White Goods (David Cohen)
So you have a question for me? I hope it’s about white goods. You are no doubt aware that I specialise in washers and, to a lesser extent, dryers. Look at my showroom – the poetry of all of those smooth surfaces! I believe in making things to last. People still appreciate quality. How else do you think I got where I am? But don’t imagine for a minute that it was easy! I started at the bottom, as they say. I came here with precisely fifty-four dollars to my name. I barely spoke the language. Ah, but do you know what transcends linguistic barriers, my friend? Love! That’s what! Love and, to a lesser extent, white goods. After I got married, I went to work for my father-in-law, who sold – yes – washing machines. In this way I found a completely new vocation, a new life. I was reborn, as they say. Fifty years have passed and there are still days when I must look in the mirror twice before I recognise myself: a successful businessman, a great-grandfather, a worthy citizen – if I may say so – of my adopted land. I have been blessed many times over, my friend. So tell me: what’s your question? … For Heaven’s sake! Why must you ask that? Why? I’ve already been asked that a hundred times and a hundred times I have given the same reply! We were at war, and when you’re at war different rules apply. They do and they must. War is a dirty business. But despite the dirt, I myself am clean. Clean! These people who go digging into the past, trying to make mud stick, as they say – these people are wasting their time. I am clean! I will maintain that until the very end. I will go to my grave without a stain. But for now the subject is closed. Please, ask me something about white goods – anything at all. Take a look through my showroom. Perhaps I can interest you in a nice washing machine?