by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Strange Conversations”

Strange Conversations: With Special Guest Stars, My Female Relatives

Posted 29 December 2008 in by Catriona

What happens when you have a mix including my mother, my sister, Patrick McGoohan’s Danger Man, and an iconic British cartoon:

MY SISTER: We also saw DVDs of something called Danger Man.
NICK: With Patrick McGoohan? It’s basically a dry run for The Prisoner. And, of course, the inspiration for Danger Mouse.
MY MOTHER: Of course, he was quite a well-considered Shakespearean actor.
ME: Who, Danger Mouse?
MY MOTHER: Oh, yes—Shakespeare was well known for his roles for mice.
ME: Well, one of them was a mole.
MY MOTHER: Who?
MY SISTER: Penfold.
MY MOTHER: Penfold?
ME: Yes, Penfold was a mole.
MY MOTHER: In Shakespeare?
(Slightly stunned pause from all parties.)
ME: Yes. He was one of Henry V’s lords. It was a very small role.
MY SISTER: Because he was a mole.

Strange Conversations: A Special Christmas Edition

Posted 25 December 2008 in by Catriona

While enjoying a convivial Christmas morning with my entire family, sitting in the garden room on a balmy, antipodean day:

ME: Nicholas, please put the iPhone away.
NICK: I need to check my e-mails!
ME: No one is going to send you an e-mail on Christmas morning.
NICK: I had four new e-mails!
ME: (skeptical pause)
NICK (defensively): Well, they were junk e-mails. But I needed to check!

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy-Four

Posted 21 December 2008 in by Catriona

My washing machine, the lemon:

ME: The washing machine is beeping again.
NICK: Always does with underwear loads.
ME: Mam says it might not be quite level, but that would mean that the concrete foundation to the house isn’t level. Still, we could get a spirit level and check.
NICK: Okay. I’ll get the spirit-level application for my iPhone!
ME: . . . I don’t like you.
NICK: Okay.

Strange Conversations: The Holiday Edition

Posted 18 December 2008 in by Catriona

After Nick finished some secret, post-work shopping:

ME: So have you cunningly hidden my Christmas presents?
NICK: Under the bed.
ME: Don’t tell me where they are!
NICK: Well, I don’t want you scrounging around.
ME: But scrounging around is what Christmas is all about!
NICK: Oh, well, if I’d known that . . .
ME: “If you known that” what?
NICK: I probably still would have told you.

Nick never seems to get into the proper spirit of Christmas: that is, he has no cunning whatsoever. My family—led by my Machiavellian mother—is full of gift-giving cunning, so this is always a source of amusement to me.

A couple of years ago, he unwittingly revealed the genre of one of my Christmas presents, by loudly answering the phone to my sister and then saying, “I don’t know: I’ll just check” before ostentatiously wandering up and down the bookcases.

(But, then, who objects to getting books for Christmas? Apart from Albus Dumbledore.)

But my favourite was the birthday-present spoliation from last year:

NICK: Oh, it’s an SMS from your sister. “Hi, Nick: do you think Treen would like Kylie Kwong’s Simple Chinese Cooking for her birthday? Don’t read this out” . . . oh.

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy-Three

Posted 17 December 2008 in by Catriona

Humid weather breeds strange musings . . .

ME: Life is terribly complicated. I thought that once I got old, life would become easier.
NICK: I find that when I trip, I am less likely to fall on my face, so I have negotiated one of life’s complexities. It still hurts like hell, but it is no longer lethal.

It’s all about the little victories, isn’t it?

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy-Two

Posted 14 December 2008 in by Catriona

What happens when Nick unexpectedly walks in while I’m accessing iTunes on his computer (or, as I call it, his iMistress) so I can listen to Jonathan Coulton.

ME: I wasn’t doing anything!
NICK: It’s fine. You can do whatever you want.
ME: On your computer?
NICK: Well . . . no. But you’re allowed to turn on iTunes.

As long as I know my boundaries.

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy-One

Posted 13 December 2008 in by Catriona

An unusually random morning. I blame the heat.

ME: May I have a cup of coffee?
NICK: There is no coffee—there is only Zuul.
ME: Zuul?
NICK: Yes.
ME: Zuul?
NICK: Yes. From Ghostbusters.
ME: Yes . . . but what does that have to do with my coffee?
NICK: Very little. (Bursts into random Talking Heads song.)

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy

Posted 9 December 2008 in by Catriona

ME: Hon, while you’re doing the washing up, would you mind clearing some of the plates out of the living room?
NICK: I’m really shagged, you know. [Note: Not a euphemism. Well, it is, but not for what it sounds like. Nick has a cold and is a . . . vocal invalid.]
NICK: But that won’t stop me doing my duty. My manly duty.
ME: Stop that!
NICK: What?
ME: Well, when you say your manly duty, what you’re actually saying is “Washing up is for girls!”
NICK: No, I’m not!
ME: Why did you feel the need to say it was a manly duty, then?
NICK: Well, I am trying to annoy you.
ME: Oh. Okay, then.

Strange Conversations: Part Sixty-Nine

Posted 4 December 2008 in by Catriona

During a heated conversation about who the lead singer of Transvision Vamp was:

ME: Well, I nearly posted a video on Pownce with the tagline, “Hey, does anyone want to watch Wendy James seduce a microphone stand?
NICK: Wendy James?
ME: Yes, the lead singer of Transvision Vamp.
NICK: Isn’t Wendy James the Canadian-Australian chanteuse?
ME: No, that was Wendy . . . something else. [Matthews, we remembered later.] Anyway, she hasn’t recorded anything in ages.
NICK: Yes, she has.
ME: Not really.
NICK: Well, she’s been doing a lot of the moody, slow jazz exclusively performed in a certain kind of inner-city, elitist, avant garde Melbourne cafes.
ME: Well, nobody makes a living out of playing avant garde jazz in inner-city . . . slow . . . moody . . . cafes. Oh, shut up.

It’s almost impossible to refute an argument with that many adjectives.

Categories

Blogroll

Recent comments

Monthly Archive

2012
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
2011
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
August
October
November
December
2010
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
October
December
2009
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2008
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December