Saturday, May 21, 2011

Can you see my problem now?

Wombat - Tasmania

As I write this Cate is in Washington visiting her brother Will who works for the World Bank. He actually lives in Vienna Virginia – now isn’t that a hell of a coincidence.

He and his wife Kris have lived there for a very long time – I am guessing 20 years. Yes he is Australian and his wife  both still speak Australian – but have adapted to life in America. Well as much as an Australian can adapt to life in America. I mean they shop at Costco and drink Bud but they sure as hell don’t believe all that rightwing crap and they did not stand on the front lawn on Saturday waiting for the rapture. On Saturday night that had a good old Aussie BBQ with Cate.

Cate will probably be shopping in Tysons Corner Galleria because the USA is the best place for a girl her size to buy clothes. Did I say that out loud? I will just go and put my head under a cold tap.

Not that – I hasten to add – she is large – far from it – indeed she is microscopic – in fact she can barely be seen with the naked eye. But it is just that European sizes are preposterously small and all business clothes are preposterously expensive.

And she has been through the horrendous experience of walking into shops in Vienna and having the haughty sales assistant say ‘there is nothing in this store that would fit madam.’

To which of course the only response would be ‘well there is something under Madame’s jeans that would fit over Frau or Frauline’s head’.

I have prepared for the onslaught on the main credit card by shoveling some extra cash on there. I have suffered the indignity once before of having Cate ring me from Tysons wailing that her credit card had been declined – Oh the humiliation – she cried!

I gently reminded her that she had three more on which to draw – why so many you ask – well when we got to Vienna thy positively threw them at us – and of course we still have our Australian credit cards.

But still a girl does not need that sort of stress when she is in the middle of a massive buying spree and up to her ears in bags from Macy’s, Nieman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue – even if some of these are being carried by her Sister-in-Law – who is egging her on to even greater heights of extravagance. After this she will stagger off – with her extra luggage – to the Head Office of Ducky Pharma in a place I can no longer mention - but let's call it Peoria. 

She will prepare for the almost unbearable excitement of this by taking tranquilizers so that she does not actually burst any blood vessels when she touches down in the entertainment capital of the mid west during race accompanied on the airplane by racing car drivers, engineers, buxom blonde ladies with big hair and all sorts of other exotic people.

She flies back home next Thursday so will of course be devastated when she learns that she will miss the big race by a few days. One year when she was there they took her to the ‘actual track’ where the Peoria 1000 takes place and she said some of the people she was with got down on there hands and knees and ‘kissed the track.’ She declined to participate in this ritual and spoiled the moment a bit by asking ‘what happens here again?’ 

She is not good with sport of any kind. They also took her to a baseball game but she of course had no idea what was happening – having never seen a baseball game before – so spent the entire game speaking to a Legal Counsel from Germany. She did have a hotdog which she said was good – but it had a bit too much mustard.

She and the German person were not particularly enthused by the local art gallery but managed to mutter encouraging noises so as to encourage the curator to greater heights. Well –  I mean – for fucks sake – it is Peoria – what did they expect! It is not the Louvre!

The Americans do good hotdogs. The ones you can buy on the streets in New York are my favorites and I actually look forward to them. American deli food is terrific if you know what to buy – I don’t so I like to go with a seasoned veteran. They know where to by the best Reuben Sandwich and if you get the best Reuben sandwich you can die happy.

American breakfasts are also brilliant but are also  terrifying if you are in a line with 50 other people shuffling along to get it to go. You only get one chance so you better be damn good and quick and do not do it with an Australian accent.

If you say it and he does not hear you or he does not understand you then you may as well be dead because you not getting any. He is now looking at the person behind you - who is now pushing you into the street. You had better try your luck somewhere else.

You are not getting any breakfast here. Here you are the invisible and hungry man.

So I am on my own until next Friday. This will give me a chance to get a few extra chores done. I still have to paint the cat door and 12 of the down lights have suddenly decided to pop their clogs ‘en masse’ – but I am not allowed to do the ones that are up really high – and I mean really high – they are about 10 meters high – for the reason that to get there I would need to stand on top of a ladder on top of a table and there is no need to go in to detail about what would happen if I did that except to say that blogging would probably would probably be done one letter at a time with me holding a pencil between my teeth – or not at all.

I might be able to persuade Mrs. Moneypenny to come and have an extra tea drinking tea and ironing session with me. I will have to clear it with Cate of course. If I catch her while she is in the middle of a shopping session she will be distracted and won’t be bothered what I do. 

Mrs. Moneypenny will tell me how her husband does not love her at all and does not want to have sex with her more her more than once every month and I am guessing that will not help me focus on getting my chores done one little bit. And I am certainly not climbing any ladders after that. You can see my problem can't you?


  1. He he, I think I can see several (potential) problems.

  2. For crying out loud, "Tyson's Galleria", "Costco" and "Reuben Sandwich", all at once? You could as well have thrown in "Whole Foods" and "Dolly Madison Road - All Roads lead to Tyson's"! The Ruben Sandwich hit me particularly hard, the sauerkraut and Russian dressing sticking to my hair.

    I imagine Cate shrieking with delight about the way you made sure nobody would ever guess it was her, when she is tearing through the wide marbled halls of the Galleria. Ah, those wide open spaces ....

  3. I'm not going to lie, i love to do a little shopping when I'm at home as well. I always bring an empty suitcase - you'd think they had just let me out of the sahara the way I stockpile American goods, and now with a daughter, it's only magnified.
    On a business trip to malaysia, the airline lost my luggage and I had to buy some replacements in KL and one saleswoman after the next told me I will need to go to the "Big and Tall Lady Store" but with such innocence it didn't deliver the same sting that we often get here.

  4. Hehehe 'it is Indianapolis...It is not the Louvre!'

  5. OMG.. can I help you mate?

  6. My hubby says you should have Mrs MoneyPenny get on the high later to change your lightbulbs while she's there. We both had a good laugh for a second til my brain caught up with his meaning....then I smacked him while he guffawed at my naiveté. ;)

  7. Well at least the salespeople told her without shrieking, jumping, pointing and rolling on the floor laughing. It can be depressing.

    As far as the track, she is lucky she got out of Peoria alive, someone covered for her.

  8. But Wombat is in NSW, quite close to Young, my home town!

  9. esbboston: Life is full of potential problems!

    Merisi: And guess what: Her card was declined!

    TNDW: Well it is the best place in the world to shop!

    Kathryn Ashcroft: Yes - I am not sure what they expected - Mona Lisa?

    simon: I need all the help I can get:

    R2K: Exactly

    Cheers: I did ask Mrs Moneypenny and she was up for it!

    fmcgmcclic: Ah - buy they know Cate quite well.

    Annie: I think there must be more than one!

  10. Hopefully Cate never has to suffer the indignity of clothing shopping in Japan...everything is made for a 20" waist.

  11. Clothes are ridiculously inexpensive here. I hope you sent her over with an extra suitcase.