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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jibber Jabbering

These days, when the kids say something embarrassing, I just ignore both the comment and the person it's directed at and change the subject.

"Dad! What's wrong with that lady's face?"

"Pass me the groceries please. Come on, you're supposed to be helping, not jibber jabbering."

Kids say the most embarrassing things, don't they? Things like pointing and yelling 'why is he fat?' in the middle of McDonalds while you're waiting to be served.

Where do you go when your otherwise well mannered and respectful child yells out, "Dad, that man's boobs are even bigger than yours!" in the middle of a store?

I've tried the majority of responses to these sorts of statements. I've knelt down and quietly explained about being rude. I've laughed nervously and apologized to the person. I've frowned nervously and apologized to the person. I've tried pointing to a completely different ficticional* person behind the person being pointed at who, just as the person turns to see who I'm pointing at, has just gone round the corner.

I know it can be embarrassing for the other person but social etiquette doesn't have a chapter for this.

Or, alternatively, I'm a coward. Probably more the latter.

Tonight we took Miss17 over to see the venue for her birthday party. It's the big one this year - her 18th and Master20's 21st.

Parked in front of the venue, we had the windows down and were chatting about things like the band, the food and how drunk Tracey and I were allowed to get. We were there for maybe five minutes and occasionally someone would walk past.

"I just saw a man in a dress!" yelled Master7 through an open window.

"Umm," said Miss17. "That wasn't a man."

Reaching for the keys, I called back loudly over my shoulder, "Check your sister's seat belt please. Come on, you're supposed to be helping, not jibber jabbering."

And we took off quickly up the road, my tail tucked up firmly between my legs.

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*Also, for all you word Nazis out there, I know fictitional isn't a real recognized word, but I'm doing my best to bring it into mainstream usage. I figure if the people from Oxford and Webster can add words like bimble and blinging after they're muttered by a few clubbers in Suffolk or NY, I want my fictitional, which I've been using liberally since somewhere in my teens, although mainly because I didn't know it wasn't an actual word. So yes, I want it 'legalized' so I don't feel stupid.


Nicholas said...

That old lady with the purple wig is rocking house!

Megan said...

Oxford have put 'Youse' in the dictionary, 'fictitonal' is a far superior nonsense work in my opinion.

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Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.


His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).


Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.


His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.

 If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.


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