Saturday, 21 May 2011

Social Intercourse

It's a funny thing conversation - it's not always about saying anything very significant.

Take the two old girls I passed on my way up to the shops yesterday afternoon. They were both leaning on their zimmer frames discussing what I presume was a grand-child - or maybe even a great grand-child.

'He's quite a big baby,' said one.
'Big, yes,' replied the other, nodding.
'But he's not very strong.'
'Not strong, no, he isn't very strong.'
'He's long, you see', said the first one.
'Long, yes, long. I see. He's long.'
'In fact, I think he's put all his strength into his length.'
'Strength, length, yes. Oh yes, strength, length.' A radiant smile. 'Oh yes, not strong but long.'

(Of course, they may have been mediating their selves - it seems to be the activity de nos jours).


  1. Don't they call that "phatic communication"?

  2. Reminds me of conversations I used to overhear at our local St Vinnies, although nothing could really beat the huge, shabby, unbathed, and possibly autistic middle-aged man who'd come in to tell everyone about his recent train trips. Where he went. And his opinions of those places. And (loftily) how everybody there was a little stupider than him, and how he bore this trial with fortitude.

  3. 'Phatic eh, George, it's phatic, is it, 'phatic', you say - phatic? Well, well well.' (Whatever it is, I seem to find it catching).

    I see him, I smell him, Umbagollah - and I treasure that '(loftily)'.