Read a message from my Spanish friend, Pablo, about his toddler’s dislike of paternal facial hair.
“Little Lula has just tried to cut my hair (and beard… which she hates) with a fork. Set about the task with real conviction.”
“LOL! Can I include that in my blog? I will protect your identity if not your guilt (obviously).”
“Feel free; it’s an isolation beard. She’s been saying, “Chop it off” for the last week. This morning she decided to act.”
Read it again and feel smug because we still use proper grammar and punctuation in our texts even if it takes ten times longer to write and is out of sync with the zeitgeist.
Then it occurs to me I may need help getting my children’s texts translated and feel like a twat. Which reminds me, I need to teach Rhubarb and Special something useful today. I decide the noun phrase, “grammar Nazi” will be the main learning point in today’s English lesson.
Babe will not approve, but she’s at work. By the time she realises what I’ve done, it will be too late. Victory will be mine!
It doesn’t occur to me that Special, age nine, is highly likely to ask follow up questions like, “What’s a Nazi?”
Rhubarb on the other hand – age 6 – will say something like, “I don’t want to learn,” or “I need a poo.”
Grandma receives a food parcel from the government today and gives half of it to us. We inherit two cans of cream of tomato soup (my personal favourite), one can of baked beans, five packs of biscuits, eleven bags of English Breakfast tea (Twinings obviously) and a massive, and I mean massive, tin of mushy peas.
Receive a letter from Boris Johnson. I wonder how he got our address. I don’t recall visiting his website and opting in to give him permission to send me marketing communications. Maybe I should fire off a quick email to the Information Commissioner’s Office about Boris infringing me and my privacy?
On page two of his letter, I see the phrase, “It’s important for me to level with you…”
A number of things strike me about his choice of words:
Has he not been level with me before?
I conclude yes, he has not been level with me before. He has been sacked twice for lying and repeatedly stood in front of a bus promoting the sale of a £350 million-pound pork pie. What Carlsberg would label as being, “Probably the best pork pie in the world.”
Secondly, why is it important for him to be level with “me”?
Am I his preferred priest? Do we have some sort of unholy communion I am unaware of? Is this a confession? Why me Boris? Why me? WHY ME?!?!
I pen a reply:
Thank you for levelling with me. I will stay in doors.
I noticed your signature looks a bit, well, scribbly, almost like a doctor’s. You know, when they write prescriptions. Is this really your signature? Are you in fact playing at being PM, but really you’re a world-renowned proctologist?
The old man who lives at number 16 in our street, let’s call him Frank, is something of practical joker so I wouldn’t put it past him to pull this kind of stunt. Faking a letter from you I mean, not faking being a proctologist. He once sent me a self-assembly string vest, but I think that’s genuinely because he likes the way I walk.
If indeed you didn’t write this letter, and it wasn’t Frank, I think someone could have stolen your identity. I will try using your signature to apply for a credit card online. Let’s see what happens!
Can you send Grandma another food parcel, this time with a bottle of red and 60 Rothmans?
Then I text Pablo a copy of Boris’ letter.
“I got one too.”
“Oh. So I’m not special then?”
“Well, you’re very special, but not so special that Boris wants to write you a love letter.”
I feel angry and jealous of his latest wife and love child (Boris’, not Pablo’s).