared at her audience, “people don't throw money like they used to. “
A few men shuffled.
“It’s not easy making a living when you're competing with…” Matilda eyed me “statues and fire eating…”
“You stay above an Indian?” said a man coming forth with a few coins.
“What did you expect, the Hilton?” She said with a thank you nod.
A few more coins appeared.
“I keep the toilets clean, serve a few poppadum’s and I get a free room with all the mistaken orders you can shake a stick at.”
“You serve in a restaurant?” Said an elderly woman, “at your age? You poor thing.” She nudged her husband who with a grunt slid a note under a pile of brown change.
“And whoever threw these 2 p's in should ashamed of themselves,” he snapped.
“It was me,” said a tiny boy.
The crowd was silent, in the distance we could hear the hissing of fire-eating followed by the roar of the applause.
A young man appeared placed a fiver on the coat, retrieved a couple of coins and muttered about the parking meter, his partner nudge him,
“Ken, must you?”
“She’s eating wrong orders.”
“Wrong orders my arse" he sniffed.
“Last night I was forced to eat burnt chapatis.” said Matilda now poised on the edge of her box.
“And what’s that to do with me?” said Ken, he turned to his partner. “She bounced into the box wasn't even there a minute and out again. Hardly a show. She's lucky she got a pound if you ask me.”
The lady in the box sniffed, “well I could bounce back in if you like, or perhaps you’d like to do a little bouncing…” she glared “… for you parking meter.”
The comedian looked at me.
I looked at him.
He gestured to the box…
“Permit me, Ma’am, I am sure two for the price of one may boost your sales and avail you to some vegetarian cuisine of the non-spicy variety.”
She with a knock-yourself-out gesture, stood back.
I handed my bag and gloves to the old lady, my shoes to the comedian (ignoring his face pulling), tossed my housecoat at Ken and stepped into the box.
With great ease I began the process of folding.
The crowd hushed apart from Ken who with reverent folding of my coat shouted, “come on my son.”
Matilda’s foot inched in and we, without a grunt shuffled as her butt ended near my cheek.
The crowd oooh-ed and arrrrh-ed over the thump of coins landing on a woolen jacket.
I eased myself into a banana around the other body position, my head squished into a corner.
“Now pose,” she whispered into the small of my back.
I peered out of my corner, face flattened by the perplex and smiled a squashed “thumbs up”.
The crowd began to cheer, clap shout “more”.
Then I heard another whisper…
“It was all rubbish about the vindaloo,” she said. “I stay at my granddaughter’s we take it in turns-it’s a family business.”
“Business?” I muttered, smile fixed.
“Don’t even like curries,” she said. “I’m more a Chinese woman.”