Friday, December 23, 2005

Snow, dinner, boogers

I was woken by the wind making cartoon noises around the house at 4.30 this morning. (Yesterday morning, actually.) Hoooo! Wheeee! Fifteen minutes later I gave up and got up. Left to stars in a clear sky, arrived at work to total cloud cover and snow. I got home well after ten this evening, after a very hard day at work due to the fact that it is the last classes of the year, and to sudden Weather (note the capital W), then a celebratory end-of-working-year Indian feast and drinks with colleagues, and then a trip home delayed by the aforementioned Weather. It has been one of those days, but dinner was fun. Actually, the snow was too, being rare enough here to be a novelty. I love snow, probably because I've never had to deal with it enough to get sick of it.

I'm just going to write about dinner, though.

(The following has been infected with parentheses. Sorry. I'd fix it but I'm too tired.)


We finish work and walk over to the gate together. M takes off for the admin building.

"Just going to sign in, forgot earlier, back in a minute," he says. Thirty minutes later we're still waiting in the freezing cold by the gate:

"Do you think he walked straight past us and didn't notice?" I ask. "How could he possibly be taking this long?"

"Oh, you know M. He probably bumped into fifteen students, two janitors, three teachers, and the secretaries, and had to talk AT LENGTH to them ALL and pick up some more misinformation."

The restaurant is lovely. There are four guys and me and three little daughters picked up on the way. Later, The Man arrives. THE MAN ARRIVES! I'd invited him but didn't think he'd come, he's such a hermit. Hardly any of my colleagues have ever met him. They are charmed, of course. So is he, I think. He expected them to be young and boring. They're not. They're middle-aged and hilarious. The Man does not stay long, however. He is working on a job in the area and just popped in for chai.

All of these guys are teachers, and fathers of young children, which means they are superb multitaskers. M manages to simultaneously tell us a story, eat curry, drink beer, and explain to three fascinated small girls (one his own daughter) the correct way to insert straws up their nostrils. The story he tells us is scandalous (while being told in a way that does not interest small girls) and involves a teacher who has now left and can be slandered freely. (Not that M baulks at slandering people in the same room, but his stories become more elaborate when the victim is not there to contradict him.) As an aside he tells us that this teacher is now living in an obscure place and doing such an obscure job that I cannot mention it here because he is probably the only person in the whole wide world with this job and could Google himself and discover that I am exposing his naughty secrets. He gets lovely government grants from two governments, who both think of him as an asset, an impression he has carefully cultivated by exaggerating his talents wildly. Nobody can challenge him because he is probably the only person in the world with even a smidgen of these talents (and quite possibly even he doesn't really have them, but only his friends dare to doubt him out loud).

That was an aside, however. The story (between straw poking demonstrations) involved a shagging trip to the Philippines (a description which turned out to be another gross exaggeration, it turned out later, but certainly got us listening), a woman, an imaginary vampire bat, a real set of false teeth, an overactive imagination, and an orgasm. I will not elaborate further in case I get sued, but if you put those ingredients together I'm sure you can come up with something close enough to the story we heard tonight. In fact it will probably be closer to what actually happened than the story we heard, which was undoubtedly highly embroidered and has grown with each telling. (To great effect, I might add. We were riveted. I ended up with a burning sensation in my sinuses from snorting suddenly while ingesting curry, not a recommended activity.)

I turn and whisper to the colleague on my other side,

"Do you think he is making it all up? I can't get my head around this. I mean, really, M, on a SHAGGING TRIP? What does he do, talk to women until they fall over laughing and then take advantage of them in their weakened condition?"

"It can't be true, surely," he says, wiping his eyes. Then he looks interested. "Do you think that would work?"

Later, M's wife arrives and turns out to be a lovely, relaxed person, very, very tolerant of his occasional wild statements, probably because he is so good at entertaining children and thus leaving her free to eat and to be a person instead of a mother all the time. She doesn't even seem to mind when the little girls decide it might be a good idea to exchange boogers via the straw. These children will be Mac users one day. They think different. I mean, all children pick their noses (and so do all adults, only we don't admit it), but how many children do you know who put boogers back into their noses?


Cheryl said...

Sounds like a wonderful time!

I hope something beautiful turns up at the market on Sunday - just for Christmas.
Have a lovely day

Wendy said...

Lovely post - I enjoyed that. Boogers! We call it plain old snot. Sorry.

I have no real idea of the time difference between Japan and France (geography is boring) but figure you're staggering towards Christmas Day Happy Christmas.

Badaunt said...

Cheryl: Even if I don't buy anything beautiful, I'll be sure to take lots of photographs. (The camera works wonderfully for curbing my spending.)

Wendy: I call it snot, too, and that's what I wrote at first, but when it read it over it looked DISGUSTING. So I changed it.

Kay said...

Sorry for off-post comment, but got Cloud Atlas from library cuz you talked about it a while ago--things fraught in the caregiving world.....your blog sustains... leaves picture my wallpaper just now down here....would so love a Tuesday Nite.....keep the blog alive!!