Conversation Pieces

The other day, Quilly and I were sitting at the dining table in our apartment here at the Friday Harbor Labs, eating lunch and chatting about things, when, out of the blue, milady chuckles and announces “I’m glad people don’t listen in on our conversations. They’d lock us up!”

I tell her, first, “Don’t call me Chuck.”

Then, “Our conversations seem pretty normal to me. OK, every once in awhile, a word like Chloroxybacteria or endosymbiosis or phycobiliprotein pops up, but you handle them all right. Y’know, you’re cute when you roll your eyes at me.”

I can’t help it. People have been getting on my case about the big words since when they (the words) were taller than me. Nowadays, I’m taller and wider than most words. I think. Anyway, I don’t see what else can possibly be the matter.

I mean, just last weekend, I was grousing over something that wasn’t happening as fast as I like – it was probably something on the computer, and yes I should be grateful that I have one, but, well, I’ll not take the bandwidth to explain now, OK? – and Quilly counsels:

“Have patience!”

“Honey, if I were the kind of doctor that had patients, I might be able to afford a computer that works!”

Perfectly normal conversation.

Or when we were driving back to the Labs from a Saturday shopping trip, and we see a sign on a house, “Alfred’s Affordable Alterations”.

He: “I’ve never heard of an affordable altercation.”

She: “I’ve never heard of paying for one. They’re free.”

He: “Free?”

She: “Sure. Go to the bar. Have a few drinks. Ask a few questions. You’ll have plenty to choose from.”

He: “But that’s not free.”

She: “Whaddaya mean not free“?

He: “There’s the beer. And the bruises. You been to an emergency room lately? An affordable altercation’s gotta be one that minimizes the injuries. You know, like in the movies, where they use those balsa-wood chairs to break over people’s heads? Looks dramatic but doesn’t draw blood?”

She: “Yeah, that would work. I wonder if Alfred knows he’s running a fight club.”

He: “Uh huh. Me too.”

Straightforward. Surely there’s nothing here out of the ordinary. Is there?

Did you know that a conversation is a gathering of athletic-shoe manufacturers?

Gotta go …

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2007 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. OC didn’t mention that while he was writing this I was darning his jeans — and whenever I poked myself with the needle I used other curse words, too.

  2. I feel the same way about the conversations we have in our house especially since I am hearing and sight impaired…..funny.

  3. Having known my aunt Quilly my whole life and knowing how most family conversations go in our family, I really *do* find this perfectly normal. lol

  4. My wife and I have these big semi-serious arguments sometimes that eventually end after about 15 minutes with one of us saying, “Do you have any idea what we’re arguing about?”

  5. I knew she wouldn’t let you get away with those words for long. Especially ” Chloroxybacteria “.
    Glad to see she puts her foot down while still humoring you.

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