Beware

author

From The Snooty Bookshop, a postcard book by Tom Gauld

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Curious

“There were eccentric characters in the hotel. The Paris slums are a gathering-place for eccentric people — people who have fallen into solitary, half-mad grooves of life and given up trying to be normal or decent. Poverty frees them from ordinary standards of behaviour, just as money frees people from work. Some of the lodgers in our hotel lived lives that were curious beyond words.

“There were the Rougiers, for instance, an old, ragged, dwarfish couple who plied an extraordinary trade. They used to sell post cards on the Boulevard St. Michel. The curious thing was that the post cards were sold in sealed packets as pornographic ones, but were actually photographs of chateaux on the Loire; the buyers did not discover this until too late, and of course never complained.

chateux

The Rougiers earned about a hundred francs a week, and by strict economy managed to be always half starved and half drunk.”

— From Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) by George Orwell