I had a day off yesterday, trying to use up my outstanding leave before the end of the year and all that. Being the kind and altruistic person that I am, I offered to take my dear old Father into town so that he could start 'sorting out his affairs'
The particular affair in question yesterday was a bank account, in his name, that was money that he's been putting aside for the Mini-Dandy. He wanted it transferred into myself and Mrs. Dandy's names, so that we could administer it when he was no longer around. So we had to go to the bank with him and sign some forms.
Upon entering the bank, he spied the (not particularly lengthy) queue and obviously thought 'Bugger that for a lark, that woman over there at that desk, surrounded by stacks of paperwork doesn't look like she's doing anything. I'll bet she can help.' So he wandered over and asked the poor lady whether she was free? She looked at him, the piles of paperwork and sighed, 'Yeah, sure, why not...' And indicated that he should take a seat.
He explained the situation to her and then looked at her expectantly.
Bank Lady: 'Erm, no, I'm afraid we can't do that. you'd have to close the account and re-open it in joint names.'
My Dad: 'But I was told that I could just fill in some forms and...'
BL: 'Yes, it will just mean filling in...'
MD: 'But you said I had to close the account.'
BL: 'Technically, you would, but we wouldn't actually give you the money and then you'd have to give it back to us, it'd all happen in here.' She tapped the monitor.
MD: 'I don't want to close my account, why do I need to close the account?'
BL: 'You're only allowed two names on each account sir.'
MD: 'Well, that doesn't seem right...' It was at this point that he reached across the desk, grabbed the monitor, turned it towards himself and started to say thinks like, 'I'm sure it should be in one of these menus somewhere.'
Now, I'm not sure about your local branch, but it seems that this one doesn't take kindly to their customers trying to access their banking systems, so the atmosphere went decidedly frosty from then on.
BL: 'If you would like us just to put an additional name on the account, we could do that without closing it, if that would be easier.'
MD: 'Would it be?'
BL: 'Would it be what?'
BL: 'Well it's just a case of filling in this form.'
MD: 'But you said closing the account and re-opening it was just filling in a form, so I fail to see how this is easier exactly?'
A vein in the side of her head started to twitch, so I stepped in and said, 'Why not just add Mrs Dandy to the account, that'll make things easier won't it? Also, try to keep your fingers away from the nice lady's computer, I don't want to spend the rest of the week in a jail cell.'
He looked at me, then looked at the nice bank lady, resplendent in the early stages of a nervous breakdown and asked 'Can we do that? It would make things a lot easier I think.'
If you've never seen anyone trying to take their own life with a stapler, drop me a line, I'll send you the video.
We decided after that, that we should probably get some food. Now, like food-courts all over the world, there were many different kinds of food on display. Although i tend to go for either the curry or the chinese food. I asked my dear, dear Father what he wanted, he had a look around the different vendors and replied, 'I don't know, what have they got?'
Me: 'There's Subway, fish and chips, pasta, baked potato, KFC, Greek, Burger King, curry, chinese food or a noodle bar.'
MD: 'What's a noodle bar?'
Me: 'It's a bar... where they sell noodles...'
MD: 'So, foreign muck then?'
Me: 'I suppose so, yes.'
I should probably explain, despite my Father flying all over the world with the RAF, he still maintains that there are only two types of food: Things that he eats every day, and foreign muck, if you were to draw a Venn Diagram of his dietary habits, it would be two circles, about a foot apart.
MD: 'So, what are you having?'
Me: 'I'm having the Chicken Saag.' And I pointed towards the curry stall
MD: 'Is that stuff spicy?'
Me: 'Are you asking me if the curry spicy?'
MD: 'Yes, is the curry spicy?'
Me: 'Yes, traditionally, curry is spicy... You wouldn't like it.'
MD: 'Do they do anything that's not spicy?'
Me: 'Not really, no... They do rice I suppose, that's not hugely spicy.'
MD: 'No, I'll just go and get myself a burger.'
So, I got curry with the wife (and her Mother, who paid, so it was, like, all gravy and shizzle.) and then went and sat down. My Father was there, eating fish and chips.
Me: 'I thought you wanted a burger.'
MD: 'I felt like a quarter-pounder with cheese and bacon.'
MD: 'It's a Burger King.'
I thought, for like, a microsecond about doing the whole Vincent Vega 'Royale with cheese' shtick, but I decided against it.
Me: 'Oh, right... They just call them Bacon Double Cheeseburgers there I think.'
He looked dejectedly at his fish and chips.
MD: 'Really? Oh...'
Me: 'Still, that fish looks nice!'
MD: 'It's OK.'
We sat and ate our meals in silence for a while, then he piped up again and pointed at my curry.
MD: 'So, that's spicy then?'
Me: 'My curry? Yeah, fairly spicy.'
MD: 'Why is it green?'
Me: 'It's a Chicken Saag, Saag is the name for a curry made with leaves... This is spinach.'
He made that 'Rather you than me' eyebrow raising thing and drank his coffee, then lifted up the box that his fish and chips came in.
MD: You can take this for your dog, I'm full.'
Me: 'OK, thanks.' - I had no intention af carrying fish scraps around for the rest of the day.
MD: 'You get a side-salad with your curry then?' and pointed at a small polystyrene tray of wilted lettuce.
Me: 'I guess, can't say that I've ever eaten it though.'
MD: 'It'd make a good sandwich.'
MD: 'The salad, it'd make a good sandwich, with some ham or something.'
Me: 'Did you want my salad to take home?'
MD: 'Well, a sandwich is another meal, and you got the salad for free. You don't want to waste it.' He turned to Mrs Dandy. 'Do you have anything I could put it in to take home?'
My Wife: 'Erm, no, not really.'
MD: 'Oh... Such a waste.' And he actually tutted.
So, a morning's shopping was completely re-arranged in its bags, a small paper bag was found and the side-salad was dumped reverentially into it.
We finished the food and I went to clear the table. When I picked up the box of fish leftovers, it seemed very heavy - I opened it up and found that it was full of chips, and there was a single bite out of the fish.
Yeah... Leaving a tray of wilted lettuce is a real waste Dad... There are starving kids in Biafra dude!