Oh, the Wounds He Wore, Death His Neighbor (Jimmy the Meterman) by Tom Sheehan

Small-eyed, small-eared, a mole perched like an ace of spades on one eyelid, a mastoid-depressed void behind one of those ears, pale of complexion, shoulders it seemed worn down by weights almost too ponderous for life, Jimmy Griffith was the essence of obscurity as he leaned on the bar of the Vets Club. All members knew Jimmy by name and by sight, but few had ever heard him say much more than a good morning or a goodnight, or “I’ll have my second beer now, Al,” or “Brownie,” if Brownie Latefox was on duty. This was the two-a-day ritual at the end of walking his route about town, measuring water consumption, reading the meters down in fieldstone cellars or the utility rooms of newer bungalows. Read the meters, jot the numbers, cheat a bit for a friendly face, or go a step further, like disconnecting a meter for six months at a time, not a soul at the water department or in the confines of Town Hall ever the wiser. Nobody knew how happy Jimmy was to have the job, nobody in God’s creation. Or why.

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Week 201: Graves, Literature and Almost Certainly Some Other Stuff

Almost sort of exactly 201 years ago, Jane Austen died. I must confess I haven’t read much (any) of her work despite Pride and Prejudice and Zombies being on my reading list for some time. Never being one to allow a lack of knowledge to get in the way of a good opinion however, I’m prepared to wager that her collective works didn’t contain many references to the humble kilogram.

Young Jane would have been almost sort of exactly 18 when the French said pas plus to the grain related measurements of the time and invented the kilogram. She would have been far too busy working on her short novel Lady Susan to bother with such new-fangled frippery. She no doubt noted however that the initial name for this kilogram was a grave and as such the literary seed for her zombie based works was sown.

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