Sometimes you just can’t call people’s reactions, can you?
I mean, their behaviour is right out of proportion to the stimulus offered.
A black plastic slug left carelessly on a half-load of bread in the pantry sent my mother fleeing from the kitchen by the back door.
And yesterday my colleagues at work thought it was wildly amusing, that while fishing in my handbag for a screwdriver, I came up with a bath plug.
I have to admit, I was surprised. I had no idea it was in there.
It’s a shiny chrome B&Q bath plug. It should have been returned to B&Q for a refund some months ago. It’s even got the D link on it so you can attach a chain if necessary. I say if necessary but it’s a bit of a given that if you’ve got a bathplug you’re going to need a chain. It’s causes annoying second degree burns if you’ve filled the bath a bit too hot and you have to grope around in scalding water to release the plug.
To be frank, the bag is a bit too big but it’s pink and it called out to me appealingly as I passed a shop window in Venice. When inanimate objects do that, you have to listen and get them or regret it for the rest of your life. Rather like the Beautiful Shoes.
The bag is made out of a kind of lumpy leather which I thought might be ex-wart hog, which was fine by me because I imagined the wart-hog would have had a pretty good life rootling around in the bush and lying in mud, mud, glorious mud. (Turned out to be ostrich so I just have to hope it had a good time doing an awful lot of heavy-footed sprinting across the open plains before its demise.)
As I had produced the plug, I had to justify having it. Most women, it seems, don’t keep plugs in their handbags.
“Er. It’s just for emergencies.”
More laughter and jokes about plug/finger/dyke/womenincomfortableshoes that I won’t repeat here.
I thought the reaction was a bit over the top myself. After all, what’s a handbag for, if not to store essentials to meet life’s eventualities? Mary Poppins (an early role model) had loads of stuff in that carpetbag of hers.
So amid the laughter and ridicule, I didn’t think it was worth mentioning the other stuff in my bag; the mini screwdrivers, the set of allen keys, the camera cables, the phone cable, the emergency apple, the sunglasses, the boiled sweet (to rub on the lips of dogs having a bit of diabetic coma) the diclofenac (don’t tell my doc as he won’t give it any more so it’s just in case), the resus mask and the antihistamine.
I didn’t mention the phone, the perfume, the three sets of keys, the tissues, the two lipsticks, the three notebooks, hairbrush, nailfile, three pens, the Ikea pencil, the purse and ticket to the Tom Jones gig.
I obviously wasn’t going to talk about the lipstick-stained handkerchief, the three scribbled shopping lists, the out-of-date cheque, the Guide to Reims, the ticket to Fagliolini concert at Tewkesbury Abbey, the spare sticking plaster, the Crabhouse Cafe card, the paracetamol tablets, the rabbit umbrella, the small Filofax, the Nivea cream or the biscuit.
Good grief, no. Kept my mouth firmly shut about that lot. Wouldn’t want them thinking I’m some kind of freak, would I?