Event: Being told by a friend at a party that he got a tan from his soft top car and replying, ‘Wow, really? Do they let through UV rays?’ to be told after an incredulous pause, ‘No. With the roof down’.
In his head: Holy Freaking Cow. Was she putting that on? Is it possible to be that clueless? Wait, she said she’d been to Seattle recently. Healthcare’s good there. Maybe it was for a frontal lobotomy.
In the real world: ‘I’ve got to go now. Take care. Please.’
Event: Slightly losing the plot with a mobile phone call-centre chap after a 40 minute conversation, culminating in the tearful outburst: ‘LOOK! MY PHONE IS BROKEN! I WANT IT TO WORK! ARE YOU GOING TO MEND IT?!’
In his head: This woman is unstable. Her broken phone is worth more than my yearly wages. I’d like to suggest a place where she can insert it.
In the real world: ‘Yes, Madam. We are going to mend your phone.’
Event: Guessing the number of coffee beans in the jar at a farm shop tasting day and joking with the lady that it will take her a long time to count them.
In her head: Does she think I’m a fool? I have no intention of counting the beans. I’m going to weigh a percentage, count them and multiply the result accordingly.
Event: ‘You are going to count them, aren’t you?’ (me)
In her head: Here we go, it’s the bean police. I should have noticed that Monica-from-Friends look in her eye.
Event: ‘Actually, no. I’m going to weigh a percentage, count them and multiply the result accordingly.’ (her)
In my head: How completely unsatisfactory. Everybody knows that would give you an average because the beans are different sizes. And this is a bean-quantifying competition. Lazy, cheating bint.
Event: ‘Oh, what an excellent idea!’ (me, laughing)
In the real world: I didn’t guess the beans right. But I did receive a call to say there were 468 sweeties in the sweetie jar and I was closest with 472 and have won the jar of sweeties. Fabulous, cheating bint.
Event: Making small-talk with the local butcher leading inexplicably to the question, ‘Do you eat a lot of fish?’
In his head: Let me see. I’ve been a family butcher for 400 years. I’ve won a lifetime of awards, live meat, talk meat, cut meat and sell it every working day of the year. But when I go home what I really enjoy is a nice sardine. Crikey, I’ve got legs of lamb with higher IQs than this cat.
In the real world: ‘Actually, Love, I tend to eat a lot of meat.’
Event: Receiving a smile and a nod of recognition from the same Flat White coffee barrista about whose style I had previously written and feeling anxious he knew about it.
In his head: It’s that chick who clearly travels specifically into central London to get tweaked on coffee. She looks worried. Maybe I make her feel nervous. Maybe she fancies me. Terrible Gaydar. She needs to update her accessories.
In the real world: ‘Hello again. Flat white?’