The Old Curiosity Club discussion

Great Expectations
This topic is about Great Expectations
23 views
Great Expectations > GE, Chapters 03 - 04

Comments Showing 1-50 of 59 (59 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
Hello again!

In the second part of this week’s reading bit, I am going to summarize the next two chapters. In Chapter 3, Christmas Day Pip gets up very early and pilfers some “wittles” from the larder in order to take them to the convict. On his way to the old Battery, where the convict said he would be waiting for him, Pip is haunted by his bad conscience, and when he thinks that he has finally found his man, he notices with a shock that it is another convict, probably the young man the first convict had talked to him about. The stranger, however, tries to hit him and absconds into the fog. Pip then runs to the Battery, where the first convict is waiting for him and starts to devour the food that the little boy has brought. He does it more like a dog than a human being. When Pip tells him that he has encountered the young man, the first convict seems dismayed and starts to use the file on his ankle with a vengeance, and apparently, he is driven by a feeling of ill-will towards the other convict.

In Chapter 4, we have some comic relief, largely at the expense of our protagonist, though, when Mrs. Joe and her husband entertain guests for Christmas. These guests are the parish clerk Mr. Wopsle, who seems to consider himself not yet in the social station that is due to him, Mr. and Mrs. Hubble, and Joe Gargery’s uncle Pumblechook, a well-to-do corn-chandler from the neighbouring cathedral town (i.e. probably Rochester),

”a large hard-breathing middle-aged slow man, with a mouth like a fish, dull staring eyes, and sandy hair standing upright on his head, so that he looked as if he had just been all but choked, and had that moment come to”


During the dinner, all guests make very uncomplimentary remarks as to Pip in particular and young people in general, especially with regard to their ungratefulness – only Joe tries to make the situation better for Pip by ladling gravy on his plate. When the moment comes for Mrs. Joe to present the company with a piece of pork pie, the pork pie being a gift from Uncle Pumblechook, Pip’s heart sinks into his boots because the pork pie was amongst the victuals that he took to the convict. His theft will out now, and that’s why he bolts from the room and out of the door, were – he runs into a party of soldiers, one of them holding out a pair of handcuffs to him.

Some questions:

As before, what do you make of Mrs. Gargery? What might be her feelings for her younger brother in particular? Consider the following quotation:

”I was always treated as if I had insisted on being born in opposition to the dictates of reason, religion, and morality, and against the dissuading arguments of my best friends. Even when I was taken to have a new suit of clothes, the tailor had orders to make them like a kind of Reformatory, and on no account to let me have the free use of my limbs.”


Again, what do you think of the first perspective here? How are we made to participate in Pip’s anguish at having stolen the food from his sister’s pantry?

Why might the first convict react in such an infuriated way to the news that some other man has escaped from the Hulks? And what do you think of his, rather gentler, behaviour towards Pip on the occasion of their second meeting?

Have you any favourite quotations from the first four chapters? And what made you choose them?


message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


"You're not a false imp? You brought no one with you?"

Chapter 3

John McLenan

1860

Text Illustrated:

“I’ll eat my breakfast afore they’re the death of me,” said he. “I’d do that, if I was going to be strung up to that there gallows as there is over there, directly afterwards. I’ll beat the shivers so far, I’ll bet you.”

He was gobbling mincemeat, meatbone, bread, cheese, and pork pie, all at once: staring distrustfully while he did so at the mist all round us, and often stopping—even stopping his jaws—to listen. Some real or fancied sound, some clink upon the river or breathing of beast upon the marsh, now gave him a start, and he said, suddenly,—

“You’re not a deceiving imp? You brought no one with you?”

“No, sir! No!”

“Nor giv’ no one the office to follow you?”

“No!”

“Well,” said he, “I believe you. You’d be but a fierce young hound indeed, if at your time of life you could help to hunt a wretched warmint hunted as near death and dunghill as this poor wretched warmint is!”

Something clicked in his throat as if he had works in him like a clock, and was going to strike. And he smeared his ragged rough sleeve over his eyes.



message 3: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


But he was down on the rank wet grass, filing at his iron like a madman

John McLenan

Chapter 3

1860

Harper's Weekly (1 December 1860)

Text Illustrated:

I indicated in what direction the mist had shrouded the other man, and he looked up at it for an instant. But he was down on the rank wet grass, filing at his iron like a madman, and not minding me or minding his own leg, which had an old chafe upon it and was bloody, but which he handled as roughly as if it had no more feeling in it than the file. I was very much afraid of him again, now that he had worked himself into this fierce hurry, and I was likewise very much afraid of keeping away from home any longer. I told him I must go, but he took no notice, so I thought the best thing I could do was to slip off. The last I saw of him, his head was bent over his knee and he was working hard at his fetter, muttering impatient imprecations at it and at his leg. The last I heard of him, I stopped in the mist to listen, and the file was still going.


message 4: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


"Oh, Un-cle Pum-ble-chook! This is kind!"

John McLenan

1860

Harper's Weekly (1 December 1860)

Text Illustrated:

I opened the door to the company,—making believe that it was a habit of ours to open that door,—and I opened it first to Mr. Wopsle, next to Mr. and Mrs. Hubble, and last of all to Uncle Pumblechook. N.B. I was not allowed to call him uncle, under the severest penalties.

“Mrs. Joe,” said Uncle Pumblechook, a large hard-breathing middle-aged slow man, with a mouth like a fish, dull staring eyes, and sandy hair standing upright on his head, so that he looked as if he had just been all but choked, and had that moment come to, “I have brought you as the compliments of the season—I have brought you, Mum, a bottle of sherry wine—and I have brought you, Mum, a bottle of port wine.”

Every Christmas Day he presented himself, as a profound novelty, with exactly the same words, and carrying the two bottles like dumb-bells. Every Christmas Day, Mrs. Joe replied, as she now replied, “O, Un—cle Pum-ble—chook! This is kind!” Every Christmas Day, he retorted, as he now retorted, “It’s no more than your merits. And now are you all bobbish, and how’s Sixpennorth of halfpence?” meaning me.



message 5: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


Pip Does Not Enjoy His Christmas Dinner

Chapter 4

Harry Furniss.

Dickens's Great Expectations, Charles Dickens Library Edition

Text Illustrated:

Among this good company I should have felt myself, even if I hadn't robbed the pantry, in a false position. Not because I was squeezed in at an acute angle of the table-cloth, with the table in my chest, and the Pumblechookian elbow in my eye, nor because I was not allowed to speak (I didn't want to speak), nor because I was regaled with the scaly tips of the drumsticks of the fowls, and with those obscure corners of pork of which the pig, when living, had had the least reason to be vain. No; I should not have minded that, if they would only have left me alone. But they wouldn't leave me alone. They seemed to think the opportunity lost, if they failed to point the conversation at me, every now and then, and stick the point into me. I might have been an unfortunate little bull in a Spanish arena, I got so smartingly touched up by these moral goads.

It began the moment we sat down to dinner. Mr. Wopsle said grace with theatrical declamation — as it now appears to me, something like a religious cross of the Ghost in Hamlet with Richard the Third — and ended with the very proper aspiration that we might be truly grateful. Upon which my sister fixed me with her eye, and said, in a low reproachful voice, "Do you hear that? Be grateful."

"Especially," said Mr. Pumblechook, "be grateful, boy, to them which brought you up by hand."

Mrs. Hubble shook her head, and contemplating me with a mournful presentiment that I should come to no good, asked, "Why is it that the young are never grateful?" This moral mystery seemed too much for the company until Mr. Hubble tersely solved it by saying, "Naterally wicious." Everybody then murmured "True!" and looked at me in a particularly unpleasant and personal manner.


Commentary:

Whereas the original Illustrated Library Edition and Household Edition illustrations do not reference this awkward moment in Pip's tense home-life, as he anticipates any moment being arrested for the theft of the pork pie and the file, Harry Furniss realizes most effectively this supremely comic passage which builds up to the consumption of the tar-water. Dickens's character comedy and social satire of the overreaching bourgeois Pumblechook and his theatrical companion, the village clerk and aspiring Shakespearean actor, Wopsle, appear in action, so to speak, rather than in a static portrait, as in Eytinge's illustration for the Diamond Edition.

Other illustrators have focused on the character comedy and social satire which the pompous, self-aggrandizing seed merchant Pumblechook presents throughout the early chapters, with McLenan and Pailthorpe both exaggerating his corpulence and complacency to contrast the lean, insecure Pip and his shrewish sister so effectively drawn by F. O. C. Darley in an early American piracy of the novel. Whereas other illustrators seem to have preferred scenes involving just a few characters, particularly interchanges between Pip and Magwitch and between Pip and Joe, in these opening chapters, Furniss depicts the oppressive social milieu in which Pip has grown up.

Furniss as an impressionistic illustrator attempts to convey (as so often the earlier illustrators do not) the acute discomfort, embarrassment, and terror that Pip feels as a child through the postures and expressions of Pumblechook (left) and the hawk-faced Wopsle (right of centre). In what we today would label a situation comedy, Furniss effectively translates the first-person reminiscence of the child-victim of the Christmas dinner, extreme right, between the bulk of the shock-haired Joe and the scowling visage and watchful gaze of his dictatorial sister; Furniss virtually dismisses the wheelwright, Mr. Hubble, as a non-entity, cramming him in behind Wopsle's outstretched arm, but showing the other adult diners as larger-than-life caricatures to give the reader a sense of the much-put-upon child's perspective.

One must read the illustration analytically, thumbing through the text to compare Dickens's handling of the scene and descriptions of the characters to sort out who is who. The "well-to-do corn chandler" is not a mere misshapen ogre with an enormous alcoholic nose and massive belly (as he is in McLenan); rather, Furniss characterizes him as large and domineering. Pailthorpe's corpulent Pumblechook (from a later scene) in May I — May I? comes closest to realizing Dickens's comical description of Joe's prosperous relative as "a large, hard-breathing middle-aged slow man, with a mouth like a fish, dull staring eyes, and sandy hair standing upright on his head". Wopsle, on the other hand, is easily distinguished by his Roman nose and energetic gesticulation, his clothing suggesting the garb of an Anglican minister, although as clerk he is a mere lay-preacher and clergyman's assistant, and therefore does not wear a clerical collar.



message 6: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


Pumblechook and Wopsle

Sol Eytinge

Third illustration for Dickens's Great Expectations in A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations in the Ticknor & Fields (Boston, 1867) Diamond Edition.

Commentary:

In this third full-page dual character study for the second novel in the compact American publication, the parish clerk, Mr. Wopsle, yearns to be an actor, while "Uncle" Pumblechook —not, in fact, Mrs. Joe's uncle, but Joe's — is perfectly content with being a village seed merchant and the family's most successful connection, "a well-to-do corn-chandler" with his own "chaise-cart." According to Pip's descriptions of the pair in chapter 4, Pumblechook is a large-eyed, slow-moving, somewhat out-of-breath, fish-mouthed, sandy-haired, self-important humbug, while Mr. Wopsle has a theatrical air, a bald pate, and a Roman nose. Eytinge depicts them as the serious, balding, thin man, reading a book, and a contrasting fat man, both middle-aged.

The Harper's illustrator John McLenan provided Eytinge with a cartoon-like model of the corn merchant in "Oh, Un-cle Pum-ble-chook! This is kind!". However, McLenan does not bother to depict Wopsle at all in his forty woodcut illustrations. Given their relative positions at the table in Eytinge's illustration, the precise passage illustrated would seem to be this:

.......A little later on in the dinner, Mr. Wopsle reviewed the sermon with some severity, and intimated — in the usual hypothetical case of the Church being "thrown open" — what kind of sermon he would have given them. After favoring them with some heads of that discourse, he remarked that he considered the subject of the day's homily, ill-chosen; which was the less excusable, he added, when there were so many subjects 'going about.'

'True again,' said Uncle Pumblechook. 'You've hit it, sir! Plenty of subjects going about, for them that know how to put salt upon their tails. That's what's wanted. A man needn't go far to find a subject, if he's ready with his salt-box.' Mr. Pumblechook added, after a short interval of reflection, "Look at Pork alone. There's a subject! If you want a subject, look at Pork!'

'True, sir. Many a moral for the young,' returned Mr. Wopsle; and I knew he was going to lug me in, before he said it; 'might be deduced from that text.' [Chapter Four]

When authors are taught by circumstances that it is wiser for them to write serially, readers may be very sure that it is wiser for them to read serially. [Harper's Weekly, Nov., 1860]

But, then, of course the editors of the "American Journal of Civilization" would extol the virtues of serial reading since they were about to offer in spoonful's to the readers of Harper's Weekly a "New Story" from the hand of Britain's greatest living author. The illustrations created by the journal's house-artist, John McLenan, reveal his enthusiasm for the new story and his delight in Dickens's comic characters, such a welcome departure from the general seriousness of Little Dorrit and so much in the vein of the earlier works of the "Fielding of the Nineteenth Century," notably Pickwick. However, illustrating serially necessarily means creating in ignorance, for the illustrator if not in the confidence of the author (Phiz had such advance information, McLenan did not) cannot know whether a minor character such as Wopsle will occur again, acquiring a new significance, if not developing wholly. Such is the case with Wopsle in Great Expectations, for McLenan must have assumed that, like the Hubbles, fellow guests at the Gargerys' Christmas dinner, Wopsle was not worthy of visual realization — that he was simply stuffing for the moment when the tableful of guests assembled are shocked by Pip's substituting tar-water for brandy in the bottle from which Pumblechook has just taken a glass.

McLenan understandably regarded Pumblechook as a comic figure, depicting him as an obese bourgeois on spindly legs and carrying the signs of his economic superiority over the Gargerys, his annual offering of port and sherry. Like many of Dickens's lesser comic figures, Pumblechook behave so predictably as to be a human machine, and thereby becomes less than human, a mere platitude-making mechanism:

......."I have brought you as the compliments of the season — I have brought you, Mum, a bottle of sherry wine — and I have brought you, Mum, a bottle of port wine."

Every Christmas Day he presented himself, as a profound novelty, with exactly the same words, and carrying the two bottles like dumb-bells. Every Christmas Day, Mrs. Joe replied, as she now replied, "Oh, Un-cle Pum-ble-chook! This is kind!" [Chapter 4]

This was, in fact, the very moment which McLenan chose for realization at the head of the novel's second installment: a thin, almost skeletal Mrs. Joe greeting the Humpty-Dumpty figure of the corn merchant at the door. McLenan undoubtedly realized Pumblechook's comic potential, and drew him accordingly — as a cartoon. Eytinge, on the other hand, would have known to what ends both Pumblechook and Wopsle come later in the novel, probably having read and re-read the 1861 novel before completing his 1867 Diamond Edition commission to illustrate it in the new, "Sixties" manner, with modeled, three-dimensional figures and a more realistic handling.



message 7: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


"Mr. Pumblechook"

J. Clayton Clarke ("Kyd")

Watercolour

c. 1900


Peter | 2940 comments Mod
While I have never been a fan of Kyd I must say this one does capture some of the pomposity of Pumblechook. I not kyding.


Peter | 2940 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Pip Does Not Enjoy His Christmas Dinner

Chapter 4

Harry Furniss.

Dickens's Great Expectations, Charles Dickens Library Edition

Text Illustrated:

Among this good company I should have felt mys..."


As always, thank you Kim for the illustrations.

I am a Furniss fan and this illustration is delightful. Poor Pip is slipping and sliding and perhaps even wishing he were fading out of view from all at the table. Doesn't look like he will be successful though. Poor Pip.


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Great to have our illustration guru (guruess?) back.


message 11: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Great to have our illustration guru (guruess?) back."

Thanks E. As you know, I may not be back quite as often or as long than I usually am, I still like to check in a few times a day though. Oh, I had my doctor appointment this morning. For the third time a doctor told me I have a concussion, but this doctor saw I was bored so she added something I hadn't heard before and told me I also have bronchitis and walking Pneumonia, at least that is something new for me. The highlight of the trip though had to be when she told me I also may have micturition syncope, she finally found something I not only didn't take prescription medications to treat already, but had never even heard of. This fascinating condition causes you to faint while or just after peeing. I thought she was making it up at first. So now I know that my concussion was caused by going to the bathroom. Life sure is interesting. :-)


Mary Lou | 2236 comments Kim wrote: "Everyman wrote: "Great to have our illustration guru (guruess?) back."

Thanks E. As you know, I may not be back quite as often or as long than I usually am, I still like to check in a few times a ..."


It's sad when a person can't even pee without passing out, for heaven's sake. Fascinating. So sorry you have something else to worry about. Take care.


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "The highlight of the trip though had to be when she told me I also may have micturition syncope."

Congratulations?? You have a condition usually seen in older men.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 149 comments I love all of these illustrations, Kim. I really don't know how you can be bothered with research when you are so unwell! Please don't feel under pressure to do ANYTHING. I know that we all appreciate everything you do! Thank you


Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 149 comments I like this little quotation that I mentioned in chapters 1/2 thread after Mrs Joe's dosing Pip and Joe with finest locally sourced tar water .. that I was conscious of going about, smelling like a new fence'.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 149 comments Oh deary me I believe this quotation is from 1 and 2! Moral of the story:
Don't pretend you can function properly at this unearthly time of the morning! Sorry! Night night :-)


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you again for all the different photos. Uncle Pumblechook looks pretty much like the book describes. He sounds like a blowhard who lifts himself up to a higher station than he would probably be in other homes. I think in the Gargery home, he can get away with that behavior.
I felt sorry for Pip when all the adults start reprimanding him to be more grateful and to be a better child.
Gravy is my absolute favorite food, but all the gravy in the world wouldn't make up for his mistreatment.

I think the convict seems to be more of a figure to feel sorry for, other than thinking badly of him. They never stated what his crime was, or did they? Sorry if I missed it.


message 18: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Kim wrote: "The highlight of the trip though had to be when she told me I also may have micturition syncope."

Congratulations?? You have a condition usually seen in older men."


I told my doctor once that anything they test me for I have so I would appreciate if they wouldn't call and tell me the test results. I went on to say that if they tested me for prostate cancer I'd have it. :-)


Xan Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 867 comments Julie wrote: "I think the convict seems to be more of a figure to feel sorry for, other than thinking badly of him. They never stated what his crime was, or did they? Sorry if I missed it. ..."

No, I don't believe it's been mentioned up to this point. Perhaps part of his mystery.


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
Julie wrote: "He sounds like a blowhard who lifts himself up to a higher station than he would probably be in other homes. I think in the Gargery home, he can get away with that behavior."

In the Gargery family circle, Pumblechook indeed seems like the biggest fish in a relatively small pond. It remains to be seen whether his bullying and self-assertive behaviour is a constant character trait of his, or whether he is also able to behave quite differently, more submissively, in other situations. On a social scale, maybe Pumblechook does rank higher than the Gargeries, and that's why he bullies Pip and patronizes Joe (although we don't get a lot of interaction between Joe and him).


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "In the Gargery family circle, Pumblechook indeed seems like the biggest fish in a relatively small pond. ."

I appreciated that comment that Uncle Pumblechook was "Joe’s uncle, but Mrs. Joe appropriated him." A very early indication of who wears the pants in that family.


message 22: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 25, 2017 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Classics Illustrated pages 6&7:




message 23: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
I don't know who the illustrator was, not yet anyway.




Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "I don't know who the illustrator was, not yet anyway.

"


Oh dear, just look at Pip: His wig is coming off. Maybe, the illustrator did not want to have his name published after all.


Mary Lou | 2236 comments Tristram wrote: "Maybe, the illustrator did not want to have his name published after all."

Great minds, Tristram... :-)


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
;-)


message 27: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Kim wrote: "I don't know who the illustrator was, not yet anyway.

"

Oh dear, just look at Pip: His wig is coming off. Maybe, the illustrator did not want to have his name published after all."


Oh, I forgot all about looking. I'll go look after dinner. Why do we call our noon meal, lunch during the week and the evening supper, but on Sunday we call the noon meal, dinner? I don't know what we call the evening meal, maybe something like "hey, do you want any leftover food from dinner?


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "I don't know what we call the evening meal, maybe something like "hey, do you want any leftover food from dinner?"

"Thrift, thrift, Horatio!"

When I spent a year in North England, in Hartlepool, to be more precise, I had to get used to everyone calling lunch dinner and dinner tea. I did not notice that they did it any differently on Sundays, however. I like the word "luncheon" but never as yet had an opportunity to apply it.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Yes, dinner is at midday and tea is in the afternoon in the North of England. High tea is often something cooked. Supper may be too. It's cold up North!

I saw a weather forecast yesterday which said "Southerners are advised not to travel because of inclement weather conditions. Northerners - you'll need your big coat".


Peter | 2940 comments Mod
It's snowing again in Victoria. Heavy snow. Everyman, Linda. What's happening?


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Quite heavy snow here on San Juan Island, at least heavy for us (Kim would have snickered at calling it snow. Only about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch, but on our narrow, winding, hilly, high-crowned, untreated roads, it is quite enough, thanks very much.)

Didn't last that long, but sure messed things up while it was coming down.


message 32: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
I was just thinking earlier, back in the days when it actually did snow, it would depend on how much snow there was for how many accidents there would be. And always the 1/2 or so wins for causing accidents while the 10 inch snowfalls there wouldn't be nearly as many accidents. I always found that strange.

I wish we had 10 inches of snow. Or 1/2 inch. I'll take what I can get.


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "I was just thinking earlier, back in the days when it actually did snow, it would depend on how much snow there was for how many accidents there would be. And always the 1/2 or so wins for causing ..."

With 10 inches the people who don't know what they're doing stay off the roads, and those who do are careful. With 1/2 inch nobody pays attention, and so wham.


message 34: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
That's true, I never thought of that.


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
Where I live, our last severe and inclement winter was some nine years ago, and we really did not know where to put the snow after cleaning the street and the pavement (in Germany, people are obliged to clear pavements, too). Nowadays, the weather here is no longer simply the weather but - no matter if there be sun, rain, or snow - it is, by most people, taken as proof of the climate change and of the fact that "the end is nigh". It's so ridiculous how the weather makes people mope about climate change. I remember worse winters when I was a child, and worse summers too.


message 36: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Where I live, our last severe and inclement winter was some nine years ago, and we really did not know where to put the snow after cleaning the street and the pavement (in Germany, people are oblig..."

I won't be moving to your town anytime soon.


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
You wouldn't like it: Hardly any snow. We always have a wager in our part of the town: Will our lake be frozen so that you can cross it without wetting your feet on a certain day in February. People meet to find that out and they usually have a barbecue and drink a lot of mulled wine. In the past few years, no one ever got across that lake with dry feet.


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "in Germany, people are obliged to clear pavements, too."

Assuming your "pavement" means our "sidewalk," that's the case in some American cities, too. Including New York City.

http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/ser...


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: " I remember worse winters when I was a child, and worse summers too. ."

All old people do. Why, I remember I had to walk seven miles to school, sometimes through snow four feet deep, uphill both ways, fighting off the wolves and bears on the way. These days kids complain if they have to walk three blocks to a bus stop. Wimps.


message 40: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
My dad used to do all that too, well I don't remember any bears and wolves in his story. :-)


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "My dad used to do all that too, well I don't remember any bears and wolves in his story. :-)"

Maybe your dad left out the bears and wolves because he wanted to spare you the whole truth.


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Tristram wrote: "in Germany, people are obliged to clear pavements, too."

Assuming your "pavement" means our "sidewalk," that's the case in some American cities, too. Including New York City.

ht..."


Yes, pavement equals sidewalk. When I was in England, pavements were not cleared and they were covered not only with snow but with a grim layer of ice that was days old. I was young and nimble at the time, and also lithe and adroit, and so I didn't mind but I could not help thinking that older people would probably have a hard time going outside there.


message 43: by Bionic Jean (last edited Mar 01, 2017 06:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Still true - we call it "black ice" and have to wait for the bears and wolves to come and shovel it away.


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
Or for them to gnaw it away.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) No, they leave that to the beavers.


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
That's a perfect symbiosis! Who would have thought that beavers and wolves or bears could work paw in paw.


message 47: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
We clean our own. I believe in most towns you have to, but we are too small a town for a rule about it - at least not one I know, but the kids all walk to school, and there are a lot of older people (no, not you), so everyone just does it.


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
Theoretically, you'd have to clean your pavement of the snow before you go to work, because if somebody slips and falls you may get sued. That's why I hate winter so much when it happens outside my holidays; that being said, I normally prefer taking the risk than rising earlier than necessary in winter.


message 49: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "That's why I hate winter so much when it happens outside my..."

Be careful grump, I know where you live. Well, I could get close anyway.


Tristram Shandy | 4360 comments Mod
My doors are always open to you, Kim! You may tell my house very easily, it being the one with no Christmas decorations.


« previous 1
back to top