Saturday, 10 October 2009

Pic 'n mix

Things you don’t expect to hear from one of the ladies you work with #1

- Oops, I just pumped.

(For my buds across the ocean “pumped” is one of those delightfully inoffensive ways we Brits like to talk about things some people might feel are offensive. In this instance a “pump” is a fart.)

Confession #1. After I stated last week that I wait until Xmas eve before doing any shopping I bought two giant tins of chocolates (Cadbury’s Roses) and hid them in a kitchen cupboard.

Confession #2. I paid to have my sister clean the house today.

Lesson Learned #1. Nothing is ever well enough hidden when the Queen of Chaos is on the prowl.

Let me explain. I called her from work while she was sweating over the shambles I call home. The ensuing conversation went something like this.

-I’m going to be a wee bit late (I normally make her dinner when she is at my house doing the cleaning) the fridge is full, sis. Help yourself if you’re hungry.

-oh, I already ate some of those chocolate Roses.

-what the ones I had hidden in the back of the cupboard for Xmas presents?

-Oh. (long pause) Right. I only had half a dozen. You could run some tape round the tin lid and no-one would know.

-surely, you saw the tin and thought “present”? Who buys tins of sweets and hides them in a cupboard for anything other than a “present”? Why on earth did you think it would be ok to open the tin and eat some?

-Don’t be mad at me, I’ve been working like crazy. Your house is a tip, by the way.

-Compliments are always going to make me feel less annoyed, sis. Why don’t you try one on me?

(It’s Friday and I’m in a good mood because, well it’s Friday. Besides it’s like being angry with a puppy. A puppy with opposable thumbs that can open a large tin of chocolates)

-I did some ironing for you as well, she adds with a pleading tone.

- you are incredible, I laugh.

When I get home she’s wearing one of my t-shirts.

- I’m waiting for Boyfriend to pick me up and my top is all sweaty, she says.

- if your handbag was bigger, I say, you could just pop my feckin’ TV in there.

Later, I looked in the cupboard where the chocs were. There were still two tins in the place I last saw them. One on top of the other. The tin on the top was sealed. It then became apparent that when Sis finished eating the sweets, she’d put the open tin on the bottom, to disguise the fact she’d been munching on them. Wonder what made her come clean? I would have been none the wiser...until I went to play at Santa.

Now that the kettle’s on and the tin’s open...

Things you don’t expect to hear from one of the ladies you work with #2

- a graphic novel ? Is that like one with loads of sex and violence?

Friends who’ve read the Dan Drown latest, The Lost Symbol are all agreed on one thing. It’s shite. Their words, not mine. If this reaction is extrapolated throughout the world, I’m guessing his next work won’t be quite as successful. I’m hoping other writers will get his audience. I’m thinking Mr Drown will laugh his sorrows all the way to the bank, while singing nanananana.

Anybody out there read The Kindly Ones? It sits at the other end of the literatooore spectrum from Danny boy. It won plaudits and awards up the wazoo. And boy is it hard work. Pages upon pages of know, the bits you skim over? Occasionally you come across a finely tuned paragraph where something actually happens. The narrator is a highly unsympathetic character caught up in Hitler’s Final Solution. Violence is constant and written in simple language that makes it all the more harrowing and affecting. How this violence changes in the perpetrators’ minds from traumatic/difficult to being sought after/ acceptable is worked very cleverly. This is interspersed with philosophy and debate. Again, hard work.

My thinking is that if this was cut from 900 pages to around 400 you would have an extraordinary piece of fiction here. What do I know?


  1. Pumped. Definitely a different connotation here. These guys would be pumped to win the 'pumping' competition.

  2. it has yet another connotation, marley. One that cannot be mentioned in a family space like this. yeah right.