Friday 12 January 2018

Tea and sympathy. Without the tea. Or the sympathy

The January blues. Everybody gets them. Why wouldn’t you?: It’s grey and dull and cold and depressing outside, everybody is skint and inexplicably still post-Christmas knackered, and everyone is contemplating a Brave New World of chocolate free, joy free meals consisting entirely of lettuce spaghetti and tomato fillets (or maybe that’s just me).

So I do understand it’s a tough time of year, I really do. I sympathise with anyone feeling down, but, can I say this whilst sounding as warm-hearted and generous as I can… For Christ’s sake keep it out of the shop, it’s boring listening to you droning on, and, quite frankly, it’s bringing me down.

Picture: Images, Pixabay

Last week I had a conversation with a woman who I can only describe as the unfortunate love child of Marvin the paranoid android and Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Not that she wasn’t chatty, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing:

“Hello, happy new year.”
“I suppose so.”
“Oh. Isn’t it?”
“I don’t really think so.”

Awkward pause……………

“It was my 60th birthday yesterday.”
“Happy birthday! Did you have a lovely day?”
“No not really. Everyone rang me……..”
“Well, that’s lovely, isn’t it?”
“…... but nobody asked me out for lunch.”
“Oh. Did you ask them out for lunch?”

Awkward pause………….

“I spent the day watching films on TV.”
“Well, that sounds like a lovely indulgent thing to do on your birthday.”
“It was quite boring. The films weren’t particularly good. That guy who's in all the westerns is a terrible actor”
“Oh that’s a shame...”

Awkward pause……….

“I had the house to myself for the whole day.”
“Well that sounds restful. Sometimes your own company is just the thing, isn’t it? No-one to please but yourself.”
“I don’t like my own company. I don’t think I’m imaginative enough.”
“Imaginative. Right.”

Awkward silence followed by a coughing fit: mine, not hers.

“You’re coughing” (Depressing AND a master of the bleedin’ obvious. Amazing).
“Yes, sorry, excuse me”.
“I’ve been coughing in the mornings. It might be that huge thing that everyone’s got”.
“There’s a bug going round?”
“Absolutely everyone’s got it. I think I’ve got gastroenteritis”.
“Gastroenteritis. Right… should you be out and about….? “
“No, not really, but the bus only comes twice an hour.”
“The bus..OK…...”
“It's not enough. I should have booked a taxi.”
“Well, perhaps you could get a taxi back?”
“But taxis are so expensive. And they smell of air freshener.”
“Do they? Oh….”

Awkward silence………..

“I have to find a gift for my neighbour.”
“Oh, that’s nice. Is it a birthday gift?”
“No, thank goodness. I’m going round there this weekend.”
“That’ll be nice.”
“I’m not looking forward to it. They have cats.”
“You don’t like cats?”
“Cats don't like me. They make me sneeze.”
“Oh, are you allergic to them?”
“No. They just make me sneeze.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. Could they keep the cats out of the room?”
“The cats are in charge. And the cat essence is everywhere anyway.”
“Cat essence….right...”

The conversation carried on in this vein for another eight hours, or so it seemed, before she decided that nothing in the shop was any good (of course it wasn’t), and left empty-handed, which was a bad thing. Although…… I wonder whether a bad thing is a good thing for this lady. Or, more precisely, a good thing would have been a very bad thing indeed.

Right well, now that I’ve made you all depressed I suppose I should show you some cute, but somehow scary pictures of cats clearly in charge.....

Photo: aruba85, Pixabay

Picture: Daga_Roszkowska, Pixabay

Photo: Thomas Wolter, Pixabay


  1. I have just read this back, and quite frankly, what I got was, 'blah blah blah... oh look! Pictures of cats!' Just what I was going for...

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