by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Strange Conversations”

Strange Conversations: Part Eighty-Five

Posted 31 January 2009 in by Catriona

NICK: Why are you hitting me with that envelope?
ME: I thought we agreed you wouldn’t hide bills from me?
NICK: But I told you about it!
ME: No, you didn’t.
NICK: But I forgot to tell you about it!

Strange Conversations: Part Eighty-Four

Posted 24 January 2009 in by Catriona

There’ll be no trouble getting the article in on time, but this weather is enervating . . .

ME: I was going be to be virtuous today and do some work, but sod that for a game of soldiers.
NICK: It’s too hot for work.
ME: I know, but I don’t think the editor would accept the heat wave as an excuse for late submission.
NICK: No, probably not.
ME: How about this? “I accidentally died, due to the excessive heat. When I was reanimated, it was with the brain of a squirrel, so it took me some time to form new neural pathways.”
NICK: Okay, that’s just weird.
ME: But convincing, no?

Strange Conversations: Part Eighty-Three

Posted 23 January 2009 in by Catriona

Sitting out on the back verandah, panting, and wondering how the rain can actually make it more humid:

ME: I hate Brisbane. I’d love it, but for the weather. Why did I move to Brisbane?
NICK: To meet me. You didn’t know it at the time, but that was why.
ME: . . . It wasn’t worth it.
(Pause)
ME: Maybe I should put that on the blog.
NICK: Okay.
ME: Do you think that my blog is ruining the spontaneity of our relationship?
NICK: Oh, I don’t know. We usually have spontaneous conversations before you post them on the blog.

Strange Conversations: Part Eighty-Two

Posted 20 January 2009 in by Catriona

Nick struggles with a bag of rice:

NICK: You know, where they say “cut here”? It’s about a centimetre above where it would be useful to cut.
ME (still simmering slightly over having to clean a kilogram of lovely pasta off the kitchen floor): That annoys everyone, honey. You’re not unique or special in that.
NICK (very quietly): That annoys me, too.

Strange Conversations: The Illustrated Edition

Posted 20 January 2009 in by Catriona

It never fails: I write a throwaway post to assuage my conscience, complete with adorable dogs, and Nick provides me with far better blogging fodder two minutes later:

NICK: Aaaaaaaah! (Accompanying clattering noises)
ME: What? What the hell just happened?
NICK: I dropped stuff.
ME (wandering out into the kitchen): Well, that happens all the . . . oh.

ME: Well, yes, that is quite the mess. How did you manage that?
NICK: I was trying to get the mortar and pestle, so I can grind these spices.
ME: I would have just used the blender.
NICK: All that fuss and bother, just to do what God invented the mortar and pestle to do.
ME: God invented the mortar and pestle?
NICK: Well, my theology might be shaky, but my intentions were good.

So, I suppose that the fact that I have angel-hair pasta scattered the length and breadth of my kitchen is evidence that someone moves in mysterious ways.

Strange Conversations: Part Eighty-One

Posted 16 January 2009 in by Catriona

The type of conversation you have when
a. you assume you know your partner too well, and
b. you’ve spent the day alternating between extreme crankiness (because of the heat) and extravagant panic attacks (due to the essay revisions).

ME: I know what you’re thinking right now.
NICK: What’s that?
ME: You’re thinking, ‘Never, ever have children with this woman.’
NICK: Actually, I was thinking I might go and get an Ice Break.

Maybe that’s only funny if you know Nick.

Strange Conversations: Part Eighty

Posted 14 January 2009 in by Catriona

Three strange conversations in a row might be a bit much (even if one was a thinly disguised excuse for yet another picture of a water dragon), but it’s just been one of those days.

NICK: That’s it! I’m gathering up all the tea towels and I’m washing them. They’re all disgusting!
(Note: They’re not. The majority of them are clean and folded in the linen cupboard.)
ME: Good idea. While you’re at it, you can do the foot towels, as well. (Pause) ‘Foot towels’?
NICK: You mean the hand towels?
ME: No, the . . . you know.
NICK: The towels?
ME: No, the . . . thingies. The bath mats!
NICK: Ah. Right.
ME: The bath mats, which from now on shall be known as foot towels.
NICK: It’s as good a name as any.
ME: It’s really not.

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy-Nine

Posted 14 January 2009 in by Catriona

Making my own fun while struggling to attract Nick’s attention and ask for a cup of coffee:

ME: Hey, whatsit.
NICK: Hmm?
ME: Yes, you. Who are you?
NICK: Nick.
ME: Really? Wow. I thought that was someone else.
NICK: Nope.
ME: How long have you been Nick?
NICK: Oh, a while now.
ME: More or less than eight years?
NICK: More.
ME: Really? I could have sworn that was another guy. Who was he, then?
NICK: (only vaguely amused look.)
ME (once I managed to stop laughing): . . . Damn. Now I’ve forgotten what I was actually going to ask.
NICK: Yeah, I’m not at all surprised that that happened.

Somehow, Nick always manages to get the last word. I think I may have killed my chances of getting a cup of coffee, though.

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy-Eight

Posted 14 January 2009 in by Catriona

NICK: Oh, look: there’s a water dragon climbing the yukka stalk!
ME: I can’t see it.
NICK: It’s sort of behind. You won’t see it from there.
ME: I still can’t see it.
NICK: Look, there! It just moved!
ME: There’s nothing there, is there?
NICK: No, there! See? It just moved its head.
ME: There’s seriously nothing there.
NICK: Oh my god. You can’t see that?
ME: No, because there’s nothing there.
NICK: There! It’s moving again.
ME: I’m not looking any more. There’s nothing there!

So, anyway (as my mother would say):

On the other hand, I don’t see a yukka stalk anywhere in this picture, do you? So I claim the moral victory.

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy-Seven

Posted 12 January 2009 in by Catriona

SCENE: A quiet mid-afternoon in the study. Gentle rappings from the renovations next door. Me, nursing a slight headache and worrying about the general shape of this journal article. Nick, still on annual leave, sitting at his computer with his headphones on.

NICK (physically leaping up into the air) AAARGH!
ME: What? Where? What the hell just happened?
NICK: (shouting): I THINK I JUST STEPPED ON A MINE!
ME: You what? You . . . how? Ah.

MORAL: Putting your headphones on while playing Fallout 3 out of a kind desire not to disturb your working girlfriend is negated if you also have a highly verbal approach to game-playing.

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy-Six

Posted 9 January 2009 in by Catriona

Nick and I have been reading our horoscopes from The Onion, hands down the most plausible and convincing horoscopes on the Internet.

(I’m particularly pleased with mine: “A freak explosion aboard a Florida fishing boat leaves you with the proportional strength and speed of a red-bellied trout.” Now I just have to get to Florida sometime in this coming week.)

Then we read Nick’s.

ME: Oh, honey!
NICK: What?!
ME: “You will accidentally jump to your death this week, thanks to a rather low ceiling fan.”
NICK: Oh, no!
ME: I know!
NICK: That’s so likely to actually happen!
ME: That’s what I thought!

Strange Conversations: Part Seventy-Five

Posted 8 January 2009 in by Catriona

Nick’s attempts to pour a glass of wine from a fresh cask. (Yes, I do drink wine from a cardboard box, sometimes.)

NICK: Ah. The seal was intact, causing untold angst.
ME: Meaning you tried to pour a glass, found the seal was still on, removed it, and then poured the glass?
NICK: . . . Yes.
ME: So where does the angst come in?
NICK: Untold!
ME: Yes, but why?
NICK: Untold!

Strange Conversation, For One Speaker

Posted 7 January 2009 in by Catriona

NICK: Right! Nick Caldwell leaps into action, for he is . . . a superhero!
(No response)
NICK: Well. That was a bit of a whatd’youcallit.
(No response)
NICK: An anti-climax.
(No response)
NICK: What’s that noise?
(No response as I continue my activity in another room)
NICK: Yes, that noise.
(No response)
NICK: And that noise. And that one.
(No response)
NICK: Hello?

Sometimes it’s fun just to see where things go.

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