Magazine article The Spectator

Come and Gone: Jaspistos

Magazine article The Spectator

Come and Gone: Jaspistos

Article excerpt

IN COMPETITION NO. 1985 you were asked to imagine that Beckett added a last act to Waiting for Godot in which Godot arrives, converses with one or both of the two tramps, and leaves, and invited to supply the ensuing dialogue.

There is only room for me to apologise for referring to Vladimir overfamiliarly as Didi (that was Estragon's exclusive privilege) and to give honourable mentions to Frank Upton, Adrian Fry, David Barton and Chas Garvey. The prizewinners, printed below, take 25 each, and the bonus bottle of Isle of Jura Single Malt Scotch whisky is Martin Woodhead's.

Vladimir: Well, that was instructive.

Estragon: It passed the time.

V: It was not, perhaps, what we had expected. Not, you might say, what we had been after.

E: Ah, but what had we been before?

V: Not, so to speak, a revelation. Very far from being a theophany.

E: Not even a bone to throw at a dog.

V: A little, wiry, wearish man, with spiky hair. I remember that.

E: It was his glasses that brought me up short.

V: Spectacles have a strong moral effect. Pause.

V: [Looking up at the tree] `When the desire cometh....' Now who said that?

E: But to be declared redundant, after all that! Given the boot!

V: [Looking at his own boots] Or not. To be told there was no use for us!

E: I am dumbfounded!

V: At a loss!

E: Words fail me!

V: There are no more words. (Martin Woodhead)

Estragon: Did you hear the voice on him? It was music. I swear I'll never wash my ears again.

Vladimir: That's not saying much.

E: [Puzzled] How much do you want me to say?

V: Just tell me what you think of him.

E: You always want me to think and talk at the same time.

V: Very well. Think first, then speak. Estragon takes off his hat and hunches over, silently staring into it.

V: Well?

E: I don't think this is my hat. (Fiercely] I don't want to know what you don't think, I want to know what you do.

E: I don't do anything, you know that.

V: That's a lie for a start. You smell. You do it badly, but you do it.

E: That's it. I'm off.

V: You said it. What are you waiting for?

E: I might ask you the same question.

V: You're right. What are we waiting for? Let's go.

They do not move. (W.J. Webster)

Vladimir: Well, it was worth the wait, Gogo.

Estragon: Fiddlesticks. The man's an impostor.

V: [Dismayed] You think so? I thought he was . .. inspiring.

E: Remember how we were fooled by that fellow Pozzo? I shan't be fooled a second time.

V: But the sun shone, and I think a bird very possibly sang. There was joy, Gogo.

E: I shan't trust him until he delivers what he promised.

V: But he can't deliver unless you trust him. …

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