I’ve not visited the UK since before the pandemic. I hadn’t realised just how much I’d missed some bizarre British — or maybe English — conversation patterns until I overheard something stunningly silly in the Eurostar waiting room before boarding the train to blighty.

The setting: a guy’s on his mobile. He wanted to know if he was going to be paid for an extra days work, but didn’t want to ask because, I suspect, he should have read the contract and hadn’t done so.

from flowers of esch

er … hello

so … er … how are you?

Yes yes I’m fine thank you … musn’t grumble

how was your holiday

wash out


tents floating down the river

and your car

that must have been horrible

finally got rid of your father–in–law’s restored austin allegro … the wife couldn’t blame you

well done

glad it all worked out well in the end

mine … well, the bloody yorkie got into the neighbour’s paddock and killed five ponies

yes yes I was ****ing boulders

i got damned lucky, the vet told the neighbour it was alligators

… erm …

yeah he really did … and the neighbour really did


he’s not spoken to me except the usual nice weather and have i seen any alligators about

yeah, as one does

anyway a few days later when the postie delivered my amazon dog gallows i saw the neighbour got an amazon anti–alligator bazooka

nah my wife wouldn’t let me use them

yeah you’re right i owe that vet big time

i think I know what he wants, he’s the captain of the pub quiz team we’re playing next week for the championship

so … erm …

about my work days

the job took an extra day

erm … would i be right to think to that it’s …

… erm …

can i confirm it’s that extra day clause … i get nothing extra

yeah, yeah, ok that’s what I expected

… erm …

yeah, we can do a pint next week

great … look forward to it

(*end of call*)