Saturday, March 03, 2007

Driving me up the fruit-loop

Ianqui just posted about a guy in her department who, among other irritating personality traits, always says 150% more than is necessary to get his ideas across. This made me think that we should set up a talk-off between him and my mother. I'm pretty sure that's a competition my mother would win.

I always try to listen politely while she is taking the scenic route through a sentence, but to stay sane I play the game of rephrasing each of her multi-paragraph-long spiels into a one sentence summary. Here's an example from a phone call the other night. (Obviously it isn't word-for-word what she said, but I am pretty sure I have accurately reproduced the right amount of superfluous information.)

What she said: "I thought I'd call you instead of waiting for you to phone tonight because, you remember Jenny and Michael? That amazing English couple from church, who, well Michael has been over here for years now, and he met Jenny when he went back to visit his brother a few years ago and after a whirlwind romance she came back here with him? Well they have this adorable little labrador puppy who—oh goodness, you wouldn't believe it, did I tell you what my new definition of optimism is? My little dog saw their puppy in the park the other week and he ran over and climbed on top of her, and goodness me that was funny, because even as a puppy, that labrador is about four times his size, bless him—but Michael, well, he has had an unexplained pain in his ankle for months now. It started when he was playing tennis, and has got worse, and he went to see his doctor, who said, "Goodness me, that doesn't look very good," and Michael said that it had been hurting ever since he played tennis, and the doctor said that it might be tennis ankle, which is bit like tennis elbow, you know, like Jim used to have before that unfortunate event with the tractor. And so the doctor was MOST concerned and rushed to order some tests, but the hospital here doesn't have the right sort of machine, so the doctor called up the hospital in Dunedin and asked them to see Michael, and Michael was just DEVASTATED that he would have to travel all that way, but then Jenny said, why didn't they make a week of it and drive around and see the bottom of the South Island while they are there, because it's absolutely gorgeous down there this time of year, but what would they do with the puppy? And I said that puppies absolutely can't bear to be on their own at night, so just having someone come in to feed her wouldn't be enough. And they said that their last puppy didn't seem to mind. And I said that this puppy might and so I would be perfectly happy if they needed me to stay over at their house and keep the puppy company. And they were just so OVERWHELMED with gratitude that I would do that for them, so I packed a bag and that was terribly stressful because it's always hard to know exactly what you will need to take with you, and I had to buy a new weekend bag because my old one was a bit worn, and then I packed up my dog and drove over to their house and am staying there now, which is just so wonderful because their house has cable TV so I can sit here and watch the sports channel with both dogs here beside me and make myself a cup of tea whenever I like, just like at home."

In my head: "Michael and Jenny have gone away for the week, so I'm dog-sitting at their house."

10 Comments:

Real Girl said...

My secret? I do the exact same thing w/ my best friend

Marie said...

Wow, that's scary. Your mom sounds like my mom! Good job on extracting the relevant information. I'm not always able to do that...my strategy is usually just to tune out.

Miss M. said...

My dad does that when he's trying to explain a theory to me. I've taken to never asking him academic-type questions, since the answer is always more trouble than its worth.

PS - photos from the storm are up here.

Breena Ronan said...

As someone who rambles often I'm sympathetic to your mother's plight.

Ben said...

That text was actually really funny. It made procrastination more enjoyable. Thanks.

StyleyGeek said...

Yeah, it's funny the first time :) When every conversation goes like that it gets old fast.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

*Sigh* I'm like that. I'm painfully like that. But not as much as my mother is. My father frequently asks her for the "Reader's Digest Condensed Version" of what she just said.

JustMe said...

poor micheal. wait no. i am so confused. your mom sounds cute!

Lucy said...

That sounds just like my conversations with my mum! Except the digressions about labradors would have gone on longer, and there would have been several nested, similar stories about other people who have/had puppies/ankle pain/ankles/overnight bags etc.

Toby said...

Translation: "My mom talks too much." Thanks for the laugh.