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Down Mexico Way spacer Issue 3
Down Mexico Way - Life Down South
by Billy Guermantes in Dublin
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Going for my customary afternoon stroll I saw in the distance a fat man wearing a beautifully tailored suit. He was remonstrating with a beggar and pointing at a photograph. This display disturbed my reverie so spotting a passing taxi I hailed it.
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I had not been in the taxi more than ten seconds, trying to decide where I might go to regain my composure, when the door opened and the fat man got in beside me. 'Good afternoon' he said to me in a thick Russian accent, 'where are we going?' 'This is my cab' I replied frostily, 'we are not going anywhere'. At this he leant forward tapped on the glass and told the driver to drive on. We moved slowly off as the fat man leaned back in his seat. Both the driver and I watched fascinated as the intruder made himself comfortable. He patted his stomach and wiped his lips with a silk handkerchief. The driver turned into a small square and now drove us around it at barely walking pace.
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'My name is Mikhail, I have just had a bad shock' he said, 'please excuse my bad Irish manners, in my country if I want a taxi I take one, I am an important man.' 'So what happened to you?' asked the taxi driver. 'It is my wife', said Mikhail looking at the seat in front of him and assuming a grave expression.
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Having excited the driver's sympathy with this doleful mention of his wife we were driven round the corner to a cheerful looking café where the driver suggested we should have a cup of tea, because this was 'sure to set us right.' The fat man ordered doughnuts for everyone and told us about his unfortunate spouse. She was a paragon, had taken a year to find, all men who saw her envied him. He dwelt with fastidious detail on her figure and the cleanliness of her fingernails. However after a year of complete satisfaction he had been approached by the representative of a Dublin medical company. This man offered an embellishment for his wife which up to that point he had never felt the need of. A thought was planted in his mind by this salesman and from that point on he could not help noticing that his wife was indeed stupid. 'I am accustomed to having what I want' he said bluntly, and in this case he was willing to employ this company to take the most drastic, the most advanced, the most radical solution available, to get his wife a new brain.
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Neither the driver or I could eat our doughnut after this revelation but Mikhail absent mindedly took them from our plates as he continued his story. 'They showed us a picture of the girl we were going to get, very pretty in an Irish sort of way and,' he paused for emphasis, 'it said very brainy'. He described the clinic and the surgeon and how his wife had returned from the operation swathed in bandages. 'I was not allowed to have sex for a week', he shook his head . But even while the bandages were still on he started to test his newly equipped wife to she how she might perform. 'You would not believe it' he raised both hands in astonishment, 'she was more stupid than ever.'
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He returned to the clinic but the building was deserted, he could find no trace of the company. 'If I have to carry on with my wife like this it will ruin my life' he said and produced a photograph from an inside pocket. It showed a red haired, heavily freckled girl and carried the typed caption 'Very Brainy'. 'This is all I have left to help me get my wife's brain back. But what chance do I have in this strange country where I know nobody?' He looked us both in the eye by turn and raised his eyebrows, 'unless you gentlemen could help me?'
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