“That’s the idea.”
“Dean Holdsworth, fashion writer?”
“It’s not that big a stupid idea.”
“Why? Does stupid come in various sizes, like Tim Tam Mimis?”
Annabelle was criticising my application for the role of Fashion Writer at a local magazine. She knew my knowledge of fashion is limited. Limited in the sense that I can’t even make a joke about it. When I was at school the popular kids had runners that could puff-up around the ankle using a small in-built balloon. The balloon often broke. That’s not funny. It’s just my last memory of fashion.
“See,” I began my defence. “What the idea is, I can ask the staff and client about fashion and just make copy from their responses. I know nobody wants to read my opinion on the topic.”
“Oh, darling,” Annabelle was a bout to be condescending. She had the I’m-about-to-be-condercending tone to her voice. “I’m sure lots of people want to hear your views on what to wear.”
“Like a What I’ve Learned this Week column?” I decided to take the statement on face-value, having learned not fall into the trap of battling her sarcastic wit. In such battles my imaginary better-half always wins.
“Darling,” she began as way to repeat the tone. “That’s a wonderful idea.”
“It’ll be like a weekly make over. A what’s hot and what’s not personally discovery. This week: wearing football jumpers, not hot. Wearing…” I paused and the pause lengthened.
“Wearing boat shoes, is hot… is it? I’m not sure on that, regardless that’s the general gist. How about it?”
Annabelle was eyeing me with the kind of vision one casts over those in need of being labelled a nincompoop. She restrained herself from the act. Partly as she was amazed I spelt the word correctly, and partly because she saw that further mocking would only persuade me to talk with more enthusiasm. So she changed the subject.
“Why don’t you apply for that job as a barrister?”
“You mean coffee maker?”
“Just checking. No, I’m not making coffee. I don’t drink coffee.”
“You don’t have any fashion either. What’s the difference?”
“I don’t like the smell of coffee and am about as skilled at being personable with strangers while making a good cup of joe as a monkey is at writing Shakespeare. With time both may happen, but there’d be a lot of errors in between.”
“Hmm, I think you could get better odds for the monkey to be serving the coffee.”
“True, and I actually wear cloths – so that’s a plus in that book. Hey, aren’t you supposed to be supportive?”
“The barista idea, or me in general.”
“Supportive?” Annabelle, if she actually had a chin, raised her thumb to it, if she had a thumb, and with a contemplative sigh, if this was possible, she made a deliberation. “No, I’m enjoying the mockery for now. I’ll get back to you on supportive.”
“When you get a job. Out of interest, when will that be?”
“I have a cunning plan for that… it’s like playing Monopoly and winning second prize in a beauty contest. It’s bound to happen sooner of later.”
“As long as there are no more than two contestants.”
“Yes, and one of them is not a well trained monkey.”
We agreed on this last point.