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A lovable eccentric

A lovable eccentric

  True eccentrics never deliberately set out to draw attention to themselves. They disregard social conventions without being conscious that they are doing anything extraordinary. This invariably wins them the love and respect of others, for they add colour to the dull routine of everyday life.

  Up to the time of his death, Richard Colson was one of the most notable figures in our town. He was a shrewd and wealthy businessman, but the ordinary town-folk hardly knew anything about this side of his life. He was known to us all as Dickie and his eccentricity had become legendary long before he died.

  Dickie disliked snobs intensely. Though he owned a large car, he hardly ever used it, preferring always to go on foot. Even when it was raining heavily, he refused to carry an umbrella. One day, he walked into an expensive shop after having been caught in a particularly heavy shower. He wanted to buy a &300 fur coat for his wife, but he was in such a bedraggled condition that an assistant refused to serve him. Dickie left the shop without a word and returned carrying a large cloth bag. As it was extremely heavy, he dumped it on the counter. The assistant asked him to leave, but Dickie Paid no attention to him and requested to see the manager. Recognizing who the customer was, the manager was most apologetic and 'reprimanded the assistant severely. When Dickie was given the fur coat, he presented the assistant with the cloth bag. It contained &300 in pennies. He insisted on the assistant's counting the money before he left72,000 pennies in all! On another occasion, he invited a number of important critics to see his private collection of modern paintings. This exhibition received a great deal of attention in the press, for though the pictures were supposed to be the work of famous artists, they had in fact been painted by Dickie. It took him four years to stage this elaborate joke simply to prove that critics do not always know what they are talking about.           

可爱的怪人

  真正古怪的人从不有意引人注意。他们不顾社会习俗,意识不到自己所作所为有什么特殊之处。他们总能赢得别人的喜爱与尊敬,因为他们给平淡单一的日常生活增添了色彩。

  理查德·科尔森生前是我们镇上最有名望的人之一。他是个精明能干、有钱的商人,但镇上大部分人对他生活中的这一个方面几乎一无所知。大家都管他叫迪基。早在他去世前很久,他的古怪行为就成了传奇故事了。

  迪基痛恨势利小人。尽管他有一辆豪华小轿车,但却很少使用,常常喜欢以步代车。即使大雨倾盆,他也总是拒绝带伞。一天,他遇上一场瓢泼大雨,淋得透湿。他走进一家高级商店,要为妻子买一块价值300英镑的手表。但店员见他浑身泥水的样子,竟不肯接待他。迪基二话没说就走了。一会儿,他带着一个大布口袋回到店里。布袋很沉,他重重地把布袋扔在柜台上。店员让迪基走开,他置之不理,并要求见经理。经理认出了这位顾客,表示了深深的歉意,还严厉地训斥了店员。店员为迪基拿出了那块手表,迪基把布口袋递给他,口袋里面装着300镑的便士。他坚持要店员点清那些硬币后他才离去。这些硬币加在一起共有30000枚!还有一次,他邀请一些著名评论家来参观他私人收藏的现代画。这次展览引起报界广泛注意,因为这些画名义上是名家的作品,事实上是迪基自己画的。他花了4年时间策划这出精心设计的闹剧,只是想证明评论家们有时并不了解他们所谈论的事情。

 

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