We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Are you doing anything in the nude now, Mr. Van Dauber?

For all its modern pretentions, Helminthdale is just an old-fashioned village at heart. One time, in another life, I tested this by starting a salacious piece of gossip about myself in a distant part of the Empire. I was working in the Town Hall at the time and it took all of two days for the gossip to get back to me via the usual channels. The Library Service's bush telegraph is a bit more sporadic due to our peculiar suite of opening hours: start the rumour on a Monday or Thursday and it does the circuit in about eighteen hours; Wednesdays or Fridays it's about thirty. Of course, there's no quality control to any of this, which is usually part of the fun. Sometimes you get a bit of a shock.

"Are you having an affair with ...?" I was asked the other day.

"Not that I know of. Should I be?"

"I said that you probably weren't. It's just that you're seeing a lot of each other lately."

"Well, we are working on the same pieces of work at the moment..."

Me, I don't care. That sort of nonsense just adds to the mystery after all. Sometimes people get a bit put out about it. Today a colleague told me:

"I've just been asked if I'm pregnant."

"I thought you'd lost weight," I replied (I know a minefield when I'm skirting one!)

"I have. They wanted to know when I started maternity leave."

"What triggered that? What have you been up to lately?"

"My sister's just started a midwifery course so I borrowed a pile of books on pregnancy so she could have a look at the type of thing her patients would be reading up on."

"Do you want me to start a rumour that you are pregnant?"

"Don't you dare!"

"Don't be too hasty. Don't you fancy a few months' leave on half pay?"

I'll spare you the response. We employ ladies of letters. Most of which are F.


Madame DeFarge said...

Such a hotbed of salaciousness. It must be all that hot desking.

Lavinia said...

You should know that I've been squashing unsavoury rumours about you on this side of the Atlantic for several months now. The reputation of Helminthdale and its residents remains unsullied. No thank yous are necessary, I simply consider it my civic duty.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Madame: not to mention the unsavoury aftermaths.

Many thanks Lavinia, you are a National Treasure.