Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Bigger Is Not Always Better

Mum rings me at work. Her preamble is not promising.

"Sorry to bother you at work, dear. I just wanted to ask you whether you'd noticed my eyelid last time you saw me?"

"What eyelid?"

I am trying to scroll through my in-box, which already contains 227 emails received overnight. I have no idea why the House of Commons spam filter picked up an email in which I described a local councillor as "disappearing up the arse of a certain MP," when it seems incapable of removing the 48 adverts for Viagra I receive daily, not to mention those for fake watches and penis enlargements.

"My right eyelid. I've been looking at it in the mirror, and it looks a bit droopy," continues Mum.

"Was that the 25-times magnifying mirror like mine?"

"Well, ye-es. But it definitely looks a bit odd."

"I think the best thing you can do is to stop looking in the mirror, Mum - especially that one. 25-times magnification is not good for the self-esteem. I'm sure it's fine and you just need to find another interest."

"Oh, well - if you didn't notice anything, maybe it's okay," says Mum, and rings off.

I'm as blind as a bat, but Mum just doesn't get that the whole purpose of your sight deteriorating as you age is so that you have no idea of how truly hideous you're becoming. Those mirrors should be banned - but then they are so useful for those stray hairs. I'd be lost without mine - though I'm not quite sure how many supposedly stray hairs it takes to merit classification as a beard. The one plus of receiving phone calls from my mother whilst at work is that I am more inclined than usual to be tolerant, as she doesn't seem half so mad when in the virtual company of most constituents.

Unlike me, Connie is loving her job and talks about it without pausing for breath - at all - for the first two hours after I get home. This fills the void left by Josh's continuing silence. I'm dying to know what he told Mr Thumb about his performance in the Skateboarding Championship when he had to go and hand in his skateboard yesterday, but I lose my nerve when Josh reacts to my attempt to give him a hug by shaking me off as if I had worse B.O. than Edmund Beales. Josh is my baby!

When Connie finally goes out with her boyfriend, and the house is quiet again, Max says,

"Talking about work - "

"Yes?" I don't like the sound of this already.

"I have to go abroad again - next week." Max busies himself in the depths of his briefcase.

"What? Why?" I am amazed. No business trips at all - ever - and then two. In a month? This is surely pushing credibility.

"Business," says Max.

"But I thought the company was struggling," I say. "I'm always reading that furniture sales are down. Massively."

"They are," says Max. "So, if the company want me to go on a course, what bloody choice have I got?"

Outmanoeuvred. Again. Why does my bullshit detector desert me the moment I get home? If I listen very carefully, though, I'm sure I can hear a faint, though familiar, sound.


  1. I love 'the sound'. lol.
    I think you should call Max's bluff and say the boss says that you can have a couple of days off and that you can accompany him to his conference. Isn't that exciting and shall we book the tickets and hotel now.....

  2. That would be a useful suggestion, if Max didn't know all too well that I'd rather die than fly ;-) Am considering talking to Special Branch to see if I can borrow a tracking device, though!

    Glad you like the sound. It has saved my bacon on numerous occasions!