Just occasionally a sentence seems to cling. It seems to have been designed especially for you and to be asking to be savoured.

For example this one, a sentence from Wikipedia. I was reading up about Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Mr Tod. Why was I reading up on The Tale of Mr Tod? Ah, that’s another story:

Badgers do sometimes eat bunnies, not from a predeliction for bunnies but simply because they are omnivorous.

 Then, for its mind-numbing, incomprehensible eloquence there was the one I mentioned in a previous post, from the introduction to Sartre’s Nausea:

 Roquentin is a solipsist, trapped in a terrible echo-chamber of the self, haunted by the sonics of his inflamed personality.

And then this one, which took my fancy when, as a secretary at an agricultural university college, I overheard a snarky conversation between two male academics:

He thinks he’s an ecologist just because he can do hanging baskets.

Then there are the sentences little children come out with in all innocence, causing embarrassment to their accompanying adult. My ex told me he once turned and boasted to a total stranger sitting behind them on the bus:

 Guess what – my Mum can make her teeth come out on the end of her tongue.

And from a Gracie Fields song:

Walter, Walter, lead me to the altar, and I’ll show you where I’m tattooed.

 And one that used to set my mother’s teeth on edge when, in the early days of her marriage, she lived in a terraced house next to an awful woman, who would shriek:

Henry! Henry! The sun’s on the meat!

And then this one, revealing a gentle, alien refinement, a ritual sensibility. The day after Princess Diana died, a Japanese student came up to my office desk and, as if at that moment I stood for every British citizen, gave a little bow and gravely said:

I am so sorry for your loss.


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