Dulltown, UK: Today’s dictionary words are: winze, wishtonwish, witan, witwall, withe, wistiti, wolfram and rasorial. Please have these words looked up and placed in suitable sentences ready for Professor Mouldie first thing after breakfast tomorrow morning. The professor will require you to bring along white paper bags with your faces drawn on them, to place over your heads for the duration of the lesson – he says that he can’t stand to look at you any more.
I suppose the following is a little bit like one of my Snatches of overheard and misheard cafe conversation – it is I admit, similar, but it isn’t one of those.
I recently had a look at a show of amateur art in the gallery in the Treasure House in Beverley, a few miles north of Dulltown; they have a cafe in there too. I don’t go in that cafe very much – it tends to be noisy, with stamping-around little children and hard of hearing old people shouting at each other, but that day it seemed relatively peaceful so I ordered a sandwich and a tea and sat down at a table.
I was just about to take my first bite when two middle-aged people came and sat in seats quite close by me – in fact one of them within inches of my elbow.
They turned out to have unusually loud voices, and they seemed keen to discuss what had been happening at the place where they worked.
I decided to not get upset, but to use the situation to my advantage. I took out my little notebook and tried to write down everything they said – unfortunately they spoke a lot faster than I could write, so the following, though pretty accurate, might seem a little disjointed – my apologies dear reader.
It is a bit long I’m afraid, but I do recommend that you persevere with it – think of it as a piece of avant-garde theatre:
Dennis… Dennis is on her case, and not in a good way. With Mark it’s the same, we sat there with Darren – I never report Dennis – a tea party – and then he reports me! With a radio in my pocket. Oh, yeah yeah, sort out Dennis the caretaker – we wrote it on the board – daft as a bank clerk – no, I’m not making a poison dart. I was walking back to my area. ‘Not allowed,’ she said, ‘I know,’ I said to Liz – it’s a miniscule what he gets away with, he’s got a partner with someone else, it’s for his benefit. He’s not the only one who’s got skeletons! She went, ‘No, no,’. That’s the problem, the peace-maker! They are there if you wanna speak – I do incidents! Three short of a full load, me? Why did he ask that question then? It’s not you is it? In a conversation it’s not my edge – a bit off, it will do, what’s goin’ on behind the scenes. One day, right, Liz doesn’t say a word to me – but who’s gonna spill it? It’s all gonna kick off big-style – Ann’s out of the equation – nobody knows what’s comin’ – you might say she’s alright one-to-one – her and Chris get on, and how much she likes you. To screw your life out like hell – a union rep. She’s moved areas, the cupboard at the top of the stairs. The think, the think, the thing is… This is it! She covered her backside – half the things she does with Sandra – next minute she covers her backside. She talks of people standing outside the office. Who comes up with some night out, carefully planned? She knows it – the bottom line – she knows like you – the caretaker – how you take the bin bags out at night – we know he goes across at night. He spragged on me, so I spragged on him. Basically they get him in a little click – him and his wife do speak to Claire. He thinks nobody knows nothing. Honest to god, it’s unbelievable! Rob’s a bit like that – ha ha ha ha!* You walk in there, it’s too much on a Tuesday – slow-minded people! You could write a book couldn’t you? At the end of the day it’s just a cleaning job. Big and fat, he’s been in the army – real sarcastic – six or seven pints! ‘Here, I want you a minute.’ Fuckin’ chicken nuggets interference in the shop. Ha ha ha ha!* That’s what people do. It tickles their boat. When you start analysing it – that little mild majority, ‘coz of who speaks to who – in the end you are just a spare piece outside – trying to catch people on their cold point. Kate is a bit of a funny one – one to watch out for. She does, she does – as if you’ve known them for five years – at a funeral. In the end she comes down on the chocolates. If we are losing it, I take it as a compliment. She can’t half knock back the cocktails though – the bloke from head office – not smiling at me, not smiling at you, and not smiling at you – anything that wasn’t funny he’d make a remark – he was like that. Tracy, was a Lucy, or a Tracy… A pair of trousers for the wedding – Barbara warned me about that – a fifteen minute gap after I stopped arguing – ha ha ha ha!* She’ll string him along now big-time – it makes you laugh – ha ha ha ha!*
* These identical bursts of laughter sounded forced and unnatural like those from a bad actor in a bad play.