“Oh! Wunnerful! Wunnerful food! They’s ‘ot rainbaths out of the ceiling, my son, oh, like white silk, the soap she foams up in your ‘and. You feels like a boy to go ‘mongst the ‘ot waters. They gives you new clothes every day. White as the driven snow. The television. They’s cards and games.”
“It sounds pleasant,” said Quoyle, thinking, he can’t go back to that reeking sty. “No, no. It’s not entirely pleasant. Bloody place is full of loonies. I knows where I is. Still, the creature comforts is so wunnerful I play up to ‘em. They asks me, ‘Who are you?’— I says ‘Joey Smallwood.’ Or, ‘Biggest Crab in the Pot.’ ‘Oh, ‘e’s loony,’ they think. ‘Keep ‘im ‘ere.’”
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
The phrase, “go ‘mongst the ‘ot waters” and Nolan Quoyle’s joy at such a simple pleasure we take for granted, is something about this book that has stuck with me over the years since I first read it.