While taking my parents for their annual eye test appointments at the local optician, I found myself hanging around in the waiting room for around 45 minutes. A lady brought her elderly mother for a similar eye test; the old dear sat in the chair next to me, I can only describe her as a funnier and chattier version of Catherine Tate’s “Nan”. After she inflicted her personality on the receptionist, she turned her attention to me; at the time, I was surfing the Internet on my iPhone just for something to do. The conversation went like this:
Nan: “What are you doing?”
Me: “Just browsing on my phone.”
Nan: “What are you watching on that thing?”
Me: “Some dog videos.”
Nan: “I love dogs, will you show me one?”
Me: “OK, would you like to see a sausage dog puppy having its first bath?”
Nan: “That’s brilliant. Is that your dog?”
Me: “No, I do have dogs, but that’s not mine. Look, here’s another video, it’s a dog on a surfboard.”
Nan: “Oh, I love that, is that your dog?”
Me: “No, that’s not my dog. Would you like to see 10 Labrador puppies rushing to their feeding bowls?”
.. at this point, she took my phone from me, and I showed her a video of a ranch in America where 10 golden Labrador puppies ran inside, all skidded and fell on the vinyl floor before arriving at their feeding stations and munching their food at a breakneck pace.
Nan: “That’s fantastic. Are they your dogs?”
Me: <out of devilment> “Yes they are!”
Me: “Oh yes, they live in my holiday home in Nebraska.”
Nan: “That’s amazing; do you really have a home in Nebraska?”
… She laughed really loudly and gave me a thump on my shoulder. Her daughter and the receptionist were in hysterics.
Nan: “Will you show me a picture of your dogs?”
… I found a photo of my beautiful 3 black Labradors with my equally, perhaps even more, beautiful wife, Angela, in the middle of the picture. Before handing the phone back to her, I zoomed in on the Labradors so the top part of Angela was not visible. This is the picture in full.
Nan: “They are gorgeous. Ooh, will you show me a picture of your wife, I might know her? Is she from Clayton?”
Me: “No, we don’t live in the village, but a few years ago she did work for a while at the Wool Board just down the road.”
Nan: “Well I’m bound to know her then?”
Me: “How’s that? Did you know people at the Wool Board?”
Nan: “No, but I often popped into the butchers on the other side of the road.”
She cackled hysterically, so did her daughter, so did the receptionist; she was messing with me, if this were a football match it would have been one goal each. We kept each other entertained for the next 30 minutes; I reckon it ended in a 3-3 draw!
My parents returned from the examination room. My Dad’s eyesight had neither improved nor worsened, so the glasses he had were still OK. For some obscure reason, my Mum’s vision had slightly improved, and she needed new lenses; she decided to buy some new frames at the same time, so she accompanied the receptionist to choose some, and my Dad sat beside me. I had planned to take them shopping straight after the trip to the optician. Dad said to me “we might get to Tesco’s fairly soon if your Mum frames herself”. As Mum was choosing the frames at the time, I thought this was really quite a high-quality pun joke until I realised my Dad was having a grumble, and there was no joke intended whatsoever. I laughed, Nan’s daughter laughed, the receptionist laughed. Dad remained stony-faced in the chair.