My neighbour and the landlord of our block of flats is the pudding lady. Immortality is one advantage of having pudding instead of internal organs but the draw back is you look like a human beanbag. She looks like the nose cone of the space shuttle. The dribbley flesh of her belly hides most of her thighs. A Christmas tree shape in a pink tracksuit. The pudding filled cheeks hang like a basset hound’s and the flesh beneath where her chin should be is directly connected to flab of her breast. The slightest movement starts slow ripples that continue for several minutes hypnotizing you like an executive’s desk ornament. Even though she is made of pistachio1 pudding, she gets around town. She is nice enough as long as you don’t get in her way. She is always chastising the bus drivers for driving too fast are stopping too far. She yells to the passenger next to her upon spying a newspaper on an unoccupied seat “Excuse me. Can I have that?” She never reads it. She just puts it into her plastic bag along with blackening bananas and random objects. I have watched her bump her Zimmer frame into people waiting for the cash machine if she feels the queue is too far into the pedestrian traffic flow. Apparently, she is a nightmare to the people with whom she shares a garden. If they park their car two inches too close to her flowers or don’t retrieve their garbage bin quick enough, she’ll stake out the spot from her window and shout at them the moment they appear. She is also in the habit of dropping ‘anonymous’ notes into the letterbox of anyone who violates the pudding lady’s idea of good tenancy. I have yet to receive any of these notes, but it is almost worth a try to get one. Even though we bump into each other around town, she has never acknowledged that she recognises me. I suppose that is for the best.
1) I’m not actually sure what kind of pudding, but pistachio is my favourite. I have the hope that one day after she had lived the thousand years that the pudding people live, she’ll split open and pour fourth her 200 litres of pudding guts and all the children of the neighbourhood and myself will go grab the biggest spoon from our kitchens and have a big pudding party where we laugh, sing, dance, and eat the pudding lady.
*) I taught spell checker dribbley.