Communication Breakdown

The massed ranks of the family turned out the other night in the wind and rain for my cute Creme Egg hating niece’s debut performance in Aladdin: The School Musical.

“My,” said her teacher, “I think this is the biggest family group we’ve ever had for a show.”

Being someone who likes to blend into the background, I wasn’t quite sure whether this was a good thing or not, and three members of the family hadn’t even arrived yet.

We filed down the steps into our allocated seats, keeping a careful eye out for Mama, who has a bad habit of not looking where she’s going and ending up in Accident & Emergency. I seated myself next to her, despite knowing that I was in the bad books for apparently ignoring her phone calls and messages at the weekend. It was my chance to explain how the phone had never rung, and how the BT call log had confirmed that for once, my ears were not at fault, but she was having none of it. As she gave me precise details of the incident from her point of view, I wondered what poor person with a similar phone number to ours had found a series of increasingly perplexing messages from an irate 76 year old on their voicemail on Saturday afternoon.

After a bit of grovelling, I was just beginning to win her over, when the lights went down for the start of the show. As everyone went quiet, Mama now began a loud commentary on the proceedings to my sister in-law, forgetting she was watching a live show and not the X-Factor on television.

“Mum…” I said feebly, noticing heads turn. Unfortunately this had no effect whatsoever, so I  was forced to resort to a bit of non-verbal communication. I elbowed her sharply on the arm.

“What the…what’s the matter with you…OH…WAS I SPEAKING TOO LOUD FOR YOU THERE?” she said in a deliberate stage whisper.

“Yes, just a bit…”

I missed her reply, which was delivered in a conventional whisper, but from the facial expression I think I might be off the Christmas card list.

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