English manners

An elderly friend came round with her dachshund this morning for coffee and reminiscence with my mother-in-law. I took refuge in the sitting room, leaving the door to my study open; the dachshund, which didn’t seem to like me, trotted off upstairs and crapped on the study floor.

My mother-in-law, upstairs for a pee, was led by the smell to the scene of the crime, which she immediately scrubbed and tidied without saying anything to anyone. It would have been frightfully embarrassing for her visitor, whom she finally drove home. At the end of the journey — still nothing said about the dog — the friend thanked her, and said, in a conversational tone. “You know I was telling you that my sister visited me last weekend. Well, she died on Tuesday.”

No more was said on the matter.

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1 Response to English manners

  1. quinn says:

    this brought to mind when danny and i were travelling through botswana with mckay, one of his old friends. we stopped at a petrol station truly in the middle of nowhere, dusty and grundgy from many days of traveling and camping in wilderness, and each got got a slightly scary paper plate of fries to go. that all went quickly, but mackay trying to explain to the people behind the counter that he wanted a fork and knife to eat his chips with seemed to drag on forever. danny stood by me at the door explaining “the british are not this british!” i’ve come to really adore him and all his extreme britishness.

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