I can't bear it. Saturday girl, Clarissa, has decided to involve herself in my weight watcher's ordeal. This is not a team building role-play game you know. I don't need a partner. I have a partner. Angela is my WW partner. You are a Saturday girl, a Tweedle, one of four and highly expendable. You come in on Saturdays to save my sanity, serve customers, and make tea; not invade my life!
The combined weight of the four of you would not even afford you joint membership to the club. What have I done to deserve this torment? (I suspect her real motive lies somewhere between 'let's see how much I can get away with' and 'I never wanted this job in the first place.')
You probably weigh in at a massive 45kg, which, for your 5'6" frame, verges on the anorexic. Your only understanding of wrinkles is in the 'tights' kind of way and you have yet to look up cellulite in the dictionary.
She is intent on reading my WW Bible and hooting with derision. It is not funny; it is sacred!
'You can have a whole cupful of Teriyaki sauce and dunk stock cubes in it. No points!'
'Well aren't I the lucky one.' The sarcasm goes unnoticed... to Clarissa this is a 'fun' game.
'Oh this is good. If you have a small portion of couscous 75 grams that's one point, but if you have a medium portion 150 grams that's two and a half points. So if you have two small portions, which makes 150 grams (she had to think for a moment) you save half a point. That's just stupid... I'd have two small portions if I were you.'
The whole thing is stupid... not least you. Is there a chance of any work being done? Obviously not.
How do young people manage to say 'cool' in such a way that it sounds cool, whereas anyone over the age of thirty coming out with such an expression sounds as if they watch too many sitcoms and have no life.
'And what may I ask is so 'cool?' This from the 'My Family' fan.
'You should go mountain climbing first thing in the morning. Thirty minutes climbing and you get five bonus points.'
Thirty minutes climbing and I'd need a coffin. Should I bother to point out that the closest mountain is probably some 300 miles away in Wales and it would take me half a day to get to the foothills? No, barely worth the effort. Dear God there's more, I can tell by the 'I'm on a roll and it's more fun than serving customers' look.
'Oh wow!' Another word only for the very young.
'You should take up kick boxing... six points or Scottish dancing, that's cool, I can see you doing Scottish dancing and it's five points. You have to do Scottish dancing and kick boxing!'
Trust me I so do not. I do not eat enough to do Scottish dancing and my legs are too short to kick a garden gnome, let alone an opponent or a fling.
Thank heavens' customers.
'Customers! Clarissa... to the front.'
When will that child develop mobility skills? Surely most fifteen-year-olds don't need baby walkers? Perhaps she just has a low centre of gravity?
Flight of the bumblebee on the phone. It's Angela.
'I'm going to Greece. It's half term next week and the Ponsonby-Smythes have asked me to go over and cook for them.'
Angela is a chef and I'm certain the Ponsonby-Smythes were once known as the Smiths.
'How long are you going for? You can't go! I can't go to those dreadful meetings by myself!'
'You'll be fine, what about me? They don't have how many calories or fat content on the back of food in Greece. You can't even buy marmite!'
'You have scales don't you?'
'Noooooooooooooo how am I going to weigh myself? I don't have scales over there.'
'I'm talking about food scales you idiot.' My elected famine is making my patience wear thin. 'Surely the Ponsonby-Smythes have food scales?'
'Right weigh the portions and then work out the points with the WW bible.'
'Oh yes. What about the marmite?'
'I'll buy you some marmite... take it with you.'
'Oh yes. Thank you. I'll text you every day byeee!'
Can't wait. It's half term, which means the Tweedles will be away for the Easter rush and I have to face our leader without my weighty sidekick. Perhaps I should practise kickboxing on Angela before she goes? I might hit her shin. I might feel better.
Clarissa is on the hover again. No particular hover, just the general kind of 'anything is better than talking to customers', hover.
It's her birthday and, (excellent!) she thinks I've forgotten the cake. I haven't but the only thing that is keeping me going today is the thought that Clarissa thinks I have. Forgetting a birthday cake is tantamount to unfair dismissal in a Tweedle's eye... splendid game.
Can't put it off any longer it's well past teatime.
Happy Birthday Clarissa!' Obligatory rendition of the happy birthday song... only one voice in tune... what are they planning for their futures? It won't be auditioning for a Lloyd Webber musical.
'Oh you shouldn't have!', meaning 'if you'd forgotten I would have walked.'
'Oh isn't it gorgeous!' The whole Tweedle tribe bills and coos in anticipation.
It is. Gorgeous that is. Layers of chocolate, three different colours, topped with a dark raspberry mouse and whorls of cream with chocolate hats on... very Blue Peter in design... very Clarissa; not that I'm dribbling over it.
Clarissa seems to find the whole thing vastly amusing. She's supposed to be grateful not amused. What is the tiresome girl smiling at? All it says is 'Happy Birthday Clarissa', hardly the most original one liner.
'Bon jour mes Amies.'
It's Patrick the Irish garden designer just back from a jolly in France... suspect that 'Bonjour mes Amies' is the sum total of his foreign language skills.
'Can't stop I'm soooooo busy.' (Suspicion confirmed). 'France was tres bon.' (Good heavens another phrase) 'I've just taken Mrs Downside to the nursery and she's bought hundreds of plants... I'll just have a quick coffee... Who's cake?' (Helping himself).
'Thank you Clarissa''
'Clarissa didn't buy it, it's HER cake. It's her birthday.'
'Happy birthday... nice cake. Did the old witch buy it for you?' Clarissa grins and nods her head.
'So you've just taken Mrs Downside to the nursery have you? Will that be the nursery that has the best compost in the land? The nursery with the largest variety of herbs on the planet? The one you promised to take me to next time you were going?'
'Oh yes...' (cake spills out of mouth with accompanying chortle) 'sorry I forgot.'
'Oh tee bl***y hee... you forgot... thank you very much. I've lost a stone by the way.'
'No! Where? You must have dropped it outside.'
Is he trying to be funny?
'I've lost a stone in weight!'
'Well it doesn't show, have a piece of cake.'
Clarissa is positively smirking, she's been waiting for this... I know she has... I'll sack her.
'She not allowed to even smell the cake it's at least three points a sniff!'
Roll on half term.
Hang on! It's Easter this weekend... the end of Lent! Countdown to hangover... Bliss!
I don't need the cake... I won't have to suffer Clarissa and, if I starve for two days, I can have a whole bottle of vodka!
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