People say the funniest things! Back in the day before Covid blighted our social calendar I’d say things like: “We must ask Maria and Miguel over for lunch”. And Other Half would say: “Only if we’re here!” Well, strangely enough, I would hardly suggest inviting someone over if we were going out, would I? It’s a strange custom, but traditionally considered socially polite to actually be at home when you ask someone over for lunch. And besides, if we weren’t going to be at home then who would provide M&M’s banquet?
Many years ago, back in the UK, we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner only to discover on arrival that our host had gone to bed early. Jet-lag apparently. His elderly mother rustled up tea and a few custard creams, then as a parting throwaway suggested: “Next time you come, let us know and we’ll cook you dinner!” It wasn’t funny at the time as we had driven a long way, and the car was ‘pranged’ while it was parked outside minding its own business. But looking back – hilarious!
Another funny thing people say is when the heavens open and you come in from the garden absolutely dripping wet from head to foot. “Is it raining?” someone will invariably ask. No! I’m just trending the new ‘wet look’ from Aquasplash!
My absolute favourite is when the telephone rings. “Is that the phone?” Well it’s not the Hoover is it?”
It’s not that everyone around you has suddenly gone senile; it’s just that sometimes we all say things without really thinking, and end up stating the blinding obvious.
People ask; “How are you?” and without exception we always reply, “Oh, fine,” even if we are sitting in the doctor’s surgery, with both legs in plaster and one arm in a sling. You arrive at the airport departure gate. The assistant smiles and politely enquires; “Are you flying with us today?” No! I’ve just driven three hours through heavy traffic, checked in my luggage, gone through security and been stripped to my underpants by a gorilla just to say, Hi!”
Captain Obvious and his examples are endless, and it doesn’t just stop with the verbal. People also write funny things, and some notices I have seen whilst ‘out and about’ have been very thought provoking, if not slightly disturbing!
“Please do not urinate on the platform, use the toilets located at the exit.” I saw that one at a train station here on the island. It’s hard to imagine that people would actually do that! Not write a public notice and stick it to a wall, but brazenly drop their drawers, or get the magic unicorn out in a very public area.
The most amusing ‘notice’ I have ever seen was a few years ago, again back in UK, when Other Half and I went to a small theatre in Wimbledon to see a psychic demonstration by a world famous clairvoyant. When we got there we found a huge notice plastered across the door cancelling the evening’s performance. The notice read; “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Madam Betty (or whatever her name was) will not be appearing this evening”. Which just goes to show, even with the mystic power of clairvoyance, the future still remains unpredictable!
Text predictor on your cell-phone also provides some original smiley moments, even though it can be very annoying, especially if you are struggling to text someone in a hurry. Texting is hard enough at the best of times, trying to be switched on and down with the kids, as you manoeuvre your fingers at lightening speed across those tiny keys. But ‘autocorrect’, that helpful little feature, constantly tries to guess what you want to say and boldly inserts an alternative suggestion, that if you don’t notice, can sometimes make things a little awkward! I was writing something recently and mentioned ‘personal hygiene’ which suddenly morphed into ‘personal hyacinths!’ Anti-inflammatories suddenly became ‘anti-flamethrowers’ which are far trickier to swallow! ‘Inviting a friend for dinner,’ got blown out of all proportion by becoming - ‘inflating a fiendish sinner!’
Possibly the best one ever, as reported on-line was; “Great news. Grandma is home from hospital.” That naughty demon predictor wrote; ‘Great news, Grandma is homosexual!’ Well, she might well have been but I don’t think she needed to be outed so blatantly! At least not before she told Grandpa!
Everything these days immediately goes global at the mere strike of a button, accidentally or otherwise, so you have to be extra careful where your fingers wander. Anything you launch into cyber-space is out there for life. And that means FOREVER! So be extra vigilant what you post onto that big, dangerous web. It’s not like a private letter that only gets read by the recipient or maybe shared with one or two close friends. One false move and the world and his wife will be enjoying your most private and intimate moments. Accidentally pressing ‘send to all’ after posting an embarrassing photo of yourself at a drunken stag/hen night could suddenly have 10,000 hits that will haunt you to your dying days! The upside to that is you will probably also get 10,000 new followers along the way if the post is extra spicy!
Perhaps the worst downside to technology is sharing someone else’s news on-line before they have even had the chance to tell anyone themselves. Eg: “Isn’t Janine’s pregnancy great news!!! I’m sooooo happy for her!” Pity Janine’s parents, lover and husband hadn’t heard first!
Also, asking personal questions innocently, yet openly on Facebook can cause unwelcomed repercussions. Eg; “Aren’t you worried about leaving the house empty while you’re away for two weeks in Bora Bora?” Then adding; “Do you still keep the front door key under the flowerpot? I can pop round and water the cat if you like!” Believe me, this kind of thing happens! Sharing simple thoughts these days reaches a lot more people than you might imagine!
Yet probably one of the funniest things anyone has ever said to me was right here in Mallorca. One summer, Other Half and I pulled in at an off-road plantation selling palm trees. A huge sign outside stated; Palm Trees for Sale. Enquire Within’.
“How much are they?” we asked, wandering from tree to tree, as none of the palms were priced. “They are not for sale,” came the sullen reply from the Majorcan, cigar smoking owner. “But outside it clearly says, palm trees for sale,” we argued. This statement was followed by a vacant stare, a smoke ring, and a Mallorcan shrug. “So, if they’re not for sale,” we asked.
“Why the big sign outside?” Another shrug. Another smoke ring. “Oh, that’s just to get people interested!” Then he adjusted his string vest, scratched his crotch and sauntered away totally disinterested.
Sometimes, things here in Mallorca just don’t make sense, do they? Like the slow vaccine rollout. Or the Freethinker who broke Covid regulations and told police he didn’t know there was a pandemic going on because he hadn’t got a TV!
I rest my case!