Posted @ 15:55The Further Adventures of Keats & Chapman II
Chapman once had a girlfriend named Gloria. Gloria was very demanding and called on Chapman at every opportunity for fears and discomforts - both real and imaginary - at all hours of the day and night. This was rather annoying for Keats as Chapman was ignoring their automobile repair business in favour of paying court to his new love. Since Keats was a novice at the physical side of the business, the actual repairs were taking longer and longer as Chapman dallied with his love.
Things came to a head - as is their wont - one Wednesday late in spring when the local fishmonger brought his van in for repair. The man demanded a prompt service as he had urgent deliveries to make. Keats accepted the commission more from the necessity of ensuring a continued income than from the certainty that the work could be completed by the following Monday. Unusually, Chapman put in two full days that week, working for twelve hours on Thursday and Friday to clear the backlog in the workshop and starting work on the fishmonger's van. Chapman said he would have to work over the weekend to finish it. However, on Saturday morning he did not appear.
After several telephone calls had be made by Keats to Chapman's home, Chapman eventually contacted his friend: "My apologies, old chap, I can't come in to work today, Gloria is distraught and I must attend to her."
"But what am I to tell the fishmonger?" asked Keats, "He needs the van. You must come in."
"But Gloria needs me," said Chapman, "can't the van wait until Tuesday."
But Keats was firm: "Sick Transit - Gloria Monday."
Then he took down the account books and did some complicated sums.
A Trip to America
During a trip to the United States, Keats and Chapman once took a train journey from New York to Indianapolis. Before their departure each of them selected some reading material from the newsstands at Grand Central Station. Chapman, being of a serious disposition chose Time, Life and Newsweek. Keats - sinisterly - on the other hand, was going through a phase of infatuation with trivia and the entertainment industries and chose National Enquirer, Variety and Billboard. The journey proceeded leisurely and the scenery was glorious in the late afternoon sun.
The two friends read in silence - their friendship was of the age where conversation and debate have been exhausted and replaced with the simple expressions of content and discontent. Both, however, finished their magazines before the train had reached Columbus, Ohio, and they found little to amuse them as the evening was wearing on and there was little to see from the panoramic window of the Club Car. They took some sanctuary in a drink - leaving their magazines strewn on the small table - and stepped out on the
small balcony caboose [Thanks Ian] at the rear of the train for a cigarette (smoking not being allowed inside the carriage). Returning to their seats, they discovered that the attentive steward had closed their magazines and stacked them neatly in two separate piles: Keats' had Variety on the top and Chapman's Life.
"Now there's a coincidence," said Keats, glancing at the front covers of the magazines.
"I see what you mean," said Chapman, indicating the photographs on the covers portraying a recently divorced Hollywood starlet which graced both magazines, "we thought we were indulging our passions for different facets of the world and yet they appear to overlap."
"No," said Keats, with a sigh, "I just noted that Variety is the price of Life."
Chapman suddenly became interested in a fly alighting on the window.