Sometimes going outside of Gnomepants Manor is like running the gauntlet. A simple task, like mowing the lawn, popping the milk bottles out for the milkman, taking refuse out or a crafty smoke in the lane with no name can be fraught with obstacles.
Of course I don’t mean like jumping over pits of lava, dodging blow pipes or ducking to avoid swinging scythes. Far from it. It is more like dodge the neighbour. Now I’m all for neighbourly communication and acknowledgement but there is a line. That line is invisible. That line is frequently crossed. Indeed, only this afternoon, plans of mowing the postage stamp of grass at the back of Gnomepants Manor were altered when not only was I accosted by G of the Human Dog persuasion but also by Mrs O. Jimmy Corkhill never had this problem, nor did Harold Bishop
G is harmless enough, but woe betide he (or she) that enters into conversation with him. A typical conversation would probably go something like this.
stegzy – Hello
G – **sigh** ohhhhhhh. You know……av had to go darn t’road t’ do somethin’ an’ then av got t’ go darn t’other road t’ do summat else an’ then av got t’ get this minutiae dun then av got t’go an’ consider that minutiae and av got t’consider this. did ye know abart that? an’ ol’ missis moblob said abart that an’ thingy mcdougal said this and ohhhhh **sigh** and t’other.
stegzy – snorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre
Of course usually it is not as banal as that, I am only being illustrative, but you get the idea. Fortunately Mrs Human Dog is oh too familiar with G’s fishwifery and usually sends forth one of the many off spring to rescue whomsoever G has cornered in the lane with no name. I’m sure as a deterrence for trespassers, G the Human Dog is better than any CCTV camera, guard crocodile or watch tower with spotlight, soldier and AK47. The real difficulty is timing the escape or excuse to avoid a fishwifing. Because if your calculations are out, you very well might face further fishwifery from Mrs O.
Mrs O is harmless too. She will whitter on about her god children, how Brierley has changed over the years and how she fondly remembers something or other that is topical to the situation. She will also tell you about her health, quiz you about your comings and goings (but not in an obtrusive way) and then no doubt discuss this further with the other neighbours.
Mrs Gnomepants lacks the skill to dodge a fishwifing, indeed, she has been known to “just nip to the shop for some milk” and be gone for well over 2 hours, only to be discovered in the lane with no name fishwifing with Mrs O, G the human dog AND Mr P (the other neighbour). Of course Mr & Mrs Goodlife just avoid all this by being nowty fuckers and frump at everyone that dares even cast a gaze in their direction. Me? Well I’m quite versed in the subtle ninja art of excuse making. “Oh is that the phone I can hear?”, “I’ve left the fridge on”, “Blimey you can talk for Britain can’t you!” are some of the bastard tools in my arsenal.
Of course I’m not saying I want neighbours that don’t pass the time for hours on end discussing meaningless drivel, far from it. I just wish they would do it like only once a week. Maybe once a month. Not every bloody day. Some of us have things we need to be doing!