I am writing this after having had a couple of ” drinkies” with Rita this afternoon. She hasn’t been well lately and so I popped over to see how she was. She opened the door with something like a Mama Cass Kaftan around her body and a feather boa tied around her neck. I wasn’t sure why. I did notice however, that every time she took a sip of her Gin, the feathers got in the way and she kept spitting them out along with a mouthful of drink. I had to keep ducking out of her range. I was wearing a rather nice silk shirt and didn’t want saliva stains ( from Rita) on it as its dry clean only! I can tell you that the drink didn’t last long that way and she must have topped it up about four times and still been stone cold sober. Not so for me….sadly!
Looking at the above picture I can remember that it was about a year ago that I wrote of a predicament I found myself in at the Synagogue. Oh, I hear you say, did you change religion, I thought you were a Christian and a Catholic at that…tee hee. Nope, I haven’t changed religion but the Local Synagogue does have 6 rather large classrooms ideal for us when we have run out of our own rooms. And run out of classrooms we have…..
Its The German Season and that means most of the groups that come to visit at this time of the year are… ( yep, you’ve guessed it..) Germans!! We currently have 250 students with us and 200 of them are Germans. ( in case you are interested, the other 50 are from the Czech Republic!) So you can understand that I was a little worried about placing a German group in the Synagogue. Not sure if I was more worried about upsetting the Rabbi or if the Germans would think I was trying to upset entente cordiale so I thought to tread carefully.
Last year we had a German girl in the office who make a big deal of being liberal. She loved Lesbians; Gays; Fluffy Kittens; Kurdish Refugees; Fat People; Thin People and downright thick people. Yep, she loved everyone, or so it seemed. She wasn’t keen on certain jokes and the morale in the office went down. I admit that we are all rather non pc about things but we only say it in jest. Never has it been said with spite or malice. A sort of safety valve.
Some of you will know, I can have a serious conversation one day about Isis, Isil, IS or Daesh with Aledene ( call it what you will, Alaedene refers to it as Daesh) and how he has shed many tears about his homeland (Libya) and what is being done to it and then another time when he comes back home I will say ” rucksacks at the door please. No rucksacks inside” and wink and he will laugh. I also want to say right now if anyone wants the recipe for Libyan Pasta please let me know. I think I have had Libyan Pasta at least twice a week now for 4 sodding years so I know every variation on it and believe me, Folks, there ain’t that many!
So I hope no one thinks I am racist and certainly if I was, I don’t think I would last in my own office where, Brits are the minority, or indeed in my particular Industry at all.
But for some reason that I cant explain I remain very trepidacious about Jews and Germans and therefore asking the Synagogue to host a group of Germans and the Germans to have lessons in a Synagogue makes me very worried indeed. You know its a bit like a white person letting a black person out into the stream of traffic….” oh look, I have let a black person out so it shows I am not racist” and you look around to see who has noticed. A sort of overkill to be sure.
The said German girl was not someone I could have a discussion with about this and when one day she greedily sank her molars into a Chocolate Éclair and ended up with fondant under her nose, she strutted around the office, one arm raised above her head asking if she looked like Adolf Hitler. As I said to her dryly, ” only you would be able to get away with that Anoushka” but no one really laughed. I am pleased to say she left shortly thereafter, filled with self importance and complaining that she couldn’t work in a place as ” narrow minded” as we were. Narrow Minded. Hell’s teeth, I thought we made the Bloomsbury Set look like Sunday School teachers… oops, I have digressed.
The other reason why we have to be careful is that last year Dennis Much-Humper took in a Prawn Pot Noodle and had it for his lunch. Once he was found out, it left a bit of a scar on the proceedings and I had to send Vicki down to make things right with the Rabbi. So again I remain very worried that someone will take a Pork Pie or Ham Sandwich in and upset them all over again. ( for those of you who don’t remember or possibly didn’t even read my ” earlier work” ( ha hah ) it is referred to here…..( The Prawn Identity)
So if you did trawl to the bottom of that previous dirge you will see why I have reason to worry.
On a plus note, it would appear that Mr Wu did miss us and has returned. He has been on coach duty this week. Coach duty means many things to many people but to Mr Wu it means making a bit of a fuss and celebration; stop as much traffic as you can and park the coach with trumpets and fanfare. We have to park the coaches at the back of a very well meaning petrol station but to do this and reverse the coach in, one of us has to take their life in their hands; stop oncoming traffic on both sides of the road and allow the coach to manoeuvre back in. This does take some time and also raises the hackles of many locals when I don my orange Hi Viz and hold my hand up . Its true that traffic does stop immediately because I simply walk out and stop in the middle of the road but I am not particularly popular and everyone wants to get on their way. And once it has stopped, then out comes Mr Wu with more hand signals and manoeuvres up his sleeve and takes over. You will see from the pictures below that things are never as clear as one would like and often, the coaches just do their own thing! Mr Wu just gets ” carried away” . “ Stop Stop” he shouts. No one pays any attention.
(You can just make him out to the left of the picture trying to attract the driver’s attention. Said driver is having none of it and just reverses on his own. Probably much safer! )
” Try again” he instructs. ” Back, slowly. Slowly. Now right. Right. Right, I say”
All safely parked and the kids get off and escape whilst they can. Mr Wu looks very satisfied. Another successful manoeuvre. Everything is, as he would say ” A-OK!”
The lady with Mr Wu, looking slightly nervous, is Vicki. She is on Rabbi Duty this week and lives in fear of being spotted by the Priest entering the Synagogue.
Anyway, the Germans are back! Mr Wu is back! And so long as Dennis Much Humper leaves his prawn Pot Noodle in the car, we will be back!