The following is a true story; I just couldn’t make this stuff up:
I have always been a sucker for the elderly, and I always give a wave and a smile to the people who live in a local hostel that accommodates seniors who are financially disadvantaged. I know several of them by name and I have heard their stories, some mundane, some fascinating. In that latter group are the two following fellows:
Frederick is a Yorkshireman, born near Captain James Cook’s home town, so he tells me. He arrived in Australia as a young man because Canada was too cold and he became a high school science teacher. He quotes Charles Darwin in every conversation and assures me his stay at the hostel is only temporary - he’ll be leaving soon to return to the UK to meet with Stephen Hawking at the conference on cold fusion!
On my walks with the dog I often pass Frank, who sits on his veranda, reading under a poor light. He used to be a policeman who left the force after mistakenly arresting an undercover drug squad detective. Frank then became a tram driver, and now he just reads. I asked him what kind of non-fiction books he prefers in order to bring him some – History? Science? Geography? Biography?
His reply was startling, to say the least, as he said, without guile, he likes to read stories about women being locked up and held hostage…!
As I said, I just couldn’t make this stuff up.