They call me ‘Mush’ round here, not sure why. Perhaps it’s because of my beautiful complexion, ha, ha! Anyway, I sell The Big Issue and there’s quite a few of them come and buy from me regular. We share a moment. Could do worse.
One morning – a bit blustery it was, I remember because the pages of my Issues were blowing up – along comes this Sister. You know, a nun. In a habit. I was taken aback but I stayed cool like. Any road, we had a nice chat. I told her more than I really meant to, about my people back home and how I’m saving, just a little every week, so as one day I’ll get them over here. And I told her how much I miss little Paulo and of course my missus. All the time the wind was blowing bits of this and that along the street. She pulled her habit round her, but though it looked like heavy material the wind did manage to catch a corner of it. It was a bit surprising to see that she had trousers on underneath. I never knew nuns wore trousers. I pretended I hadn’t seen, of course. You ain’t meant to be looking at a nun’s legs are you?
She went to get out her money and there was something else a bit odd. She suddenly looked kind of shifty. Reminded me of my ferrets back home. But what did I expect – a nun to have a lovely face like mine? Ha ha! So, she flicks up the habit and this time I see that, not only is she wearing trousers, but she’s got ruddy great Doc Martens on too. I decides to look down to the ground. After all, none of my business was it. Just out there earning an honest crust me. But I couldn’t help seeing what she fished out – a great big bundle of banknotes! Not that she meant to – stuffed them back in straightaway and found a couple of loose quid.
I was sore tempted to make some crack about her robbing a bank, but it would have been in bad taste, wouldn’t it? So I just said ‘Thank you, Sister’ and give her the copy of the mag. Next minute, there’s all hell breaking loose. Two police motorbikes appear at the top of the hill with hooters blaring, and Sister Boover Boots sets off running like she’s a blooming greyhound. Course, what the story really was I never did find out. The motorbikes went off round a corner before they ever reached me. Heard later on the news that there’d been a raid on a crack den that morning. Nothing about nuns on the run, real or in fancydress.
Funny thing was that no-one else seemed to have seen Sister Boover Boots. But when I emptied out my money bag at the end of the day there were five £20 notes in there. She must have slipped them in. Weird,eh?
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
'The Nun and I' by Cath Barton
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