Friday, 14 September 2007

What a tangled web

Marjorie Stewart reminded me that David and I were invited to “drinks and nibbles” on Saturday night as she collected the weekly Lottery money. I had been practising all day a carefully deliberated response of “I don’t think we can make it actually, we’re seeing some old friends”. It sounded cool and not at all made up when I was practising in the kitchen whilst marinating several chicken limbs in coconut and chilli milk. I’d even managed to add in a theatrical roll of the eyes as if to suggest we’d much rather be at the Stewarts than conversing with old chums. I was quite proud of myself. Naturally, when it actually came to the crucial moment, I buggered it up. Well, what else would you expect me to do?

Marjorie jangled her bag of pound coins and uttered the fateful words. I blushed, dropped my purse and mumbled something about not being around. “Seeing, erm, friends. Old ones, you know, ones we’ve known for ages. On Saturday night. Well late afternoon on really.” If she thought I was lying she didn’t pick me up on it. She suggested that I bring them over. “Oh, going to them, not coming here. David arranged it, didn’t tell me. They live in, erm, north London so will be back far too late to pop in. Sorry” I gave a sickly grin and half shut the door on her “Oh well, another night then perhaps?” “Okay, yes, let me know!” I squealed, shut the door fully and slid down the wall where Junior and Middle Dog joined me. I was still there when David got home.

I explained the problem and solutions as breezily as I could as I made the tea. “Let me get this straight” he said darkly, opening a packet of digestives “on Saturday, late afternoon, we’ve got to go out and to be seen to go out, all dressed up, to see some friends in North London and not get back until very late, whilst making sure that everyone knows we’re back very late. Have I got that right? And do we know anyone in North London?”

I must admit it did sound rather stupid - and no, we don't. “Why can’t we just stay in and bugger the Stewarts?” he said, dunking a digestive rather vigorously. My eyes watered at that suggestion but a little light bulb was pinging over my head. “What, just pretend we’re going out you mean? Brilliant! We can move the car to the next street in case they check, keep the dogs out of the garden and only walk them when the Stewarts have gone to bed!” I was clapping my hands with glee. My husband was watching me rather cautiously. “Is there something you’re not telling me?” he queried.

I outlined my concerns about the Stewarts (amazingly, he hasn’t picked up on any of this) and the fact that they got very excited when he mentioned swinging at the TANA meeting and that I thought that they thought we were up for a little bit of “their” kind of fun. I also mentioned what Cheeky Window Cleaner had witnessed.

He thinks I'm being ridiculous but I did at least stop him from going to the Stewarts to accept their kind invitation and explain all about the mix up about "seeing old friends". He says that I watch far too much daytime television and - with a very pointed look at the book on the counter - am reading far too many Jilly Cooper novels.

Harumph!

4 comments:

Gwen said...

Better to be safe than sorry though. I would have done something similar I am sure and I have nevwer read a Jilly Cooper in my life.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I am terrible at fibbing and people can usually see right through me. I have been known to tell the odd white lie but yours is a corker!

Crystal xx

Omega Mum said...

I have to say that, taken literally, 'let's stay in and bugger the Stewarts' sounds distinctly unpleasing as an option. And they'd be thrilled, one assumes. Or have I been going on to Mutley's site one too many times?

Silvana said...

Oooh, chciken in coconut and chilli! Post the recipe NMoO! x x

All about me

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.