Sample phone conversation with my Grandad:
“The female parson is coming round tomorrow for tea. I don’t like female parsons.”
“They’re part of all this happy clappy stuff which is why I don’t go to church anymore; they have all these skiffle bands nowadays.”
“Skiffle bands? Like Lonnie Donegan?”
“No, you know people with beards and guitars. Hymns Ancient and Modern is what I was brought up on. I’m coming to religion a bit late, lad.”
“Maybe you should turn Catholic, it’s never too late to repent!”
“They’re even worse, it’s all dressing up and messing round.” There then follows a 10 minute tirade about how Catholics are rubbish Christians.
I went for coffee with my boss. I didn’t really know what he wanted so I was quite nervous anyway. As I was took decaff latte to the till, worrying about whether it made me seem like a wuss, he said;
“Not having any cocoa?”
What could he mean? My brain worked fast. This must be manager-speak for caffeine.
“Uh, no- it makes me high if I have any…cocoa”
High? High? Why the hell did I use that word that suggests a totally unprofessional lifestyle of Class A hedonism.
He laughed uncertainly.
“I have to have a triple espresso to start the day.” I was really losing out on the man stakes.
With a thunderbolt of prickly sweat, I realised that when he said ‘cocoa’ he had meant ‘cocoa’ . I looked sadly at the little shaker he was emptying over his drink and thought whether I should explain the whole mistake, like “Oh, I thought you meant caffeine, like cocoa was the street-name for caffeine”.
Wisely, I chose to shut the fuck up.
At work today, I thought there was a Hare Krishna coming down the corridor. The ethnic bell noise got closer and closer but instead of yellow robes there was just a bloke and an iPhone with the ring set on ‘Bells’.
When we get down to her house, Lisa looks gaunt and shaken.
“I didn’t sleep very well” she explains,
I woke up at 5am because the window was shaking in the wind. I thought it was fireworks, and started to think ‘why are people setting off fireworks at 5 in the morning? Has the apocalypse finally come?’ And then the man next door started using his hairdryer and I thought ‘Oh God, that’s not normal, something’s happening.’ Then there was a creaking and it sounded like a burglar walking around the house so I tried to force Dom to go downstairs but he just turned over and snored.”
It wasn’t the apocalypse, it was just Lisa’s brain.
On my way back from work I see two amputees on crutches walking side by side- one has their left leg missing, the other has no right leg, and they are walking so that their missing bits are next to each other (or not…). It looks like a Benetton advert, and I have to stop myself getting my phone out to photograph them. Those crutches wouldn’t be very nice in my face.