Sunday, September 14, 2003

Bring bring, bring bring (for the younger folks, that’s what phones used to sound like)

“Hello, it’s Vic, the eagle has landed”

Emma sent me a text at 11am on Friday; ‘do you want pizza with the Dobscrubs tonight?’ I said yes, joking it was, after all their last night of freedom before the baby arrived.

We went for somewhere with a bit of class; so Pizza Express it was. We generally ignored Vicki’s assertion that ‘things were happening’, after all, you’d expect things to happen after nine months wouldn’t you?

Nobody has a second choice with Pizza Express. Nobody diverts from their standard order. With me, it’s always a Fiorentina never anything else. Perversely Nobby is rather odd (now now, let me finish)*; he has either a Sloppy Giuseppe or American Hot, from which he idiosyncratically removes the chillies as he eats. We try to guess his choice, it’s a ‘thing’ we do. He chose American Hot, adding an air of excitement by keeping his decision concealed until he ordered, we ‘Ooh’ed’ when he did. This coincided with the waiter getting a cramp and buckling up. He thought we were Ooh-ing his pain, so he reassured us he was OK. We looked perplexed.

As we talked Vicki idly picked the discarded chillies from Nobby’s plate. Someone may have commented that this would speed things up. At the end of the night we paid and left. The Dobscrub’s gave us a lift home; we said our goodbyes as normal.

Last Saturday I said to Vicstah, ‘we’ll see you on the other side’ something I said to my sister a few days before she had Sophie. The reaction was the same; a nervous “Oh I’m sure we’ll see you before that” followed by the rapid arrangement of another night out. Last night I chose to go for a simple goodbye. It was 10.30pm.

The phone rang on Saturday morning at 11.30, it was Vic, the eagle had landed. The commencement of labour I assumed, we’d seen them 13 hours ago. Although, on reflection, the eagle thing would have been a particularly crap analogy for labour, and Vic has a linguistics degree. It was only when she took me through the timetable of the night (things started happening at midnight, the midwife called at 3am, in the hospital by 5, the baby arrived at 10.50.) that it became clear she’d actually popped.

“The baby’s arrived!?” I said

Emma pulled the phone off me. It’s a little girl, don’t know how heavy, name unconfirmed. How was the labour? “I swore at Nobby”, to which the riposte should have been, ‘well obviously, now how was the labour’. How are you feeling now? “A little sore” – I should coco. Is she beautiful? “I don’t know Nobby’s been cuddling her”. Which I suppose is fair enough, Vic’s had her for the last 9 months, Nobby deserves his chance.

*Enter alternative joke: - ‘or oddly Nobby is rather perverse’


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