Alex: We can sell these apples for ten pounds each.
Shane: We can try.
Alex: I think I need some football boots – I was slipping over in my trainers.
Shane: Mm, ok.
Alex: Maybe I could get some like Cristiano Ronaldo's.
Shane: Or maybe those black and silver ones that were about eighty pounds cheaper.
Shane: Good man.
Back at home, we found Jim conducting a review of home security.
‘…a strong recommendation for increased cat rations, commensurate with the intensive perimeter monitoring that is a necessary response to the severe threat posed to food supplies by neighbouring domestic animals…’
He seemed to know what he was talking about.
At 1pm, my parents arrived. We lunched, then walked and talked. My Mum seemed happy, though Dad occasionally struggled – he was nursing a back injury. We talked about his older brother, who retired recently.
I had already chosen to not share with my Dad what I’d learned of his missing younger brother. My sister was sure that this was the right choice, for now. Given his relative fragility (no pun intended), I had to agree.
We went to a pub for an early evening meal, and were joined by Emma’s parents. Though it was all very pleasant, from where I sit, it always strikes me that Emma’s and my parents live highly dissimilar lives – in ways that make me wish for more for my parents. Emma rebukes me for such thinking.
At 6:30pm, Emma, Alex, and my parents and I headed for a ‘Fireworks Extravaganza’ – the kind that comes with a fairground and a small pop concert.
Shane: What did Cher look like?
Dad: (pause) Like Cher.
Mum: She was hardly gonna look like Meatloaf, was she?
Shane: I suppose not.
Emma: (suppressed smile)
Then there was a countdown.
Back at home, we drank hot chocolate. Alex was revelling in having such a late night. He headed for the fridge, and joined us carrying a plate of chocolate apples.
Mum: Wow! Who made those?
Alex: Me and Shane, last night. Do you want one?
Mum: Ohhh, I shouldn’t, but ok then - just the one.
Alex: (straight) That’s ten pounds please.
Mum: Oh, very funny.
Alex: No, really – they’re ten pounds – Shane and me decided.
Mum: But I don’t have any money on me.
Alex: That’s ok – Shane can pay for you.
Mum: What a good idea. (Takes apple) Thank you.
Alex: You’re welcome. (To Shane) You owe me ten pounds.
It was all very warming to see my Mum and Alex bond over the matter of shaking down Shane for a cool tenner.
My parents returned to the North East on Sunday. Upon their return, my Mum sent me a text:
Thank you for lovely weekend. Have got upset stomach. Had to stop twice on way back. Think it was choc apple. Mam.X
I have referred the matter to Alex. He refuses to respond until he receives payment for the chocolate apple. This will not be happening. Thus, impasse and a black mark to the Customer Relations Department.