Monday, January 3, 2011

Ich bin Kevin Bacon

A couple of years back I found out that, in one of those strange coincidences that probably happen all the time but you rarely actually find out about, the mother of the fiance of one my Esteemed Colleagues is also the daughter of my Aged Mother's bridge partner.  Although there is a word in Cantonese to describe such a relationship, there is not in English, so I have taken the liberty of illustrating it with this simple diagram so that we can all be "on the same page", if you will forgive me a brief pun.

This is all well and good, and has served to provide my Esteemed Colleague and I with many minutes of interesting conversation.  But now my Aged Mother is putting pressure on me and my Smaller Half to invite my friend's fiance's mother around for afternoon tea.  I mentioned this to the Esteemed Colleague concerned and he speculated that perhaps my Aged Mother wanted to meet his future in-laws to discuss her bridge partner (a.k.a. his mother-in-law's forbears).  I had to clarify to him that my Aged Mother is 1600 km away - she merely wants me and my Smaller Half to invite them around to show off the Hatchling, under the assumption that the Hatchling is a creature of ineffable beauty and is to be much wondered at by all who encounter her.

When I told my Aged Mother that I thought her plan was strange and eccentric, she was most put out and asked me to explain myself.  I said that I had never met my friend's future in-laws, in fact I didn't even know their names, and to suddenly invite them around for afternoon tea purely on the grounds of a doubly tangential association thrice removed seems both precipitous and presumptive.  She said that my behaviour was most unnatural, that she was unaware that she had raised such a prodigious misanthrope for a son, and that forthwith she would not venture to assail me with suggestions purely intended to relieve me of the solitary burdens of child rearing despite her best instincts to the contrary.

So I casually mentioned to her the over-ripe plum that I habitually carry in the pocket of my jerkin, muttered "whatever", and hung up the phone.  She won't mess with me again!

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