Same as it ever was

July 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

People in the village say there’d been an outcry when the notice went up, saying they were going to take away the telephone box. ‘They’ being the GPO, or BT, or whoever own these things now. Not that anyone’s used it in years, well, not apart from that odd chap from the new houses up top, who turned out to be having a bit with the vicar’s wife from a couple of villages over.

It’s more that it’s a landmark, see? It’s the hub by which all directions in the village are given, and if it was taken away then what’d there be to direct a person by? A square patch of mud on the village green, trees nondescript in their nudity on this damp autumn morning, mist from the fields rubbing up against the houses? That sad old donkey?

Take it away, though, and they’d take away more than an old phone box, receiver smashed last Mischief Night and glass broken who knows when. It’s been there pretty much since the village got telephone lines, eavesdropped on a thousand conversations, swallowed handfuls of change by way of food, and really it is as much the village’s silent, toothless pet as the old donkey, tethered on the green and paid for out of parish funds. Never mind that it doesn’t work. It’s to stay, and that’ll be the end of it.

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