This is a work of fiction. It came from my own imagination. It's all lies. The people pictured are real (as are the dogs), but the photograph is just for illustration. All names, characters and events are invented. No dogs were harmed in the writing of this tale, although one little Jack Russell may have put on some weight (we shared a packet of biscuits).
They met every Wednesday, the craft club. That’s what they called themselves, the Wednesday Kraft Klub. Looking at the picture, starting at the top and going clockwise, they were: sewing guru Sophie, avid reader Belinda, Rose Petal (her greatest claim to fame is that her mother bared her breasts in front of the TV cameras at Woodstock), new girl Jayne, and Bronwyn from Wales.
All are married women, except for Bronwyn, who lives with her ‘lodger’, a young woman fifteen years her junior, who is something big in pharmaceuticals – or so she tells us. A very accommodating bunch of girls, they do this for relaxation and the love of their crafts, but not, definitely not to gossip.
Let’s listen in…
“You’re looking very industrious there, Sophie darling,” Rose Petal said, getting back into her chair after returning from a comfort break, “what’re you making?”
Sophie replied, “Not really making anything. I’m stitching up one of the legs on each of my Bert’s pyjamas. I told him, next time he rolls in drunk he’ll be sorry.”
“Isn’t that a bit mean?” Jayne asked.
“You haven’t seen the state of him,” Sophie said, “staggering through the door, trying to do everything dead quietly and failing miserably, the way drunks do, and shushing the dog louder than the dog’s barking. That always wakes me up, but I pretend to be asleep, cos I know what’s coming next.”
“What?” Belinda asked, looking up from whatever it is she’d been reading that, until now, appeared to have her totally absorbed.
“Stinking breath and paws all over me, that’s what,” Sophie said, “and I’ve had enough of it.”
“Bloody chuck him out,” Bronwyn suggested, “Give him his marching orders. Bloody men! No woman should have to put up with that sort of nonsense, night after night. Have done with him, isn’t it?”
“I’m tempted, Bron, I don’t mind telling you,” Sophie replied, “but he’s lovely when he’s sober. Couldn’t ask for a better husband.”
“Aye, when he’s sober,” Bronwyn added, “but still.”
Belinda looked up from whatever she was reading and said, “Listen to this, you’ll love it – it’s dead funny.”
“Not now, Belinda darling,” Rose Petal said; she always calls everyone ‘darling’, must have something to do with excessive flower power as a child; “can’t you see we’re in serious business; trying to save darling Sophie’s marriage.”
“Oh, I don’t think it’ll come to that, girls,” Sophie said, trying to play the situation down.
“Say you don’t know,” Bronwyn responded, “it only takes one thingummy to break a camel’s what-name.”
“No; listen,” Belinda pleaded, “it’s a short story by one of my favourite writers. Dead funny, it is.”
“So you said already.”
“I’m sorry, Jaynie, but it is,” Belinda insisted, and started reading the story. Of course, read in isolation, it probably is rather amusing, but in the middle of what could turn out to be a serious marital crisis, not only is it not funny, but some of its content is, given the circumstances, verging on inappropriate.
“Thank you for that,” Jayne said when Belinda had reached the end of the tale, “Now, Sophie, do you want my Sid to have a word with Bert for you?”
“What, while they’re out drinking together?” Sophie asked in a somewhat sarcastic tone, “Alcoholics bloomin’ Unanimous?”.
“Yes, exactly. My Sid never comes home drunk.”
“Only because he can hold his drink better than my Bert.”
“But he never comes home drunk, and your Bert always does. Let him try, Bert might listen to him, especially if he tells him you’re thinking of leaving him.”
“But I’m not!”
“He doesn’t need to know that, does he.”
“Okay,” Sophie finally conceded, “but make sure he talks to him about it early in the evening, when Bert’s still sober enough for it to sink in.”
“Leave it with me, Sophe. But let’s be democratic about this. All those in favour of my Sid having a quiet word with Bert?”
Four hands went up. Bronwyn’s hand alone stayed down.
“You don’t think it’s a good idea, Bron?” Jayne asked.
“What’s the bloody point? He’s a man, isn’t he? And a drunk one at that. Talking to him won’t help. He needs cold turkey.”
Belinda, who hadn’t really been listening, being more involved in what she was reading, suddenly heard food mentioned.
“D’you need a hand making the sandwiches?” she asked of anyone who was listening.
“What sandwiches?” Rose Petal asked.
“Didn’t someone mention cold turkey sandwiches?” she asked.
“Back to your reading,” Bronwyn said, “we’ll call you when they’re ready.”
“Anybody actually made anything yet?” Jayne asked. Three soft replies of “no” came back. Belinda said nothing, she was still reading, and gently chuckling to herself.
“Might as well make lunch, then,” she said, whereupon five ladies and four dogs made their way to the kitchen.
I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 51, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.