by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Strange Conversations”

Parents: They Seem So Full Of Potential, But They're Such Fragile Creatures, Really

Posted 30 May 2009 in by Catriona

ME: Hello?
MAM: Hi, Treen. Are you doing anything?
ME: Watching a movie, but I can pause it. What’s up?
MAM: Your dad wants to know if you can tell him how to record the World Cup final tonight. Your brother’s gone out and we don’t know how to work the machine.
ME: The World Cup final?
MAM: Well, whatever. The football. At midnight.
ME: The F.A. Cup final?
MAM: Yes. Can you tell him how to record it?
ME: Mam, I don’t even know what brand your DVR is!
MAM: Well, can you just give us some ideas?
ME: I can suggest that you should have bought a TiVo.
MAM: Can you at least tell us which channel SBS is on?
ME: Pardon?
MAM: Your dad can’t find SBS. He’s on channel 90 now.
ME: Do you have my brother’s mobile number?
MAM: Yes.
ME: Can you send him an SMS, asking him if he’ll be home before midnight?
MAM: We don’t know how to send an SMS!
DAD: (excited but muffled shouts from off-phone)
MAM: He’s found SBS.
ME: Well, that’s a start. Can you not just pick a programme and press “record”?
MAM: I don’t think so. Can’t you tell us how to record it?
ME: Mam, I moved out of home before you bought that machine.
MAM: Can Nick tell us how to do it?
ME: I don’t think so. But he could send my brother an SMS for you.
NICK: What do I say?
ME: ‘Are you coming home before midnight? Dad can’t record the F.A. Cup final and he’s bullying me. Love, Treen.’
DAD: (vague muttering off-phone)
MAM: What’s ‘EPG’?
ME: I don’t know. Oh, Nick says it’s the Electronic Programme Guide. That’s probably what you want.
DAD: (vague muttering off-phone)
MAM: Your dad says that probably won’t work.
ME: Mam, that’s the best I can suggest. Try picking a programme and hitting “record.”
MAM: I don’t think we can do that.
ME: Well, my brother just sent an SMS saying he won’t be home tonight. So just try it.
DAD: (excited but muffled shouts from off-phone)
MAM: He’s found the F.A. Cup Final. What do we do now?
ME: Press “record”?
MAM (shouting to Dad): Treen says to press record. (To me) Dad says there’s only an “OK” button.
ME: Try hitting the “OK” button, then.
DAD (excited shouts from off-phone)
ME: I take it that worked?
MAM: (shouting to Dad) Tell Treen what? (Pause) I’m not telling her that! (To me) Dad says he’s very disappointed in you.
ME: He’s what?
MAM (shouting to Dad): You’re not very disappointed in her!
DAD (off phone): I am!
MAM (shouting to Dad): You’re not! (To me) Oh, there’s a call coming in. It’s probably your brother ringing to tell us how to record the F.A. Cup final. Bye!

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Forty-Seven

Posted 30 May 2009 in by Catriona

ME: Did you say you were making me a cup of coffee?
NICK: Yes. For you are deserving of coffee!
ME: Oh, god.
NICK: What? What now?
ME: But now I’m going to be worrying about whether or not I’m deserving of things. What if I eat some yoghurt but I’m not deserving of it? What if one day I’m not deserving of dinner?
NICK: Treena, this is crazy talk.
ME: I know! See what a pass you have brought us to.
NICK: You started it.
ME: I did not!
NICK: Yes, you did. You invaded Poland.
(Pause)
NICK: Running away now!

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Forty-Six

Posted 29 May 2009 in by Catriona

A strange conversation between two extremely distracted people:

ME (looking at baby pictures on the Internet): I’d like to have twins. It’s a shame you can’t arrange it.
NICK: Yeah. Ahead of time.
ME: Yeah.
(Pause)
ME: No, wait. You can’t arrange it after the fact, either.
NICK: No. That’s . . . right.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Forty-Five

Posted 29 May 2009 in by Catriona

Yet another conversation centred on Nick’s iPhone:

NICK: You know, now I have proper data connectivity on this thing, it can actually function as a GPS. See?
ME (refusing to look up from my Rex Stout novel): You mean, next time we get lost while driving, you can make the subsequent argument significantly worse by insisting on pulling out your iPhone?
NICK: Somehow I knew you were going to look at it like that.

Women: we’re just so damn unreasonable!

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Forty-Four

Posted 29 May 2009 in by Catriona

After an unnecessarily complicated conversation over instant messaging about whether or not the latest issue in The Great Fables Crossover came out today:

ME: I don’t know how I’ll go back to only one comic a month after this!
NICK: You’ll have to follow a few other comics then!
ME: Nah. Anyway . . .
NICK: You need to get back to work . . .
ME: Yep. Or, you know, play Peggle. One or the other.
NICK: It’s all grist for the Mills.
(Pause)
ME: I’m going to ignore that.
NICK: I’m very grateful for that.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Forty-Three

Posted 27 May 2009 in by Catriona

It’s been a long day, so I’m sure you’ll understand when I say this started from a discussion about whether the TiVo icon in the top left-hand corner of the television screen was sentient and, if so, if it became bored:

NICK: Treena, it’s connected to the Internet constantly. I’m sure it’s fine.
ME: Oh, no! What if it’s downloading pornography?
NICK: Computer pornography?
ME: Yeah!
NICK: Oh, yes: like, ZX81s in compromising positions?
ME: Honey, no. ZX81s are ancient!
NICK: True. Oooh—late ’90s Macs! With their translucent covers. Yeah.
(Pause)
NICK: What? Why are you looking at me like that?!

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Forty-Two

Posted 27 May 2009 in by Catriona

ME: In what Defamer calls [paraphrased, because I’m forgetful] Defiling Your Childhood’s Grave Part 27 . . .
NICK: Yes?
ME: They’re remaking Flight of the Navigator.
NICK: Hmm. Well, I’m torn on that. One the one hand, it was just a little ahead of its time, visually. But on the other hand, no one knows how to make children’s movies these days.
ME: It’s the same exec. producer. And the writer was a writer-producer for Arrested Development.
NICK: Really? Which one?
ME: I want to say Jon Osterman, but I don’t think that’s right.
NICK: No. Because that’s Doctor Manhattan.
ME: Oh. I don’t think it’s being written by Doctor Manhattan, no.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Forty-One

Posted 24 May 2009 in by Catriona

The first object lesson to be taken from this post is never blog when you’re tipsy.

ME: I’m bringing my computer out to the living room, because I secretly like to tweet Rage.
NICK: Me, too!
ME: That’s how we know we’re the perfect couple.
NICK: Really?
ME: No, not really.
NICK: Pardon?
ME: Well, I secretly don’t like you very much.
NICK: I’m making you coffee, if that makes a difference.
ME: No, not so much.
NICK: I thought as much.
ME: Then why make me coffee, if you didn’t think it made a difference?
NICK: Treena, everyone needs their own form of incentivisation.

The second object lesson is never enter into an argument with a man who is so steeped in bureaucratese that he can not only make nouns from verbs (as we all can) but can actually make nouns from other nouns.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Forty

Posted 23 May 2009 in by Catriona

ME: Are we going to have breakfast in the same cafe as last time?
NICK: I think so. Where was that?
ME (turning and pointing): It’s back here.
NICK: I feel like . . .
ME: . . . an explorer in the wilderness?
NICK: . . . . pancakes.
(Pause)
NICK: “An explorer in the wilderness”?
ME: I’m just trying to finish the simile, honey. I thought, “It’s a bit of a cliche, but that’s Nick for you.”

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Thirty-Nine

Posted 19 May 2009 in by Catriona

While Nick and I discuss Duke Nuken Forever, the video game that was in development for ten years, until the company collapsed last week:

NICK: It won Wired magazine’s Vapourware aware something like seven years in a row.
ME (With accompanying sound effects and hand gestures): Vapourware being things things that go pouf!
NICK: Products that are announced but that never appear.
ME (With accompanying sound effects and hand gestures): As in, they go pouf!
NICK: Yes.
(Pause)
NICK: What is it now?
ME: Well, “things that go pouf!” is essentially the same as “products that are announced and never appear.”
NICK: And?
ME: You could have just said, “That’s right, Treen. Nice sound effects!”
NICK: I suppose they were quite good sound effects.

(Normal programming to resume tomorrow (now my marking is finished) with a Eurovision-inspired “Cheesiest Items on my Bookshelf” post.)

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Thirty-Eight

Posted 18 May 2009 in by Catriona

After accusing Nick of running off with my good black pen:

NICK: Here it is.
ME: You did run off with it!
NICK: No, I didn’t!
ME: Well, where did you find it?
NICK: I can’t tell you that.
ME: Why not?
NICK: I can’t tell you that, either.
ME: And why can’t you tell me?
NICK: I’ve been sworn to secrecy.
ME: By whom?
NICK: Myself.
(Pause)
ME: You’ve been sworn to secrecy by yourself?
NICK: Yes.
ME: Well, could you let yourself out of your oath of secrecy?
NICK: Oh, I don’t think so, Treen. That would be highly inappropriate.

And all that to avoid telling me what he’d done with my pen.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Thirty-Seven

Posted 18 May 2009 in by Catriona

Nick versus the bush turkeys:

NICK (looking out the window): Yep, there they are, the little sods. Crapping all over my garden paths.
ME (not looking up from my marking): Our garden paths.
NICK: Well, if you want to be possessive about it. (Pause) Or non-possessive, I suppose.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Thirty-Six

Posted 17 May 2009 in by Catriona

NICK: That looks like a decent load of washing.
ME: Really? Because when I put together a load that size yesterday, you said, “It’s too big for the machine to handle.”
NICK: Did I?
ME: “You stupid woman.”
NICK: Now, you sometimes just have entire conversations on your own, don’t you?
ME: Yes. In my head.
NICK: And they bear no resemblance to reality.
ME: Well, I dispute that last statement.
NICK: No, I’m pretty sure I’m right about that bit.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Thirty-Five

Posted 15 May 2009 in by Catriona

In the run-down to Eurovision semi-final one, a conversation that occurred after I saw a tweet in which Nick declares himself to be “agast. Full of gast, I tells you!”:

ME: Oh, honey.
NICK: What?
ME: Oh, how embarrassing.
NICK: What?!
ME: “Aghast” has an “h” in it.
NICK: . . . I knew that.
ME: Really?
NICK: I was, of course, referring to the Dungeons and Dragons villain.

Which just makes the “full of gast” comment that little more disturbing.

Then I showed Nick the preview of this post:

NICK: You can follow up with “they make tasty eating!”
ME: No, I won’t.
NICK: Why?
ME: You didn’t say that!
NICK: I totally thought it.

I’m sure we had ordinary conversations before I made Nick an Internet celebrity (of sorts).

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Thirty-Four

Posted 13 May 2009 in by Catriona

This is what I get for being lax with my prepositions. And, yes, this is as close as the blog gets to politics.

ME: I don’t need to watch the budget. I’ve already heard we’re being screwed, by Triple M.
(Note: I don’t actually measure my politics according the Triple M DJs. I do listen to their music, though.)
NICK: We’re being screwed by Triple M?!
ME: We’re being screwed comma by Triple M. I left a pause and everything!
NICK: It was enough for me. I can find the tiniest crack and get in to make humour.
ME: But the crack was the point! The comma was the crack.
NICK: Well, then, a reverse crack?
ME: A . . . reverse crack?
NICK: You know. A . . . lump.
ME: What does that mean?
NICK: I don’t know!

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