”The payment never left my account. Is that because of the bad weather?”
”No I don’t want a quote on home insurance because I want to get away from the banking system.”
”My wife says I should have introduced my new card to the atm sooner.”
”She didn’t call me back, is that because I’m a woman, is that the bank policy now, not to call women?”
”My son can’t talk to you he’s a farmer.”
I have begun a new job, and breakfast is an issue.
I need to clarify firstly that breakfast, for me, needs to be had in total silence, and preferably alone, enhancing the silence aspect. It is the start of the day, and I need to ease into it. Quietly. This ambience is only altered on the weekends, when I sit with my little bowl of fruit nuts and yoghurt in front of the telly, to watch cake making on a cookery show. Again though, I do not omit any words, as I like it to be QUIET.
In my last job they had a large canteen where I could come into work early, sit at the corner table with my back to the rest of the slaves, and read and not say anything.
The people in my new job are very friendly. And they have a tiny canteen with four tiny tables. In the morning, when I come in, they sit together and talk to each other and occasionally talk to me (they’ve since learned not to keep this up). However, even though I am at my table alone, and eight of them are at the next table laughing and being normal, I am unhappy.
I have taken to eating in the carpark, which is utterly fabulous. I park the car, jump into the back seat for a good old stretch and pop a green tea bag into my travel mug which is already full of expectant hot water, brew the tea, then pull out my book and plastic bowl of breakfast, take my little spoon out of its plastic sandwich bag and munch away, in complete solitude and silence.
Yes people can see me, but I don’t care. The beauty of being one month away from turning 39 is that you are just too old to care what people think. Anybody walking by and staring gets a good stare back, and when they jump I know I’ve won.
The blonde TWAT. She keeps parking about two spaces away from me – I get there first then IT arrives – who takes as long to do her makeup in her carspace as I do to eat, drink green tea and read my book. Seriously, at LEAST twenty minutes. I try not to look but I throw the odd filthy grimace at her, not that she can see as she is ENGROSSED in her rear view mirror and always, ALWAYS applying more foundation. Can you imagine how much slop is on your face if you just keep adding to it for twenty whole minutes?
This would all be fine except to do this, she has to keep her engine running (?) and her radio blaring at full blast. If you’ve parked your car, turn the engine off. I cannot stress this enough. She is not running air-con, or heating (this being the Irish summer, there is little need for both, as it is warm enough to not be too hot, and not cold enough to require rugging up or additional heating. In otherwords – just right). There is no NEED to keep spitting out toxins into our fragile environment. Selfish, blonde twat!
I need not go into the rubbish being spewed from her radio whilst all of this is going on. Suffice it to say that the ‘’presenters’’ are of the loud, crude and non-funny variety.
Then there was today. I parked in my space, being half asleep, forgetting that twat would soon be here. I jumped into the back and began the brewing. I hear a roaring engine and a DJ being really, really unfunny (I knew this because his alleged sidekick was guffawing really loudly in response to his non-funny observation on modern life type non-comedy).
It reversed into its spot, meaning me in the back seat and her in the front were right beside each other. It also can’t reverse in a straight line so when parked, there is very little space between us. And I am a firm believer in the Personal Territorial Bubble.
This was awful, except literally ten seconds later, an older, more annoying blonde twat pulled up on my opposite side, in her even louder red sports car, with a DIFFERENT horrible radio station on – an eavesdropping ASSAULT!!! Cue rear view mirror, pile of foundation time and I felt trapped in an idiot sandwich made of my pain and their horror. And I still had to do a full day’s work!!!
I am now considering parking at the far end of the park, further to walk yes but quiet, silent and twat-free. I should not have to make these decisions so early in the day.
‘’I’m going to Beijing,’’ said Mammy, about a month ago.
‘’Why?’’ I said
‘’It’s in China,’’ she said, and continued with her tea.
And now that Mammy is scaling the Great Wall, Papabear is scaling the equally challenging situation of feeding himself, perhaps for the first time in his life. What makes everything worse is that all the nice people – Lilsister, Sisinlaw and possibly Babybro – are all on their jollidays too – leaving me, the Tough Love (that being, tough without the love) Queen left, to assist him in all his queries, but not actually do anything, because it is my belief that a 64 year old man should be able to feed HIMSELF and then clean up his own mess afterwards.
Prior to The Departure, I contacted both Mammy and Papabear to discuss menus, costings and allergies/fussiness. Both sighed heavily and proclaimed that all was lost, as Papabear is useless. I asked him how he went at peeling potatoes, because in my eyes, should you possess a potato, and nothing else (except possibly a functioning onion), you can create a feast. Papabear explained that he could not peel a potato and my heart sank.
‘’At all?’’ I cried, wondering how this man calls himself Proud to be Irish.
‘’Can you light the oven?’’
They call it a deafening silence for a reason.
So after what was described to me by Lilsister as an evening fraught with despair, Mammy (at my insistence) carefully instructed Papabear how to turn on the oven, and grill, and how to peel a potato. Papa now had the makings of a meal, and was therefore entering the world of adulthood, and not quickly enough in my humble opinion.
It was decided that I should visit Papabear after work, so we could make our dinners together. This gets me out of the house and away from my tenants, who are very nice, but people, so I don’t really want to deal with them. Papabear’s job is to peel potatoes so I don’t have to, then get the oven heated for any meat products that I am making that night.
‘’How many potatoes should I peel?’’ he asked.
‘’Depends on the size and what we’re having.’’ I replied, thinking no more of it.
‘’I’ll peel four potatoes each time you’re coming down,’’ he enthused.
‘’Grand but if we’re making mash you could peel extra so you have some left over to make potato cakes with the next day,’’ I offered.
‘’I’ll peel six potatoes every day,’’ he cried.
‘’No not every day, just on the days we decide to have mash for example. Or if you want to have some left over to fry the next day.’’
‘’If we’re making potato cakes and frying them then I’ll peel eight potatoes every day till you tell me to stop.’’
With images of my father slowly making his way through a sack of roosters at the sink, like some slightly old and male version of Cinderella, I became the sighee and told Papa to do whatever made him comfortable.