A bit of chat log between myself and my dear pseudo anonymous friend ‘Red’.
This chat is off the record
You: [ introductory line that was written in a humourous way but which falls flat when written down ]
Red: [ a reply that strokes your ego and lets you think that it was infact very funny ]
You: [ acknowledgement of advanced literary skills with an implied request for reassurance that you aren't, in turn, humouring me ]
You: [ rapid non-sequitor ]
You: [ in attempt to distract from neediness ]
You: [ spelling correction ]
Red: [ apology for slow reply ]
Red: [ reply to non-sequitor ]
Red: [ attempt at starting simultaneous conversation ]
You: [ counter apology for not getting back ]
You: [ attempt to blame 3rd party ]
You: [ question regarding the only thing remembered from yesterday's conversation ]
You: [ reply to non-sequitor reply ]
You: [ explaination that non-sequitor reply was not, in fact connected to conversation about yesterday ]
You: [ embarassed silence ]
Red: [ polite chuckle ]
Red: [ question regarding delicate subject that I find amusing but am trying not to show that I find it amusing ]
You: [ comment about co-workers in attempt to pretend question didn't happen ]
You: [ follow up comment that is ambiguous in nature and could be connected to above or could be answering your question ]
You: [ random swear words and technology type ]
Red: [ sympathy over tech, coworkers etc ]
Red: [ disbelief at tech, coworkers etc ]
You: [ attempt to imply these coworkers are worse than any other coworkers ]
You: [ unintended implication that suggests it could be me who is the one at fault ]
You: [ backtrack ]
You: [ self depricating comment with smiley face to imply that this is a joke when secretly I fear it's true ]
Red: [ comment to help cement the belief that yes, your coworkers are the worst ]
Red: [ hugs or similar to try to boost your mood ]
You: [ acknowledgement and reciprocation ]
You: [ innudendo ]
You: [ jokey dismissal of innuendo ]
You: [ question regarding husband / boyfriend / girlfriend intended to reassure that I appreciate that you are not available and innuendo was not a proposal ]
Red: I am so sorry – I have to stop because I have a non-sequitor that is too perfect not to say at this point…
Red: I saw some Japanese bondage on tv the othe night and thought of you
[ attempt to explain away bondage reference while knowing and acknowledging the fact that no-one who reads this will believe it ]
XKCD original alt text : "Yes, I understand that the turn is half a mile past the big field, but my GPS knows that, too. This would be easier if you weren't about to ask me to repeat it all back to you."
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve had this conversation. I don’t care where the entrance to your street is, or if there’s this tricky little junction by the pub – if I don’t know how to get somewhere, I use a satnav which knows where you are.
The only two exceptions are if you live at number 23, which is hidden between number 3 and number 81, round the back of number 42, or if you happen to live in a house that was built in the last 12 months.
Besides, the satnav is less likely to miss out a junction and inadvertently put me onto the one way system from hell. Or tell me to turn left at the Rose and Crown, forgetting that the bloody thing burnt down in 1981 and it’s now a scrap yard.
I’ve told you about the wonders of yourOpenBook before, but it really is the gift that just keeps on giving. Today, we’ll be searching for the phrase “not racist, but“.
First up, the simple fuckwits…
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Tomorrow is the day when the village I’m planning to move in to gets together and tries to earn money to stop the village hall from falling down.
Everyone gets together at The Chase, or the farm, or the house that is still known by the surname of the old lady who died 20 years ago, and they eat cream teas made with Tesco Value jam, and play those strange games that you only ever see at this level of fund raising event – tombolas and raffles; guess the name of the teddy and the weight of the cake; get as few points as possible at clock golf or as many as possible at pig bowling on a lawn that resembles the Himalayas. And I know that I will both love it and hate it.
I’ve lived there, on and off, for 15 years, yet I know that I’m still considered a new comer. In all that time, just one house has been built, and that was for the old farm manager not an outsider. I’ll go to the fete and know that barely half a dozen people will recognise and acknowledge me – and one of those will think I’m my brother.
Yet still, I’ll enjoy it in that way where you don’t really enjoy anything. It’s a sign that the village still cares about itself and is still small enough that everyone feels that they need to take part. Hell, I know that by next year I’ll be conned into running a stall of some kind – the ultimate sacrifice since it means you can’t bugger off when it gets tedious.
But I’ll be there – just like I’ve been there every year since 1987.
Yet, if I’m honest, one of the reasons I love it so much is that it lets me replay my old “Fete worse than death” joke. It’s hardly an original joke, but it’s one that appeared spontaneously many years ago and has remained a family joke ever since. I don’t recall who first made the joke either. It has a certain dark depressing cynical word play that could well be my doing. But that’s hardly unique in my family.
Yet, despite not being original, it always raises a smile, and it always seems to be new to someone.
There’s just one rule… don’t let anyone in the village hear you call it that…