I'm only a chapter and a half away from finishing Zadie Smith's debut novel, White Teeth (2000). This excerpt really captured my imagination and I couldn't resist the urge to chronicle it.
'When I was a kid,' said Irie softly, ringing the bell for their stop 'I used to think they were little alibis. Bus tickets. I mean, look: they've got the time. The date. The place. And if I was up in court, and I had to defend myself, and prove I wasn't where they said I was, doing what they said I did, when they said I did it, I'd pull out one of those.'
Archie was silent and Irie, assuming the conversation was over, was surprised when several minutes later, after they had struggled through the happy New Year crowd and tourists standing round aimlessly, as they were walking up the steps of the Perret Institute, her father said, 'Now, I never though of that. I'll remember that. Because you never know, do you? I mean, do you? Well. There's a thought. You should pick them up off the street, I suppose. Put 'em all in a jar. An alibi for every occasion.'
Zadie Smith. 2000. White Teeth. Penguin Books. p 517.
I am sure that this is something I will always remember, every time I pay for a paper ticket on public transport. It actually makes me want to start an alibi jar. It's just a lovely concept, similar to rainy-day or lucky coin collections.
Definitely expect a review on White Teeth in the next couple of days. I have a lot to share about it!