The phone went at ten past three yesterday afternoon. It was The Mothership, in puerile form altogether.
THE MOTHERSHIP: Helen, I’ve just watched that video you put up; the one about recycling.
ME; Oh good, do you approve?
THE MOTHERSHIP: Well, there was some useful information apart from washing all those catfood packets. People have to go to their work you know. No wonder you don’t get much done of a day. Contact the manufacturers and tell them they should have tins as another option.
Not that I ever liked tins. I threw out more food than the cat ate because it went off. But, would you believe, your Dad stands and cuts those sachets open with scissors, kept for the purpose; he says there’s a lot left inside and it’s a terrible waste.
Anyway I digress. What I have to say is, if you must continue with these videos then you need to improve your presentation. I know you’re an amateur, but is there any need to make it so obvious?
ME: (I’ll be honest with you folks. It stung.) Deep sigh. Can you pin-point exactly what was wrong? (I mean why? Why in the name of God would I ask that?)
THE MOTHERSHIP: Where do I start? Well first, the sound wasn’t great and near the end I could hardly make out what you were on about. Did you not do that exercise* I showed you?
ME: Deep sigh.
THE MOTHERSHIP: And then there was the sloppy English. It won’t do Helen, it won’t do at all.
ME: Oh God.
THE MOTHERSHIP: You were dropping your ‘ing’ endings all over the place and it doesn’t sound well coming from an English teacher, of all people. You actually said ‘boggin’ and some other unpalatable terms that I won’t go into now; very uncouth they were. Who wants to listen to that sort of thing?
The woman can suck the oxygen from a room in 9 seconds flat.
THE MOTHERSHIP: And then! And then at the very end, when I thought you were finally wrapping up, you said ‘Stinkin’.
ME: Did I?
THE MOTHERSHIP: You did. You said Stevey wouldn’t use a pot of toothpaste instead of a plastic tube of Colgate because it was ‘stinkin’. Most uncouth. I can say, hand on heart, that I have never actually used it.
(This is true. The Mothership has let me get away with saying FOR F**K’S SAKE in her earshot but I don’t think I’ve ever said ‘stinkin’ without getting berated for it. In fairness, I don’t employ it often.)
THE MOTHERSHIP: And one more thing. I mean that about complaining to Sheba or Gourmet, and I’d be asking them to start using the tins again. Because Cleo** is fussy too, she’s off the Sheba now and she wouldn’t look near Felix, but I think the Gourmet is very overpriced and she’ll only eat the Poultry selection, never the Ocean range, and that’s what Asda keep sending me. They just replace items if they don’t have them in stock, and they don’t even ask you. It was the same with my tonic water. I didn’t want the ordinary one, I wanted Slim-Line but they sent the other and your father has to watch his blood sugar.
ME: You were saying?
THE MOTHERSHIP: Yes, get on the phone or e-mail, I don’t suppose it matters, and tell them that yes, the plastic is bad for the environment or whatever, and bring back the tins. Far easier to wash. I agree.
Finally!! The woman actually agreed on something!
Off she went- rant over.
And, I’m raging to have to admit it, but she did, of course have a point. Several, in fact.
Truth is, I was so mortified about doing the bloody video in the first place that I couldn’t bear to watch it again. But I did last night, and I didn’t even have a drink to soften the blow. Flip me but didn’t I go on and on? Far too long. I bored myself, so she was spot on there.
Secondly, once I wrote a post about the children reading Enid Blyton and I mentioned the ‘paucity of adjectives’ in ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ (and, let’s be honest, every other piece in her oeuvre). Turns out I don’t have a leg to stand on as I must have said the words ‘brilliant’ and ‘fabulous’ a total of nine times each. The shame.
So I’ll perhaps do another video in 2021 when I’ve got over this bollocking. Have a lovely Monday everyone.
*The Mothership has a range of vocal exercises she used when teaching children how to extend their vocal range for the class choir. There’s a lot of humming involved- the trick being that your ‘lips have to tingle’ as you do them. Otherwise, there’s no point. Apparently.
**Cleo is the small black bolshy cat we once left in Bangor while we went on our holidays in 2010. She’s still there, living it up by the seafront, giving orders. Savage wee beast too.