Thursday, February 14, 2008


She stood in the dressing-room.

"What do you think?"
"No," I said firmly.
"Do you think it's a bit tight?"

My inner Mrs Smith laughed uproariously. My inner Mrs Smith wanted to point out that the skirt was as tight as a rubber-band around a Land-Rover. My inner Mrs Smith was ignored.

"Well – a bit," I said, cautiously.
The Land-Rover looked sad. "It's a 14," she said. "I've never been a 14."
I shrugged noncommittally. "Different labels size very differently," I said, with an award-winning degree of vagueness. I picked at my nail-polish, avoiding both her eyes and the boldly obvious, that she had as about as much chance of being a 14 as Nicky Watson did of having natural DD cups.

The Doctor was no less deluded. He had the appearance of a small nocturnal creature forced into the sunlight – blinking uncertainly into a foreign environment. He started off an anecdote, "Years ago, when I was working in Scotland..." which improbably involved himself, a priest, and a lawyer, and ended up with something unfortunate happening to the lawyer. I was quite confused.
"Oh dear," I said, "Was the lawyer badly hurt?"
He continued, with more anecdotes, starring himself, and an unlikely cast of drunks, nuns, and quite a few shared acquaintances. The penny eventually dropped with a resounding clang – he was telling jokes. I have never before heard jokes told in such a fashion.

I hate jokes. I hate knowing that at some point I have to laugh (a minor smirk is never sufficient). Jokes make me feel like I am performing in someone's badly-written play;

Doctor: (gabbling faster and faster) … then the priest said, 'don't worry, I got him with the car-door!'
Mrs Smith: (vein throbbing in temple) Oh! Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Very good! Ha ha ha.
Doctor: ...and there was the time I was working in Africa with three nuns…
Mrs Smith: (brandishing a knife) Take that!
Doctor: Arrggh gurgle thud.
Fini Digression

That ending doesn't work well, so instead I ha ha ha’ed painfully through some more real-life jokes, then exited stage left while murmuring something about seeing if the hostess needed any help in the kitchen. Later the Doctor cornered me again, and was saying how his daughter was also studying medicine, and hoped the younger one would too.
"She has what it takes to be a doctor," he said, eyes shining with pride, "a really great rapport with people."
The sub-text to his words was I am a doctor. I have a really great rapport with people.
That was the funniest thing he said all night.

Anyway – we have all met such people – those who think they are witty, or charming, or clever, or whatever, when others think they are anything but. And one does begin to wonder what delusions we have about ourselves. It's a grim thought.


Anonymous said...

I have no delusions. I'm almost perfect!

Mrs Smith said...

I'm considering that possibility too, Wonderferret.

miss_seph said...

I think I used to be deluded into thinking I was funny. I don't bother trying anymore.

Ex-expat said...

After many bitter experiences, I have learnt NEVER go clothes shopping with other females when you or your friends are going to buy something.

laughykate said...

On shopping, what you want to say is, 'It makes you look like a hooker.'

Consequence: Your friend,riddled with insecurity about her body image, goes home and sticks her head in the oven.

So instead you say, 'How does it make you feel?'

She says, 'Great!'

Consequence: She looks like a hooker but feels great about it.

Question: Which course of action is the lesser evil ?

Lita said...

my delusions are keeping me alive. or maybe I'm deluding myself. shit

Charlie said...

It is indeed the classic dilemma; give in to one's inner bitch and give an honest critique of the garment, or allow them to buy the rubber band skirt which inevitably results in them responding to later criticisms with "...well, SHE liked it..." thereby giving everyone the impression that one's unarguably superior taste has slipped up somehow.

Lita said...

Ahem. I miss you. Damn me.

A. said...

Now where's she gone. Off galavanting around the world I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Where are you?? Are you ever coming back or have you finally given up on us for good?

Mrs Smith said...

Hello! Sorry about that.