Thursday, February 18, 2010

Zen bones

Like all right-minded people and some cranks I like to hike up into the hills of a lunchtime with a cupcake and a copy of the Pelican edition of Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, passages of which I declaim at the top of my voice into the echoing green valleys.

Occasionally the Local Character will pass by, with or without his horse, and we’ll read aloud together or chew the fat. The former Leisure Centre manager is a man of deep and profound Zen learning. He also owns a caravan near Exmouth, to which he sometimes decamps for a week when the pressure of ambling around the North Somerset countryside gets too much.

He told me that one night of a vivid full moon he returned to this caravan after a day of tenpin bowling only to find the door open and a frightened would-be burglar inside. As well as frightened, the burglar was sheepish and baffled since the caravan contained nothing worth stealing save a chip pan and a hairbrush which the Local Character used to brush his luscious mane.

“You may have come a long way to find this caravan,” the Local Character said to the chav. “You shouldn’t bugger off empty handed.” And he gave the burglar the chip pan and the hairbrush and a pair of silver buttons he happened to have in his pocket. Sheepish, frightened and baffled, the thief slunk away with the goods.

The Local Character sat on the caravan steps with an empty belly and an unbrushed mane. He looked up into the clear night sky. “That poor bugger,” he mused. “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”


Willard said...

Typical caravanner... Why can't they just beat up a burglar with a golf club like the rest of us?

Brit said...

Is it possible to beat someone up with a golf club in a Zen way?

worm said...

...and lets not forget the cramped conditions inside most caravans would inhibit a really good swing of the 5 iron. I would suggest a relay baton or a sharpened table tennis bat as a more suitable weapon

Willard said...

Well, perhaps not a good swing but you could seriously poke them.

As to it being Zen: so long as you were relaxed about it, I don't see why not.

Sean said...

I thought Mossad were a bit Zen in their acting and make up skills in could almost say they were taking the pish.

I think the message is, we can kill you any where, any time and we can make you all look fools while we do it.

Brilliant! Personally I would have dressed him up in stockings and suspenders and stuck a orange in his mouth and put up the pics on the internet, really Zen it up, give everyone something to meditate on for a while.

Brit said...

Skilfully done, Sean, but still remarkably off topic. Not that I mind in the least if you use TofE as an outlet; it sucks that the Yard has stopped blogging again.

Sean said...

Off topic? you see to think Zen is all about non-violence...which it is not, thats just a western romanticised view of it.

Too much motorcycle maintenance and not enough, Japan WW2.

Give anime cartoon 'Sailor Moon' view?

Gaw said...

I bet you not one in ten people who refer to something being 'a bit Zen' know what Zen means. I certainly don't.

(As I was just about to post this I see that Sean is a one-in-ten. At least that, I'd say.)

Brit said...

You can definitely commit violence with a sharpened table tennis bat in a Zen way.

Brit said...

Gaw - nothing could be less Zen than asking, or indeed claiming to know, 'what Zen means'.

worm said...

I know what Zen means!!!

it means 'Then' in German

Peter Burnet said...

I thought Zen was an oriental word meaning "blah, blah...blah, blah, blah..."

Speaking of motorcycle maintenance, I always felt sorry for that kid chained to the passenger seat and listening to his father prattle on dreamily as he struggled to grow up. Sort of an extreme version of those poor kids of ultra-progressive parents who are forced to spend spring break winter camping in the wilderness while their friends are all at DisneyWorld.