Sunday, January 26, 2003

Emma Emma potty mouth

Say “John Thomas” and you’ll get a blank expression, ask her to name a ladies furry parts and she’ll say it’s a ‘bottom’. Emma is not your quintessentially ‘dirty bird’, yet somewhere deep in her psyche is a filthy mind desperate to get out.

Exhibit A: debt is a four-letter word for Emma, credit cards and loans are alien beings. It comes from the idiosyncratic accounting methods of her mother, who keeps vast proportions of cash in plastic pouches for specific shopping trips. I once asked her if she would pay for a 56p packet of peanuts I wanted to save queuing time. She couldn’t, or wouldn’t, because the pouch designated for shopping wouldn’t balance if it were complicated by my 56p. Her sister is not too different. On commenting on someone’s financial state she once screeched, “He even has a loan for his car”… imagine that. To protect her from the beast of debt Emma keeps in her current account a sum of money that she won’t dip under – it’s her Buffer Zone. She went to the bank the other day and they told her that her money wasn’t working as well as it might do. I asked her how much the Buffer was, and she told me it was about the equivalent of a month’s salary. I told her to put it in savings thus saving tax and gaining interest, she told me “No, I don’t want to start playing with my buffer zone”.

Exhibit B: Emma seems to like things with fur; cats, clothes, anything really. Whilst out shopping she came across a bag that was grey with a ‘Very Emma’ black furry fringe. She was very proud of it, but, naturally, she took it home she left it on the floor in the hall. You wouldn’t believe it but Emma’s world is very ordered, everything has its place, shoes are left around the toilet, ice cream boxes half full with hardened Polyfiller, always on the cooker hob, that kind of thing. The following Sunday Simon was round for a regular tea, scones and TV chill session. Inquisitive as ever, Simon asked what we’d been up to, Emma replied ‘shopping’, Simon asked what she’d bought, to which she answered “Would you like to see my furry bag?”. His eyes popped out of his head. Of course, Simon should have said “Yes, but what did you get when you went shopping”… but didn’t, sadly.

Exhibit C: The clincher, our living room window looks out onto the road, Emma hates the darkness of the winter. Which is odd given that she fries in the summer. Subsequently she tries to make sure the sun is coming into the house for the maximum possible time. Emma’s sister, who we once employed as an occasional cleaner, and was the only cleaner ever to leave notes telling us how untidy the house was, came round and was, as usual critical of everything we did. She wanted to know why the front of our house was such a state, to which Emma replied….

“I like to keep my bush long so I can keep my curtains open”


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