Sunday, August 17, 2014
Pussycat, Pussycat, by Stephen Ross
My fellow SleuthSayers blogger, Stephen Ross, lives in New Zealand, but his latest story is set firmly in the England of the early 1960s.
The narrator is a hardware salesman. Don't think hammers and nails. We're talking about weaponry here. And Pussycat, one of his good friends, announces he wants to buy a rifle. He plans to shoot a pumpkin. Well, that's harmless enough, except he wants to hide in a tree and shoot at the pumpkin when it is on a stick ten feet off the ground.
"It seems to me," I remark, "that your pumpkin had the size and shape of a human head. Are you planning to shoot somebody?"
Pussycat doesn't answer. But he does remark later that he hates the Beatles. "They're what's wrong with this miserable country."
Is he planning to kill a Beatle? Or is something else going on?
I should say I guessed the punchline, so to speak. I think anyone who shares certain characteristics with me would.