Monday 18 December 2017

Open season when mouth isn't shut

Eleanor Goggin

The world is beginning to spin. Increasingly, my mouth is engaging before my brain. I suppose I always blurted things out and got myself into trouble from time to time, but I like to think I had a certain amount of decorum. That's gone. I'm going to have to count to 10. Maybe in Russian or something. It would take longer. Give me less chance to screw up.

I was at a function the other night, sitting next to a woman I had never met before. The first course involved salad and watercress. She was chatting away but there was a piece of watercress stuck to her chin, which I was becoming fixated on.

Instead of keeping my mouth shut, of course I had to inform her of its existence and when, after many futile attempts, she couldn't retrieve it, she asked me to get it off.

Not something I normally do for people I've only just met, especially women, but I had drawn the whole scenario on myself, so I tried. No budge. And then she said: "You better not be trying to remove my beauty spot." That's when I tried to crawl under the table.

And then when I was trying to put the lawnmower around the back of the house the other day, a council worker called to tell me they would be working on my road and could he borrow my ladder to put up a sign.

I quickly suggested he cut down two invasive trees in my garden while he was up there and assumed he'd get my humour while I continued moving my lawnmower.

When I looked back, expecting him to be gone, he was still standing there with a frightened look on his face and he said in a weak, little voice: "Do you have a saw?"

I'll have to limit myself to hello and goodbye.

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