tales of the hotel st crispian, chapter 110: a pair of brown shoes
by manfred skyline
illustrated by konrad kraus and rhoda penmarq
editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo
"where to, pal?"
"prince and broadway." fortescue opened the cab door for carol and she got in, then he followed and closed the door.
"corner of prince and broadway?"
"yes, that will do nicely."
the cab moved off. "nicely." said the cab driver. "you don't hear that word much any more. you used to hear it all the time."
"yes," fortescue agreed. "words, like everything else, go out of fashion, i am afraid."
"like that hat you're wearing. don't get me wrong, it's a great hat, i love it. but it's not quite the latest style, you know?"
"a little wider in the brim than is the current fashion, you mean?" fortescue answered politely.
"but i'm fond of it."
"it's got sentimental value, you mean?"
"a bit, perhaps."
" i can understand that. i'm a sentimental guy myself. the least little thing, i start crying like a little girl. my wife, my mother, they make fun of me, but it's just the way i am."
"sentiment is perhaps unappreciated in today's world."
"that's nicely put. very nicely. i had an uncle who used that word all the time -nicely - and 'very nice' everything was 'very nice'."
jesus christ, carol thought, is this guy going to flap his gums the whole ride downtown? she wanted to get a word in so she could make her pitch to fortescue about being his girl friday. if she told the guy to shut his yap that might sound rude and were not girl fridays supposed to bright and cheerful at all times?
"i mean," the driver continued, "if you are going to say the same thing over and over it might as well be something nice, right? and what's nicer than 'very nice'?"