Day 45

5.02: I have written here already about how I’ve always fancied being a postman. I’m good at getting up early, I can drive, I like dogs, and people are, I think, still by and large pleased to see the postman. I would handle packages that looked like novel manuscripts with especial care, and wink knowingly, encouragingly when handing them over on the doorstep. That way I might get invited to join the literary postman masons. That’s the plan anyway.

And Jack Kerouac shared my dream, as this footage of him being interviewed – staggeringly drunk – by a very patient Italian TV presenter shows.

Presenter: If you had not to do something to make the money.

Kerouac: Oh, I’d be a mailman.

Presenter: You’d be a mailman? Un Postino?

Kerouac: nods sagely.

Presenter: And why, why a mailman?

Kerouac: Because that’s er what’s his name, er Al er Trollope.

Presenter: Trollope?

Kerouac: Yes Trollope.

Presenter: Trollope.

Kerouac: The English novelist Trollope.

Presenter: Yes…

Kerouac: He was a mailman.

Presenter: He was a mailman. Egli era un postino.

Kerouac: (hums and mimes driving postal van) And he wrote all those big books about… (tails off)

Apart from probably breaking some kind of international television record for the number of times two people can say “Trollope,” what I hope this proves is that wanting to be a postman is a sign of greatness, and – to quote the title of the great Willie Donaldson‘s autobiography – “You can’t live as I have lived and not end up like this.”

Weighed against this argument, I should point out that Trollope was in fact not a mailman, and the drunken Kerouac saying his name over and over again won’t make this any less true. He worked for the General Post Office as a civil servant until he was sent to Ireland to inspect pillar boxes. But he never delivered the post. So there, drunken Kerouac.

6.51: Not bad, not bad. I still haven’t accelerated into the rampant all-conquering progress I was enjoying before the burglary, but it’s starting to come a bit more readily. Monday’s always the easiest day though; by the time Friday comes round I’m ¬†basically good for nothing but staring into nowhere like a demented sheep, and banging indiscriminately on the keyboard with my stupid hooves. Do sheep have hooves? trotters? As you will – they bang indiscriminately.

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~ by David Thorley on February 22, 2010.

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