Sunday, June 1, 2008


Eric, helpless at doing it himself, drops in on Harry who is boatbuilding, to borrow some tools.


Eric: Have you got a measuring tape?

Harry: Do I have a measuring tape? Never go anywhere without one. Always something to measure.

Eric: Thought so. Just your sort. Gotta saw?

Harry: Might have. But what sort? A cabinet saw? Hacksaw? Pruning saw?

Eric: Just a saw.

Harry: Not all saws are the same. Jesus.

Eric: He was a carpenter too. Also, didn’t live long. I’ve always said taking up carpentry is dangerous for the health.

Harry: Most people do a bit DIY on Sundays. What do you do with yours?

Eric: Sundays? I shop.



Harry repeats Eric’s question, “Do I have a measuring tape?” Of course he does, so the questioning repetition is a teasing retort, a jibe.

Yet he changes strategies to scoff at Eric by challenging him to describe the kind of saw he needs. Eric acquiesces, doesn’t rise the bait, doesn’t want to betray his ignorance perhaps, by maintaining his naïve role: “ Just a saw.”

This pushes the irascible Harry over the edge. “Jesus.”

Eric responds with some amusing false logic: that carpenters die young because Christ didn't live long. There is a suggestion he may be waving the red flag to the bull by stating flatly that on Sundays, he goes shopping.


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