Number 36

by Paul Mathers

My mother has asked for my birthday present wish list for this year. My birthday is on April 20th (yes, I am aware of the myriad of grim anniversaries in the history of humankind that fall on that day. Thank you so much for pointing that out yet again).

First and foremost is this book:

ImageIt’s a book of architectural sketches of the Vatican. I am told that the book in and of itself is a work of art. Letarouilly also did one of the Renaissance architecture of Rome. Ever since I heard about these books, I drool like Pavlov’s dogs whenever I think of them.

I am also just about due for new glasses. This will require a new prescription, but I am currently in a gilded age of having vision insurance. I am especially interested in the offerings from this company. And I’ll just throw out there that they also offer this.

I am also due for some black dress shoes. I really need a pair for versatility. I have brown dress shoes and extremely dress (tux level) shiny black dress shoes. I need a pair for daily wear. Unfortunately, good shoes always remind me of this bit from Terry Pratchett:

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

So it goes. Doc Marten made my brown dress shoes and they are fairly reasonable for a shoe that will last a few years. They used to only do European sizes, but I see that my brown shoes list all of them. 11 in US L. 10 in US M. 9 in UK. 43 in EU.

I also want champagne and chocolate. But that’s a constant.

Also, my watch broke and I love it so much that I either want it fixed or want a new one.

So, there are a few ideas.