|Picture: Prawny, Pixabay|
What do I do about Annie?
Do I say I find her principles fundamentally wrong?
Do I tell her I find the free and unguarded tone of her chatter offensive, because it assumes endorsement, even corroboration on my part? Do I tell her she’s full of crap and should be ashamed of herself?
What I really want to do is stuff her mouth full of badger poo, slap her about the face with an angry woodcock,
(It’s a bird. What did you think it was?),
and make her watch Bambi, Watership Down and Lassie Come Home all in one go (FYI, if anyone was looking to break me, that would just about do it).
My previous four conversations with Annie have begun like this:
(By the way, Annie is short for Annie Oakley. You may have got that from the post’s title. Or you may have thought, quite correctly, that I don’t know my musical-Annie arse from my musical-Annie elbow.
Also. It’s not her real name).
Me: Hello, what are you after today?
Annie: Hello, I’m after a scarf for the weekend. I’m going away.
Me: Oh, that’s nice, where are you going?
Me: Oh lovely. Are you going to the moors?
Annie: I’m going to shoot grouse.
Me: Hello, what are you looking for today?
Annie: Hello, I’m looking for a scarf. Have you got one with deer on?
Me: Yes we do. Is it for a special occasion?
Annie: Yes. I’m going away for the weekend.
Me: Oh that’s nice. Going anywhere nice?
Annie: I’m going to Berkshire.
Me: Oh lovely.
Annie: To shoot deer.
Me: Good morning, are you shopping for something specific today?
Annie: Good morning. Yes, I’m after a scarf for the weekend.
Me: Umm, right…
Here we go again. Please don’t ask for one with game animals on. Please don’t tell me about shooting game animals. Please buy a pretty scarf and do something lovely instead…
Me: How about one with flowers on, or hearts? Or little fluffy bunnies…..?
Annie: Oh yes, bunnies. That would be good.
Annie: Because I’m off to shoot rabbits this weekend.
I hardly dared ask….
Me: Hello, I suppose you’re looking for a scarf again…….?
Annie: Yes! I want one with ducks on it.
Me: And I’m guessing this duck scarf would be for this weekend, would it…..?
Annie: Yes it would. We’re going away.
Me: Oh, right. Well…….don’t tell me, don’t tell me……. have a nice time.
Annie: I will. I’m going duck shooting.
Me: Duck hunting. Right…..
We didn’t have any scarves with ducks on. I tried to find her one with hunt saboteurs carrying horns and video cameras as a valid substitute, but sadly failed. And anyway, being duckless didn’t seem to matter too much:
Annie: Oh never mind, I’ll take this one with hares on. Hares are the next best thing!
Me: Are they?
Are they?! I bloody well hope not. I’ve hardly ever seen a hare. Anyway, aren’t they protected?
Turns out they’re not.
So what should I say to her: - “perhaps you could ease up on the scarf buying, love. It’s causing an imbalance in the ecosystem”?
Maybe when she asks what I’m doing for the weekend I could tell her I’m going to a four-legged equal opportunities retreat, where we’ll chant “Animals are people too” all weekend. Except she never asks. She asked what I was doing up a ladder once, but I can’t see that helps.
And yes. I know ducks have two legs.
No, I just rather pathetically suck it up each time, smile, flog her as much stuff as possible and pull faces behind her back as she walks out the door.
Theoretical faces, obviously. Not real faces. That would be childish. Satisfying, but childish…..
So what would you do with Annie?