I was at someone’s leaving do last night.
I’ve only been in this job a little while so I don’t know him very well, but a works leaving do is a thing everyone goes to regardless of who it is or how well they know them. You turn up and have a drink and laugh about people you work with who are currently out of earshot at the other side of the bar, and then at some point you get 30 seconds with the actual person who’s leaving so you can say things like “good luck” and “it’s been really great working with you”. You know how it is.
At about 11, not long before he left, I bumped into Jon (who is leaving) and got 30 seconds with him before he was whisked away by someone else. “Good luck”, I said. “It’s been really great working with you”.
The normal thing at this point is for the person who is leaving to say something like “yeah, you too” and “I’ll probably see you again at someone else’s leaving do before long”, and then you laugh heartily, and then your 30 seconds are up.
That’s why I was very surprised when Jon went completely off script and said “keep writing those Mr Smith books, they’re fucking hilarious. You’ll have to send me the next one if you do any more.”
I didn’t have a reply ready for this highly improbable situation, so I floundered for a moment without knowing what to say, and then my 30 seconds were up and he was whisked away to another little group of people, waving and enthusiastically thumbs-upping me as he went. Presumably it was their turn to say “good luck” and “it’s been really great working with you”.
I doubt any of them had ever read the adventures of Mr Smith. But then, I didn’t think Jon had, so maybe they had. Maybe everyone has. I don’t really know what to expect any more.
18 comments on “Unexpected”
You… you have a fan?
Yes. But just one, it seems. So that’s not excessive.
You’ve never been very excessive, except the time you bought the Lego Tower Bridge, and that was more necessary than anything else. It was nexcessive.
I have to confess that I’ve actually been excessive several times in a Lego shop. That was only the first. It’s addictive.
Have you? Did you now? Do the papers know? Have you been papped for your excessive behaviour?
No. I basically got away with it, apart from that one time when a wasp levelled the score with me.
So when is the new Mr. Smith expected?
Also, I envy the fact that you can remember things that previously happened to you. I write them all down here so when I’m old and grey this THIS will be the sole history of my life.
I only do it because remembering is fun. And anyway, I don’t remember anything useful. I don’t think I remember anything about 2013, for example. I just remember Lego and wasps.
Remembering IS fun, isn’t it?
You do remember useful things. You remember how to drive and that sometimes you need to push food into your face.
Yeah, I remember that. I also remember how many we need, and how many we are. Those are two of the most important facts anyone can know.
Ah jeez, I’ve forgotten again. Can you remind me how many we need and how many we are? I need to write that sucker down.
Sure. Pens at the ready, then. Here we go.
How many we need: 3.
How many we are: 3.
So, to summarise: we need 3; we are 3.
Right, right, three and a three and a three. So is it three cubed then?
No. Three times three times three is mate cubed. We are mate cubed.
Well that’s okay then. It sounds as though we’re all best buddies. I’ll help you work out the three problem later.
I… I thought I’d solved the three problem? Wait. What was the three problem? Was there a problem? I don’t think there’s a problem.
January, lately, conservatively, check ma diary…