I just hate it when the doorbell rings and I open the door and there stands Mr and Mrs Acquaintance, with the their little horrors they fondly call ‘the kids’.
So being a gentleman (or a complete idiot) I invited them in. I didn’t really have much choice, because the little brats had already shoved past me and were in the kitchen busy raiding the biscuit tin and fridge. I said, ”How nice to see you again (liar) after all this time. Let’s see now, how long has it been? Two years? Three?” as I put the kettle on, hoping I hadn’t left the drinks cabinet open.
Mr Acquaintance (I think his name is Harry, not sure) shouted down to the kitchen, “Did you know that Alice got married and had a baby?” (who the heck is Alice?) “No” I said, hoping I sounded sincere, “That’s nice. Who would have thought it?” (not me for sure!)
Mrs Acquaintance suddenly appeared in the kitchen as I was pouring the teas. I didn’t have to get the kids a drink, they had already found my stash of Tizer and were seeing how quickly they could empty the bottle. She proclaimed, “Harry (I was right!) has been promoted and transferred from the Council Slaughter House, and is now in charge of the Refuse Collection team (dustbin men)”. “That’s nice” I replied. (What do I care?)
“Did you get our Christmas Newsletter last year?” Harry asked I replied, “Oh, yes I did, (all five A4 pages of closely typed details of their adventures) absolutely riveting stuff, (bored me sh**less). In fact I read it twice.” (liar)
So we settled down to three hours of boring small talk, during which time I made several more cups of coffee and refilled the cake stand twice. Those ‘kids’ sure knew how to stuff them down their throats. Harry bragged about his new car, his holidays in Italy, their holiday home in Bogtown-on-Sea (pity it wasn’t in Afghanistan) and other uninteresting topics. To which I kept replying “That’s nice”.
They took the hint to go when I changed into my pyjamas and wound the the cat up and put the alarm clock out for the night. “We’re not keeping you up are we?” asked Mary (finally remembered her name) I gave a big yawn and said “Well, I do have to be up at the crack of dawn. Me and the boys from the pub are going badger-gassing early tomorrow morning”. Mary gave me a wry smile and said “That’s nice” (I think she had cottoned on to what that really meant. . . .) Have you, dear reader?
Some of this story is not strictly true, but most of it is (?). The names have been changed to protect the guilty.