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March 19th, 2007

Shopping for my Mother's Sixtieth

Shopping for my Mother's Sixtieth - Did you know that fine china is made from ground up bones?

I didn't. I learnt this today. I stood there, holding the delicate cup, and said, "So, like, when you drink from this, what you're really drinking from is the bones of the dead?"

"It's only animal bones," the shop assistant next to me said. She was in her fifties, early or mid, I couldn't tell, and had dyed red hair, and powdery white skin. When she spoke, she was unsure of what to say because, I assume, she wasn't able to figure if I found this concept insulting or intriguing. Was I more likely to drink from a cup made from bones or less? What kind of man did I seem like? A big bald guy in black jeans and a red t-shirt that says 'Download to Kill Pop Music'. More, or less? Evidently, I seemed like the latter: "It's not like it they were going to be used for anything important."

"Yet the cup is made from bones, yes?"

"Partly. It's fine china."

"Yeah," I continued, twisting it around in my hands--it was quite light and lovely-- "so when you drink from it, you are putting you coffee into a cup made from bones? From something built out of the dead?"

"I suppose I've never really thought of it that way."

"I think it's fantastic."

She hesitated, then said, "You do?"

"I'll have four."