Two weeks ago, on the Tuesday, the m-i-l rang and I ignored it. I listened to the message to make sure she hadn’t fallen and couldn’t get up. Then the m-i-l rang again and yet again I ignored it but again listened to the message. And then the third time – this was all in the space of about an hour and a half – so quite spread out really for when she wants something – I answered it.
M-i-l: ‘I’ve phoned twice!’
Me: ‘Oh yeah.’
M-i-l: ‘Have you been out?’
M-i-l: ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying.’
Me: ‘I’m saying that I haven’t been out and yet, due to the wonders of caller display, I didn’t pick up the receiver and say ‘ello.’ Well you and I both know I didn’t really say that I just thunk it, and as it happened I didn’t get chance because the m-i-l didn’t pause for breath and carried on…
M-i-l: ‘I need some Voltarol.’ (anti-inflammatory pain cream)
Me: ‘Don’t you get that on prescription?’
M-i-l: ‘What do you mean?’
Me: ‘You get it from the doctor.’
M-i-l: ‘Oh, no!’ Now I know full well that she has indeed in the past had a huge tube on prescription because I saw a dispensing label on it and I’m sure you would need a second mortgage to buy a tube that size without a prescription.
Me: `Well’ and bear in mind this was the Tuesday after the stomach bug weekend so I couldn’t really be ar… fussed ‘could No 1 Son not pick it up for you with your shopping?’
M-i- l: ‘Oh, yeah.’
M-i-l: ‘Actually, I wasn’t ringing you for that.’ I had to admit I thought she was ringing to instruct me to get her a birthday card for B. ‘I need a birthday card for Bernard.’ Woman’s institution still working then.
Well with one thing and another I haven’t really been in a position to get one from either of us, without a significant effort which I didn’t feel like making, until yesterday.
So I bought our cards and decided the simplest way to get the m-i-l’s the four miles from ours to hers was to post it! Look some things are better left to the postman – he gets paid for it.
I popped a note and the card in an envelope and sent B and Bud off to the post box on the way to their usual walk.
Now I knew this wasn’t gonna be straightforward and fully expected at least one of the following…
The m-i-l to ring and say that she has got her cleaner to get the card when she goes for her a pie!!!!!!
The m-i-l to ring and say she had had a note through the door saying they couldn’t get something through the letterbox
The m-i-l to ring and say £1.69 (I left the price sticker on and it’s not like I included a SAE and remittance advice) was too much for the card and if she had gone for one herself she would have gone to the cheaper card shop
The m-i-l to ring and ask how was B gonna get the card
What I didn’t anticipate was a stumble at the first hurdle. Ten minutes, if that, after setting out I heard B and Bud return. Thinking something dire must have happened I whizzed downstairs.
B: ‘It wouldn’t fit in the post box.’
Now to be fair the post box in question is set in someone’s garden wall and does have a small slot however with some skill and manipulation its surprising what you can get in.
Me: ‘The card doesn’t fill the whole envelope, fold it over and then if it wedges, stick your hand in and give it a tap.’ I am always a little dubious about this I must admit, since I read about someone sticking their hand in a post box that had some short of anti-take back your post device and they and the post box got to know each other quite well over the course of the next five hours.
Me: ‘It will fit. I used to post survey reports in there, you just have to be creative.’
Me: ‘IT WILL FIT!’
So now I just have to wait for the phone call from the m-i-l when she gets back from her Wednesday club – I’m betting it’s going to be…
M-i-l: ‘Whose Birthday is it?’
M-i-l: ‘When is it?’
M-i-l: ‘Oh, yeah! I need a card.’