I hung out with our new friend Duncan for several hours each day for the duration of our stay at the Keystone Motel. Duncan and I both managed to get a few words in edgewise, when Mrs Monk wandered off to swim or to take photographs. Duncan certainly expressed himself with conviction, but he was no match for Mrs Monk’s confrontational dogmatic style of conversation.
I have known Mrs. Monk for a lifetime and I have learnt to expect the unexpected. This is her Puckish quality, that in conversation she does not necessarily express her own view; her tactic is to gain an impression of the other parties point of view, before asserting the contrary argument as if her life depended upon it. Occasionally I can use this to my advantage, and by simply introducing a point of view that she will oppose, I will get what I want without a fight.
In this way, for example, I managed to secure an agreement with her, that we should buy a SatNav from Best Buy. However this backfired because I realised it was a waste of money, and then had to make the reverse argument.
Nevertheless, this is something we should perhaps try on Gaddafi, and all other dictators.
Hilary Clinton: “Mr Gaddafi, you should fight to the end, and become a martyr like Saddam Hussein”
Colonel Gaddafi: “You are an insolent woman. You take me for a fool. I shall be exiled. Take me to Best Buy”
Guests of the Keystone Motel were obliged to pass us on the way to their rooms They rarely passed without exchanging a few words with Mrs Monk. Notably, a “wobbly woman” (quote: Mrs Monk), exchanged pleasantries with Mrs Monk, discussing for example her recent ocean cruise and then her hometown, Kennebunkport.
I heard Mrs Monk say, "Ah, Bush Country".
This reference made me rotate and pay attention. Since Bush was a Texan, I assumed that Kennebunkport was a town in Texas.
The unsuspecting woman had no idea where this was going, but then she started to wax lyrical about how kind the Bushes were and how they mingled with local people in Kennebunkport, and spurned the protection of the CIA, and how wonderful it was that they had invited working people to the Bush inauguration.
“Do you know,” she said, “they invited Mrs Bush’s Hairdresser, their housekeeper, their cook, and their gardener”
Without a heartbeat Mrs Monk turned it on its head, with feigned agreement with the “wobbly woman”
“Exactly, she said,, “Their housekeeper, their cook, their gardener her hairdresser”,
At this point I remembered that I had an appointment with a pelican and took a walk. Duncan also retreated to his room, leaving the door open so that he could listen-in on the verbal boxing match
“What do you mean?” I heard the wobbly woman say, as I departed.
What followed is unreliably reported by Mrs Monk, and is that there was some discussion about whether or not the Bush staff should be categorised as “poor” and since the Bushes provided their wages, whether that would seem to question whether the Bushes were underpaying their staff and were not so “kind” after all.
Mrs Monk is inclined to support the underdog, but not at all keen to depart with her funds to support the so-called underdogs. Ironically, she has pledged support for the Battersea Dogs Home, (Literally a home for underdogs), and also the Sea Bird Sanctuary, Madeira Beach. She already donates by Direct Debit to the Wild Life fund, from our joint account.
Mr and Mrs Monk do not always agree on what it means to be left or right wing in political terms. Nevertheless I am delighted to have her attack the conservatives, even though I don't necessarily understand her reasoning for doing so. Somehow we make it home despite her navigation.
One morning, she went out for some dawn picture-taking on her own, and came back agitated by a message found in a shop window, reciting the word of a right wing Floridian Baptist Preacher, Adrian Pierce Rogers, friend of Republican Presidents, Bush, and Reagan.
What he wrote defended the notion that unearned wealth should be protected, and poverty may be disregarded in the name of God. The same notion has also been sanctified and ritualised by FOX TV, and is surely an unpalatable view, even to enlightened Christians, I would have thought.
Interpreting God’s will in order to justify impoverishing a hairdresser, is obviously not something that would commend Preacher Adrian Pierce Rogers, to Mrs Monk, but that scrap of paper stuck up on a Pass a Grille wall, was hardly about to affect the Floridian mindset.
Kennebunkport was in fact the Bush Holiday location in Maine, and the wobbly lady was no rich cowgirl after all.