Chuntering away. Banging on. Annoying things I always say. Too much chat. These are all charges levelled at me by my fellow householders.
“Pot, Kettle. Black,” I’m always tempted to respond except that would prove their point.
Because these are people who never stop repeating themselves, themselves, as in: “Have you got my charger/the toothpaste/any change/socks/my passport/my national insurance number/a good idea for my assignment/the car keys/the sledge/that miners’ strike T-shirt/Japanese bush warbler excrement skin lotion/tomato ketchup?”
“No, but I do have the dried up stumps of your umbilical cords, some baby teeth and bits of your infant hair in a box,” usually shuts them up. If it doesn’t, “I’m thinking of having them made into jewellery,” does.
So, I’m cutting the chat, nullifying the natter, and will be very careful if they bring a pal home, as there have been a few dragging them away by the sleeves and, “right that’s enough, they don’t want to talk to you any more, mum,” incidents recently.
But then there’s a lost soul in the hall who catches my eye as I’m serving up pasta. Alone and palely loitering, while Middle makes them cups of tea, I draw him in with offers of spaghetti and unsolicited opinions.
“You two look shattered,” I begin.
“Yeah mum, cup of tea?” says Middle, practised in the art of deflection.
“And YOU look terrible, COMPLETELY ripped,” I say to his pal.
“Yes, well it’s been a long day. Fourteen mile walk in the snow…” he says.
“Yeah right. And the rest of it,” I say, “all red eyed, you can’t kid me, blah, blah, blah,” as Middle sweeps him and their mugs away out of earshot, with a swift, “right, thanks mum, bye.”
“Where’s your pal gone,” I ask him later.
“Well, it’s freezing now, I hope he’s wearing his hat, daft boy…”
“In his car. To his wife and child.”
“Yeah, he’s almost 30.”
Yep, sometimes I should just keep mum.