Snippets from conversations overheard during my mother in law’s 84th birthday party:

World War
Telex machines
Fax Machines
The internet
Automatic Cars
Heart transplants, Chris Barnard; (gave his wives a hell of a time)
That patient, polite girl on the Garmin-telephone-thing
Are there still bank managers who know their clients’ names?
Modern children have no manners
Going barefoot is terribly common my girl, put on your shoes!
Infra dig
What was the name of that girl in Plumstead? She was a real trollop
He became a dirty stop-out, on and off trains, like that Kerouac fellow
The depression, a lot of men just disappeared
John Vorster’s family was dirt poor, the school gave him soap to wash himself
White gloves and a reception at the Mount Nelson
Afternoon tea dances
Six siblings buried
His name was Tex, the greatest dog that ever lived
A joke about rugby players and Ginger Squares
Crayfish and chocolate cakes
A lemon yellow wedding frock

And this very sweet story:

As a young woman, my mother in law lived in a house that was next door to the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital. She had a big yellow dog called Tex, who had been in a dog fight and had a long row of stitches on his back. The wound had started suppurating and the vet had given her ointment to apply and ordered her to try and keep it covered. She thought she had found a perfect solution; he was roughly the same size as Old Spouse (then a small boy of six) and she had dressed Tex in one of her son’s tshirts.

One morning Tex managed to get out of the gate and ran down the road. My MIL, at that stage still in her dressing gown, ran around the neighborhood looking for him. Eventually she went into the hospital grounds and couldn’t find him anywhere, so she ran toward the main entrance and there she encountered one of the psychiatrists who had arrived to do his rounds. Have you seen my dog, she asked him, he’s wearing a yellow shirt?

The doctor looked at her and very kindly, without missing a beat, he said; and you’re worried because he doesn’t have his trousers on?


21 thoughts on “84

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