Sunday, November 16

A Heffalump Trap

16th November
I’m flipping livid - I can’t believe that my spinelessness has led to me getting involved in another weird fib-telling scenario

This village is mostly populated with elderly people - I’m getting to know and love some of them. Funny, saucy women like Scary Eena and her best friend Hélene, the Berts and I’m even getting a bit fond of Bruno the Knob Destroyer.
And then there is Old Dad, I usually see him at the Saturday pétanque games with his long-suffering family who come every weekend to chop his wood, put food in his freezer and listen to his complaints. I was shocked to discover that Old Dad’s chronological age is only the same as my dad (78), I’d put him at least 10 years ahead.

I nearly ran Old Dad over during the week but I braked instead and then he’d seen me, so I had to stop and chat. When he'd finished describing his various ailments he suddenly invited me to lunch with him on Monday (tomorrow). Failing to think quickly enough I accepted. I’d just got philosophical about this, telling myself that it would be an interesting lunch - probably (in a tedious sort of way) and certainly wouldn’t do me any harm, but he turned up a bit later at the Lovely House with a request
If you see my son you mustn’t tell him that you’re coming to lunch on Monday
I protested, but the man wouldn’t go until I’d accepted not to tell.*

The idea of lunch turning into a conspiracy bothered me. At the pétanque game yesterday I chose a moment when Old Dad was standing alone to go and tell him I wasn't coming, then saw that his lip was actually trembling
But you’ve got to come
Sure – another time
What are you doing on Tuesday?
I paused a beat too long - he jumped on it
You’ll come Tuesday then?
I have no idea what’s wrong with me but I heard my mouth saying OK

*In my weedy defense I’ll say that OD uses a lot of dialect, he is very difficult to understand properly - and I started losing the will to live after the discussion had gone on for more than a couple of minutes.


  1. That's why it helps to have a lie handy at all times. I usually say I'm having dental problems while holding my jaw and groaning. If the person keeps pressing for a get together date then I start groaning louder.

  2. I think there's an identikit local old man in every town or village in France - your bloke sounds so much like some we have here - thick Breton accent we can't really understand, droning on and on. I do like prunella's suggestion though.

  3. OK Girls, I'm off to polish a set of little white lies.

    Unfortunately FF this kind of chap is not restricted to France.

  4. I am getting the idea that you are a really nice person.

  5. Be lactose intolerant, meals then quickly.

  6. KSV - remember that I get to be the editor here so I'm not telling about how I ring the old ladies doorbells then run away or send unwanted pizza boys round to their houses.

    Also - it's only the little fibs that bother me. I can tell great chunky whoppers without blinking

    Bill - That's an idea but wouldn't the guy have to give me something with dairy products in for it to work?

  7. Just don't get drunk and go back to his place....

  8. DD - The lunch is at his place, I'm doomed

  9. Just talk sports - pretend you jog, do tennis, swim laps, sky dive - whatever- being an old guy he won't relate. Just don't mention aches and pains, you could be there a week listening to his ailment stories.

  10. Oh yes I sympathise greatly.
    Back in the dim distant past when I wanted to plese my husband I said "Yes Darling, I'd love to learn bellringing with you in our local Church". It's now 5 years later & I can't get out of the weekly practice as bellringing is like 6 people playing one instrument, if I'm not there it would be like playing a saxophone with out the "A" and the "B" notes. Aaaargh, we're going to have to move countries to get away from the hideous lie my life has become.

  11. Bill - I don't know how to say Sky Diving in French.

    Joeyjojo - that's far far worse than my having to endure an hour of randy old man tedium, can't you become the worst bell ringer in the world so they sack you? Or chop a hand off?


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