Monday, December 08, 2008
On ghosts and other worlds
It is late, late on a Saturday evening as we hurtle down what passes for a major trunk road in Dorset on the way home from a pleasant, if tiring, day visiting friends and relatives. It is a cold, clear night on the Tolpuddle Bypass, with the odd patch of fog drifting insubstantially across the road like some lost soul trapped between this world an the next. Much like a...
"Ghost! Did you just see that ghost?"
I am dragged out of auto-pilot by the alarmed shouts of my darling wife at what I had – at first – taken to be a late-night hitch-hiker.
"You mean the figure of a man at the side of the road?"
"You saw it too?"
"The figure of a man at the side of the road, wearing what appears to be a long white gown?"
"That's unreal. Just wait until I tell everybody. It... it... was almost like an angel."
More like an angel, than you think, my dear. It is, alas, from my own bitter experience that I know this is not some vapour of a life already lived. Nor is it a messenger from the heavenly host. Nor is it, I am certain any deity, wood nymph, sprite, kobold or C-List celebrity staggering home from a night on the tiles in Blandford Forum.
"Sorry to burst your bubble, but really I don't think what we both saw was one of the ranks of the recently deceased."
"How do you know? It was almost real."
"It was, my dear, - and of this I am 100 per cent certain - a tranny in a wedding dress."
"And how would you know that?"
"This is Pervert Country, my dear. Pervert Country."
"Mum?" came a small, tired voice from the back, "Can we stop for the toilet?"