Jessica-Marie and Martin 'Beejay' Wells

Jessica-Marie and Martin 'Beejay' Wells
be together, play together, learn together

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Life's like that.

A lady friend I hadn't seen for some time bumped into me yesterday.
        "Hello," she said, "how are you keeping?"
        "Not so bad thanks," I informed her, going on to tell her of my recent stays in hospital and newly acquired status as an invalid. (two severe heart attacks, peritonitis and appendectomy leaves me a 66.6% invalid according to Social Services, which means 33.3% of me is fully fit and available for work, though which 33.3% I'm not entirely sure)
        "So what are you doing with yourself now you can't work any more," she asked.
        "I'm writing a book," I told her.
        "Oh, that's a novel idea," she replied.
Wasn't much I could say to that really.


Some people (mainly grumpy, drunk, wrinkly old gits) complain when I'm having a conversation with a friend in English.
         "Je bent hier lang genoeg Nederlands te praten," one miserable old git shouted at me the other day in the cafĂ©. He was right. I have been here long enough to speak Dutch. (There is no such language as Flemish. It's just a dialect of Dutch) Seventeen years I've been in this miserable dump. But I can and do speak Dutch when I need to. It just happens that some Belgians enjoy speaking English. Why shouldn't I oblige them?
         So, in Dutch, I asked him quite politely if I'd been speaking to him.
         "Nee," he replied.
         "Believe me," I told him, continuing in Dutch, "if I have something to say to you, it will be in Dutch, even though more people in Belgium speak French (Walonia is a lot bigger than the rest of Belgium) and let's not forget the little corner that only speak in German. So, when you think about it, you have three national languages. Why should I pick your favourite? Do you speak French or German?"
         "Then you have no right to complain about what language I and my friends choose to hold our conversations in."
         He went a little quiet then so I asked him, somewhat sarcastically, "are you a friend of mine?"
         "Nee," he replied.
        By this time, everybody in the place, grinning like morons,  was listening in to the conversation. You could have heard a pin drop.
         That's when I let him have it. Both barrels. Very loud. In English.
         "Then, you fuckin' dipstick, keep your fuckin' nose out of my fuckin' conversations."