Monday, July 26, 2010

Spotted on Marlborough Street...

.... early this morning: one of those Colonial-era costumed tour guides, an older man dressed convincingly in britches, buckled shoes, and waistcoat. He smoking a clay pipe and leaning heavily on his walking stick as he made his way along the bumpy brick sidewalk between Exeter and Fairfield Streets. He didn't look very clean, which I thought was wonderfully authentic, too. He could have been a ghost from the past but he was stomping pretty noisily to be pure ectoplasm.

I figure that, if you're dressed that way, you ought to be prepared for some brief public debate and civil commentary.

"Wrong century, buddy," I said, as I passed him, shaking my head. I was out exercising, authentically attired for my century in shorts and a baseball cap.

He looked right through me and continued on his way.

Later it occurred to me that he probably thought I was referring to the 21st century, not the 19th. But surely he knew that he was a double anachronism: Colonial-era Bostonians never walked down Marlborough Street. It was developed in the mid 19th century and was not much more than a swamp in the 18th century.

Oh, well. I shouldn't go around making cracks about period passersby unless I'm wearing my bustle.

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