When I was a little boy riding my bike around the block I used to stop and sing to the old people sat on the village green (yes, hard to imagine little Simon singing his heart out I know!). One day one of the old men gave me a fifty pence piece and told me to buy some sweets with it. I remember his old wrinkled hand holding mine and placing the big heavy coin into my palm.
Back then fifty pence pieces were the biggest of all coins, uniquely shaped and worth something like 100 rounds of caps for my gun! I remember it had a ring of hands on it, all holding one another in a never ending loop. I said thank you to the old man, put the coin into my pocket then made my way home to show Mom my new found riches, stopping along the way a few times to take the coin from my pocket to inspect it once more.
When I got home Mom was not impressed that someone had given me money, "a man" no less! She told me I was never to accept gifts from strangers and demanded that I take her to the man in question. I remember being confused about this. He was a sweet old man whom had simply enjoyed my rendition of 'Don't Bring Me Down' by ELO, why was this cause for me getting into trouble?
We marched down the street and over to the green where the old people were sat in the summer sun. Upon seeing that the "nice man" was in fact and elderly man sat in the company of other old folk Mom relaxed. She spoke to them for a while and they all told her how they enjoyed my singing, laughing with her about her instructions to me that I shouldn't accept gifts from strangers. The fifty pence piece was duley handed back to me, and though I can't remember what I did with it I suspect I rode to the shops to buy firing caps and candy.
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Time of death : 21:18 (December 15th, 2007)
I still remember this moment really well and the old couple who I came to know as Mr & Mrs Matthews. The story has no more depth to it than what you can read here and while I like the story I never found a way to develop it into something more. I declared it dead when I posted my final 'Meanwhile' in December 2007.