Graham's True Stories
Number 3, The Idiot
It was 6 in the morning at an outdoor antiques show in up-state New York. It was raining hard and I was not at my best.
But there, on a table under 10 sheets of polythene directing the water down my leg, was a super-rare sewing machine, dating from the 1860s. It was near perfect, but for the fact that some designer-type had converted it to act as a table lamp, and, I suspected, was going to be very expensive indeed.
Now I always try to set up a little rapport with the vendor in these cases - helps to crunch the price down, I find. Hoping to appeal to her innate love for antiquity I fired up with: "Now, what idiot tried to convert this fine machine into an ugly table lamp?"
She sniffed, looked me up and down, sniffed again and said: "I did".