by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Strange Conversations”

Things You Might Find Yourself Saying to a Geek: Gender Reversal

Posted 29 May 2008 in by Catriona

Example Two: If your girlfriend is also a geek, be aware of this trap.

Should your girlfriend ask you to do something, and you reply, “I’ll try,” chances are the response will be “Do or do not—there is no try!”

Strange Conversations: Part Sixteen

Posted 25 May 2008 in by Catriona

Scanning the magazines while in the queue at the supermarket:

ME: Famous is doing the traditional “Star without make-up.”
NICK: “Stars without make-up who haven’t been Photoshopped.”
ME: Yeah. I think it’s “Stars who have pissed us off recently,” myself.
NICK: Next thing you know it’ll be Robots Without 3D Rendering magazine. (Pause.) That would be awesome.

Strange Conversations: Part Fifteen

Posted 20 May 2008 in by Catriona

How to take things from bad to worse:

ME: Is it getting hotter?
NICK: I think so.
ME: Maybe it’s because we’re bathing in the light of the scary television.
NICK: Well, where’s the remote?
ME: (finds remote behind me and turns off the television)
NICK: Clever!
ME: Did you just call me clever because I managed to turn the television off with the remote control?
NICK: (nods sagely)
ME: Right, that’s going on the blog.
NICK: No.
ME: Yep, it’s going on the blog. You just called me clever for finding the off button on the television remote control!
NICK: Well, there are a lot of buttons on that thing, and you’ve never shown much facility with them before . . .

Well, I Thought It Was Funny

Posted 20 May 2008 in by Catriona

As a follow-up to this incident, I’ve just put Paul Robeson’s “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” on and shouted to Nick, “He’s behind you!”

Nick, who was washing up, nearly broke a plate.

I thought it was hilarious—I’m still laughing—but Nick’s in the kitchen muttering, “Oh, very bloody funny.”

In my own defense, though, he did keep me awake with his snoring until 4 a. m.—literally: I noted the time carefully, because by that point I was thinking of the future in terms of the inevitable police reports and a verdict of justifiable homicide.

An Exercise in Rhetoric

Posted 16 May 2008 in by Catriona

ME: You are very annoying.
NICK: I can’t help that.
ME: Yes, you can.
NICK: You are very annoyed by me. I can’t help that.

That’s exactly why I tell my students not to use the passive voice as a weapon.

One of Those Days

Posted 15 May 2008 in by Catriona

We’ve had Nick’s father around for dinner tonight—as we usually do on Thursdays—so we ate unusually early, to let him get to his 7 p. m. French class.

This meant I was in need of coffee much earlier than usual—and I turned to Nick to provide it.

I explained that I’d had a cup this morning, but only a weak one, and had been too lazy—alternatively, too busy—to make myself another pot during the day. This put me at least two cups behind my usual quota.

We compromised, in that Nick promised to make me a cup, but not until Specks and Specks started.

So as soon as that began, I was tensed in anticipation of the forthcoming coffee.

But I couldn’t smell the heavenly aroma of fresh-brewing coffee.

So the following conversation ensued, about fifteen minutes into the programme:

ME: You haven’t put the coffee on, have you?
NICK: I have!
ME: But it’s been fifteen minutes! Where’s the coffee?
(Honestly, I’m not an unpleasant person—just lazy and coffee deprived.)
NICK: It is on!
(Leaves the room, at which point a long pause ensues.)
NICK: Bugger.
ME: Yes?
NICK: It was on the wrong element, would you believe?

I would believe.

And I still don’t have a cup of coffee.

But I suppose it’s a small price to pay for being to lazy to make it yourself.

Strange Conversations: Part Fourteen

Posted 13 May 2008 in by Catriona

It’s been a night of strange conversations.

When I got a little worked up, and Nick suggested that listening to Rage Against the Machine probably wasn’t helping my mood, I switched to “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Nick was standing right in front of me at this point, but the following conversation still ensued.

NICK: Jesus!
ME: What?
NICK: Oh, it’s coming out of your computer. I thought it was coming from behind me!
ME: You thought Paul Robeson was behind you?

A strange night, but not that strange.

Strange Conversations: Part Thirteen

Posted 13 May 2008 in by Catriona

Tonight’s bizarre conversations.

This one was held while I was looking for the nail clippers on the kitchen windowsill.

NICK: Oh, what have you found?
ME: The nail clippers.
NICK: Oh . . . wow.
ME: Well, you were the one who suggested it was an exciting find! I was just looking for the clippers.
NICK: I like to bring a sense of wonder to life.

And later, while Nick was doing the washing up:

ME: I’m going to give my Mam a ring. Will you pour me a glass of wine?
NICK: I’ll try, but I’m very busy and important.
ME: Pour me a glass of wine, or I’ll give you busy and important.
NICK: Oooh.
ME: That wasn’t a euphemism! Well, it was, but not in the way you think.

We’re really a very happy couple. Honestly.

Strange Conversations: Part Twelve

Posted 10 May 2008 in by Catriona

ME: Could you fight off a mountain troll?
NICK: I could try.
ME: O . . . kay.
NICK: You can’t ask for more.

Of course, as a feminist, I should be able to fight off my own mountain trolls. But since I can’t even remove a spider from a bathtub, I’m sanguine about my chances with a troll.

Strange Conversations: Part Eleven

Posted 6 May 2008 in by Catriona

Nick and I have been watching 30 Rock, which led to the following conversation.

ME: You really fancy Tina Fey, don’t you?
NICK: Yep.
ME: But she’s nothing like me!
(Long pause.)
NICK: I love all humanity!
ME: The correct answer is ‘No, honey, she’s exactly like you.’
(Pause of about ten minutes.)
NICK: And you both wear glasses.

Sure, anyone who knows me will suspect a degree of hypocrisy in my answers. (Did that coughing noise sound suspiciously like “Lord of the Rings,” or was that just me?)

But in my defense, I am really tired.

Strange Conversations: Part Ten

Posted 4 May 2008 in by Catriona

The following conversation is even stranger than the one I just posted.

NICK: So, I thought I’d just cook the corn tonight, not the green beans. I’ll save those for tomorrow.
ME: But I need the green beans—they soak up vodka.
[Note: It is a long weekend. And, anyway, I’m onto wine now.]
NICK: Maybe vodka is made out of beans.
ME: I don’t think so—it’s a grain alcohol, I think. You know, made out of grain.
NICK: Like potatoes.
ME: Potatoes aren’t grain; they’re tubers.
NICK: It’s not a . . .
ME: If you say ‘It’s not a tuber,’ I will have to kill you.

Strange Conversations: Part Nine

Posted 4 May 2008 in by Catriona

Nick and I have had a number of strange conversations over the past few days, including one at the end of which, when I playfully suggested there were tensions in his band Thrice-Damned Fiend, he said to me, “Steady on there, Yoko”—a comment for which I still haven’t fully forgiven him.

But my favourite so far is this:

ME: What’s that strange rumbling noise?
NICK: The world—it quakes in my presence.
ME: How much vodka have you had?
NICK: Not as much as you.

He was right—but it was still a bit rude.

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