Friday, July 25, 2008

"I like Bollocks"

Yep, I said that. Yesterday. Live, on radio.















Thank goodness my folks are caravanning around the North Western side of the continent or I'd have some fast explaining to do - especially if they'd just turned on and heard me utter that provocative sentence without being privy to the necessary leading up to it.

However, this is not the weirdest conversation I've had in the past week. Far from it. I might be married to Love Chunks the meteorologist, but rarely do any of my chats include any pithy remarks about the weather or what the carbon emissions trading scheme actually is about. If I give my grey matter a mental shuffle, this is what the memory cells have dredged up as my typical conversations over the past seven days:

Scene one: My wonderful mate Catherine, her mother Janice and my good self at a cafe in Kensington. All are eating delicious lunches after enjoying the movie 'The Painted Veil' for Catherine's birthday.

Me: "......yeah and it really annoys me when I read about 'Super Mums' or 'CEO and a Mum' kind of articles when they've got paid nannies, cleaners, chefs, personal trainers and PAs to help them. In fact, why would someone like the Queen even need to carry a handbag when she has a lady-in-waiting to deal with her every need?"
Catherine: "Well, even she must have needed a tampon occasionally, in her younger years I mean....."
Janice: "Oh I don't know about that. Tampons wouldn't have been all that common in her era. It was more likely to be a modess pad and surely she'd never have those in her handbag. What if it accidentally popped open at a palace ball when she was busy shaking the hands of dignitaries?"
Me: "Fair point. However it's still hard to imagine the royal hand appearing under the loo door asking 'the help' for a soggy surfboard every month."
















Scene two: Love Chunks, my mate Jill and myself at our kitchen counter, Sunday morning. All three of us are sipping and enjoying the coffees made by LC via the gorgeous Gaggia machine.

Me: "So, are you excited about going to Germany tomorrow? It's such a great idea, flying over to surprise your pen-pal of thirty years at her fortieth birthday."
Jill: "Yeah I am, but I haven't been overseas since 1990 and things seem so much more dodgy now. I've borrowed about a dozen padlocks for all the zippers on my bag and am wondering if I should ask for an aisle seat or a window seat."
Love Chunks: "Forget the locks. If they want to search your bag, they'll just slash it, so don't waste their time. Grab the aisle seat, definitely. I like to pull the tray down, open all of my mini-meal fruit juices, milk triangles, ketchup squeezies and a glass of wine and then loudly sigh, pack up slowly and make the other person feel really bad when they ask to get past me to go to the toilet."
Me: (laughing): "Oh Love Chunks, you're so mean! Surely you don't want their bottoms brushing past your face when you can sit by the window and slump into it for more space?"
Jill: "Yeah the window makes more sense----
Me: "----and Jill you have a rock for a bladder so you won't need to bother an evil bloke like Love Chunks very often----"
Love Chunks: "------and whatever you do, don't accept a drink from a stranger no matter how nice they are to you----"
Me: "------because you could find yourself unable to account for several hours of time only to have a surly customs official inform you at the Singapore stopover that their x-ray just revealed ten condoms of powder up your colon."

Scene three: A freezing alleyway still in the morning shade near the Palace Cinema in Adelaide. A park bench is near the Elephant and Castle pub, with a few half-hearted rays of sunshine making it seem more inviting than hanging about by the wheelie bins and puddles of last night's vindaloo vomit.

Young lady: "Oh, you've reached it first, go for it."
Me: "I'm sure I don't look too weird for you to sit here also."
Young lady (pausing briefly): "Er, no. Do you have a light?"
Me: "I do actually, even though I don't smoke. It lives in my handbag and has been handy sometimes. Well, once, when we went camping three years ago."
Young lady: "I don't normally smoke this early but I'm nervous. And early."
Me: "For what?"
Young lady: "My first day at my new job. Receptionists for an architectural firm. It'll be a change from hospitality I hope. What about you?"
Me: "Oh, just hanging around waiting for the cinema to open so that I can watch a movie and write a review about it; then go home, photograph and eat some chocolate so that I can write about that and then work out what plausible excuse I can come up with to NOT volunteer myself for three days and nights as the 'helper parent' at my daughter's school camp next month, and, hey, wait a second, would you be prepared to let me interview you very quickly for a series of columns I'm developing, about local people from all over the state who---"
Young lady: "------Er right, um, I'd better get going. Don't want to be late on my first day."

Scene four: My eighty-seven year old neighbour has knocked on the back door. Sapphire is playing on her guitar with her friend, Maya, the 'Mamma Mia' soundtrack blaring in the living room. I open the door with Milly the dog at my heels and Skipper the rabbit on my shoulder.

Bob: "G'day Kath (he notices the rabbit). Oh, so this little fellow must be Skipper! (he strokes his ears). Oh yes and hello to you too, Milly (bends down to pat her). We've got some news to tell you."
Me: "Come in Bob. Is everything OK (yelling over my shoulder) - Sapph, can you turn the music down please?"
Bob: "Yes, yes. It's just that we've decided to sell up. This place is too big for us now and we've just bought ourselves a unit in a retirement facility in Leabrook. It's right next to the Chelsea Cinema."
Me: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that Bob. We've been neighbours for eight years and we'll miss you.
Bob: "Yes, well it's time for us to go. We'll miss you three too. Especially your singing and talking."
Me: (blushing in shock) "You can hear me when I sing to Milly? And when I come outside to feed the chooks and call out 'hello girlies'? And my chats to Skipper, calling him (pauses, feeling even more foolish) - 'Spunky buns'?"
Bob: "The whole show. In fact, Jude and I often sit outside under the pergola and get our days' worth of free entertainment from your performances."
Me (weakly): "Oh my dear Lord, I had no idea, none. Oh well, at least now you'll be able to go to the cinema and see the latest releases instead."

And that doesn't include:
  • The apology I gave to the seated man on the crowded bus. I was jammed in the aisle, and had to squeeze up against the side of his seat to let a passenger get off and accidentally swiped him in the head with my arse;
  • Comparing ailments with Sarah after dropping our kids off at school (period pains, low arches, achilles heels, dodgy runners' knees and adult acne);
  • Knowledgeably discussing the pressing issue of re-branding chocolate with the shop owner and the heartfelt disappointment we both feel that Mars can't be bothered making their peanut butter M&Ms here in Australia; and
  • Explaining to Milly's admirers - when she's tethered to the school gate waiting for me to pick up Sapphire - that yes, her breath smells as bad as her poos do.

Surely they're all better openers than "It's pretty cold today, isn't it?"

9 comments:

Baino said...

Brilliant! 10 points for memory recall! And I'm soooooo relieved that someone else has stupid names for their pets and unashamedly talks to them . . .my last conversation was actually congratulating our remaining Wood Duck on being a discerningly handsome although sexually conservative fellow for waiting and finding the right girl! It's about time he left the pickup joint that once was my pool!

River said...

I love reading about your conversations. I usualy manage Hello, how've you been?, then my mind goes blank. I can answer questions if they're asked, but starting a topic is beyond me. Sometimes I do okay with a complete stranger who I know I'll never see again, as long as the conversation is reasonably short, then I can spin all kinds of tall tales and know I won't be found out. Speaking truthfully is my downfall.

Helen said...

I think you should charge admissions for your next neighbours! I wish I lived near entertaining people!

River said...

P.S. It was nice to finally meet you.

Anonymous said...

"Mars can't be bothered making their peanut butter M&Ms here in Australia..."


Have you checked out Bootheby's confectionary shop in James Place in the city? They stock a lot of OS product, so there's a chance they might have what you're longing for.

(I bought some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for an American felow at my office - he ate them and said "Y'know, I'd forgotten how crap American chocolate is.")

cheers
BS

Kath Lockett said...

*Baino - Well done to your buddy the Wood Duck - I'd be singing to him as well as chatting. Love Chunks was watching me cooing to the dog and said, "You don't have to wait until you're a senile old lady to have a houseful of animals you talk to. It's already happened."

* River - It was lovely to finally meet you! You have such a happy and friendly face that I wanted to stay and chat but it was a bit hard with you busy working.... If the column idea gets up I want to interview you, regardless of what you think about your own conversation skills!

Helen - Hmm, I wonder if sometimes our neighbours would prefer less 'entertainment' and more peace and normality?

Anonymous/BS - Don't you worry - I have my peanut butter M&Ms sources. Quite a few specialty shops have them but you do pay quite a premium for them. Agree with your mate re Reeses peanut butter cups - they're like cowpats slathered in fat!

River said...

I often worry that I'm cutting people off when I move on to the next customer, but we do have to keep the lines moving along, especially in the express lanes.

TOM said...

I just love those Peanut M&M's !! Great read MillyMoo

franzy said...

I was crouched behind the counter at work the other night, wiping something from something else. I was whistling one of the twelve songs they play on repeat. I was finally getting to the THIRD chorus, the one with the reprise and the break down, when, on whim, I looked up.
A customer was standing quietly at the till, smiling.
Me: How long have you been there?
Customer: Oh, quite a while. You're a very good whistler!
Me: Jesus! Why didn't you say something?
Customer: I was enjoying it!