Sunday, 15 July 2012

A Business Deal With Boris Karloff

It was a simple business arrangement: in return for mowing the lawn, I'd get Frankenstein.

I'd seen him hanging from a ceiling. Black suit too short in the leg and arm. White collar in a style that Boris Karloff wouldn't have known. A quiff of black hair and the outrageous forehead dome. His skin, Hulk green. The thin thread of a noose to hang him on.

It was a big lawn. The grass was nearly up to my knees. But I kept on going until the monster of my desire was almost within reach.

Sometimes I stopped in my work. Looked through windows to see what was in the rooms. Dormitories for boys who were safely far away. On one wall, a sky sized poster of John Lennon. The word Why? in large Arial font.

As soon as the payment was in my hand I hotfooted it to Woolworths. Pinkish tiles in the foyer. Tubular hand rails made from a coppery metal. Very smooth from years of shoppers coming and going as we all do in the end, following a thin thread dressed in our best suits.


  1. we all do in the end, following a thin thread dressed in our best suits.

    A funeral procession at Woolworths!

    Brilliant ending to a piece that captures the supernatural mythic fascination of Frankenstein to a sensitive child.

    Jonathan, you probably know this magnificent film by Victor Erice which turns on that figure, and turns round it, discovering the symbolic and psychological depths we'd always suspected were there.

    El Espiritu de la Colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive)

  2. Thank you, Tom. No, I don't know Spirit of the Beehive. Thanks for the tip: another title for my film list. This blogging business opens doors, broadens minds.

  3. I second what Tom says about this piece but as for blogging opening doors and broadening minds, many, many wonderfully enlightening people are out there but I do have my reservations and would like to offer another title for your film list, one I'm positive you know of: MiloŇ° Forman’s “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

    1. Thank you Vassilis. Yes, there are reservations - which William wrote about recently. But I have learnt a great deal from your writing and observations, thank you.

      Ah, a film I do know. A classic performance from the mighty Jack. Very good book too.



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