Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Rabbit Ink

I leave the computer store empty handed. Epson have changed the way they do business: I can’t buy the cartridge I need – Light Cyan – unless I pick up a multi-pack which comes in at £49. January, to misquote T.S Eliot, is the leanest month. En route to the car I remember the pet store and zigzag my way from vehicle to shop. At last I find a bargain – 10kg of dried cat food that comes in at half the price of the stuff we’ve been buying in the supermarket. I hook a sack under my arm when my daughter pulls me off course. I nearly pull her back on course and head for the check out when I think ‘what’s the hurry?’ I follow her gaze.

She’s looking at a series of glass boxes that house furry creatures with exotic names. Grey and beige rodents. If you came across one of these things out of context, sitting on your kitchen worktop for example, or behind your television, you’d shriek and run for your life. They have fancy, unpronounceable names. But without any hesitation, I say to my daughter, ‘they’re rats.’ Another box houses black rabbits with very long ears. Unlike the ink cartridge, you can buy them individually – or as a set that comes in at considerably less than £49.


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