Wednesday, March 11, 2020

the last book I ever read (Cabbagetown by Hugh Garner, excerpt three)

from Cabbagetown by Hugh Garner:

One evening in October the newspapers printed extra editions reporting a stock market crash. Of all the city’s neighbourhoods Cabbagetown probably took the news most quietly. In the wealthier districts, and even in the middle-class neighbourhoods, the citizens were either shocked or sloughed off the news as merely a temporary halt to the inevitable spiraling of the economy. In the Bay Street financial district crowds filled he evening streets, clustering in front of the newspaper offices waiting for the latest bulletins. In residential neighbourhoods families sat down in their living rooms and laughed at Amos ‘n Andy or listened with mounting impatience as the bulletins from New York and other financial centres cried havoc and interrupted the A & P Gypsies.

Cabbagetown went on its serene way, not caring whether the stockmarket crashed or didn’t, such things being as far away and as alien to Cabbagetown as an aeroplane crash in Peru. With millions of dollars worth of investors’ paper profits blowing away on the autumn breeze Cabbagetown knew that its hard-earned wealth was safe. Come Friday night or Saturday noon the same familiar pay envelopes would be carried out to the shipping platform by the foreman or handed through the timekeeper’s wicket as usual. Whether some stock-market plungers lost their fortunes or whether a particular stock was worth this or that was of no particular interest. As a matter of fact most Cabbagetowners felt rather smug about the whole thing.

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