Man Friday has cooked up two huge frittatas in about four days – has eaten 75% of them himself – and was, inevitably, feeling ‘a little bunged up’.
Just to set the scene: we’ve got one of those bathrooms that doesn’t have a window, but has a very powerful and large fan thingie. Oh, and it’s at the far end of the flat (where the khazi should be. En suite bathroom – I should cocoa).
So, Man Friday’s on the loo and there’s a knock at the front door, I answer it and it’s only Unusual Brenda, from upstairs and she’s got a big plastic bag with her. She says: ‘Sorry to bother you, but I’m worried about the coat.’
Turns out, she offered to make Henry (the ottoman dog) a coat, to cover up his bald spots. And fair enough, she’s a very good seamstress.
However, she sits down on the sofa with me, gets the fabric out and dear god, it’s some sort of curtain material with a black background with huge blousey roses all over it. She says to me: ‘So what do you think?’
I said: ‘I wouldn’t say it screams ‘dog’, Brenda.’ And she says: ‘That’s exactly what I thought, so I had a root around and found this,’ and she brings out a length of gold fringeing. I didn’t know what to say but, lucky for me, she did – she said: ‘I was thinking this would give it a touch of Camelot. Do you mind if I use Connie for a model?’
Connie Brix gave me a look that said: ‘No, please no.’ But she’d already sidled up to Brenda (looking for biscuits or such), so it was too late, and Brenda hung the material over her back and tried to arrange the fringeing.
Brenda said: ‘See what I mean? It gives it more of a Camelot feel.’
I thought the dog looked like Divine’s greyhound; but I just nodded.
Next thing you know, Man Friday’s yelling out from behind the loo door: ‘Blimey, I’m cracking the pan here! I might take some of these down deBier’s for a valuation!’
Now, I’m sitting there with my mouth wide open – but no words came out. I didn’t know what to say. Fortuitously, Connie Brix shook herself and knocked all the Camelot gear off. So Brenda’s busy picking it off the floor and putting it in her bag and saying: ‘Oh dear, looks like I’ve come round at the wrong time.’
So, I shout out to Man Friday: ‘Brenda’s here!’
Then he only opens the bloody door and says: ‘You what?’
And poor old Brenda skedaddles to the front door with me and Connie Brix in pursuit.
I’m saying: ‘I’m so sorry.’
And she’s saying: ‘I didn’t mean to intrude in a time of trouble.’
I’m saying: ‘It’s no trouble.’
And she’s says: ‘It sounds like it to me. Don’t you worry, I’ll be back,’ and runs out the door.
Man Friday shouts out: ‘Was that Brenda?’
I said: ‘Yep.’
He says: ‘Bugger.’
Brenda popped back down a few minutes later with two tablets in her hand. She put her fingers to her lips, put the tablets in my hand and whispered: ‘Stool softeners,’ and ran back upstairs.
I made a cup of tea and poured a sherry in it. Man Friday says he’s never eating another egg; I think he’d be better off not yelling out his particulars.
Also – what has Camelot got to do with dogs? Did King Arthur have a dog, or something?