I was wondering recently about what stage in life you get to before you suddenly think “Sod it, don’t care what people think of me, from now on I’m doing what I like” and start eating with your mouth open (not doing that yet), or chasing pigeons (considered that), talking to yourself loudly on public transport (done that already) or scratching yourself in intimate places (husband's been doing it for ages) etc., etc.
On holiday last week whilst at breakfast in our hotel, I noticed an ancient couple merrily chatting away to themselves at the table next to us – not to each other, you understand, just to themselves. Frankly, their simultaneous but solo conversations were a whole lot more interesting than ours because my husband was refusing to come out from behind his newspaper, in protest, as he was annoyed with me for having finally banned the iPAQ from the table (actually I hid it and then forgot where). Bored, I listened in to our neighbours for a bit, then gave the husband a nudge so he could tune in too.
Him: “She never passes me anything. All I want is the black pepper”
Her: “I wonder if the dogs would like a bit of sausage?”
Him: “All I wanted was the black pepper.”
Her: “I could wrap it up in my hanky.”
Him “You’d think a bloke could get some black pepper if he wanted it, wouldn’t you?”
Her: “Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Wrap it up in my hanky.”
Whereupon, out comes a pack of Kleenex, down goes the sausage which gets carefully wrapped up and popped in the handbag.
Him: “Still haven’t got any black pepper.”
Her: “Think I’ll take them some toast. They like toast.”
Him: “Can’t enjoy my breakfast without the black pepper.”
Toast arrives, it gets buttered and both buttered sides put together sandwich style. Out come the tissues, toast gets neatly wrapped up, down it goes into the handbag.
Him: “Next time I’m bringing my own black pepper.”
Her: “Maybe they’d like a bit of bacon. Yes, I’ll take some bacon for the dogs”
And so on. Bacon. Tissues. Handbag.
At this point, my husband catches the waiter’s eye, beckons him over and whispers something into his ear.
Me: “What did you say to the waiter?”
Him: “I asked him for something for the old couple”
Me: "Aah, you’re so sweet. That’s so nice of you. Did you ask for some black pepper for the old boy?”
Him: “No I bloody didn't. I asked for a bowl of porridge for his wife.”
He can be so mean sometimes.