Monday, 18 June 2007

Z is assumed to be a Fool

The phone rang. A message for the Sage. There are some people moving into the area and they and the Sage would like to meet, and this chap is acting as the go-between. Last evening, he said that they would be visiting today and he thought that teatime would be a good time to call. However, he was phoning to alter the arrangements.

"They're not coming up until tomorrow. So will you tell him to call tomorrow and not today?"

I agreed, repeating the message. "You see," he explained carefully, "I said 'tomorrow', but I said that yesterday, so tomorrow is now today. But they aren't going to be here today, which was tomorrow yesterday. They will be here tomorrow."

"Right," I said. "Not Monday, but Tuesday. About teatime."

I didn't discuss what time he considers teatime. Anything from four until about half past six, depending on whom you ask.

13 comments:

Chairwoman of the bored said...

You could have had some fun with the 'tea time' issue.

You could have asked him if he meant cups of tea with cucumber sandwiches, scones, jam, and a home made sponge cake; or perhaps a ham salad, or egg on toast followed by the remains of Sunday's trifle, to help you ascertain the time.

Dmitri accuses me of having what he calls a 'snotty side'. Tee hee.

Z said...

I had endless crises of confidence when I moved here, because the local way of saying goodbye is 'see you la'er', and I wondered if they meant it literally. I finally adjusted to treating it as 'au revoir'.

And yes, you have described my thought processes exactly. Dmitri should watch out for hard stares if he calls me snotty.

Dandelion said...

I don't think he was assuming you're a fool. On the contrary, that bizarre little speech of his would take an intellectual giant to comprehend it.

The Boy said...

I'm with Dandelion, the fool was not the one on your end of the phone...

stitchwort said...

Could have been worse - "dinner time" is a very moveable feast.

(Should there be an "e" in the middle of "moveable"? - Blogger doesn't think so.)

How do we know said...

umm... so what time was "Tea Time" Exactly?

Wendz said...

In SA, we have 2 peculiar expressions...well they seem peculiar to me now that I am out of the culture.

The first is, 'now now'....as in. "yes, I'll do it now-now"...which could mean anything from 5min to 5 hours.

The 2nd is 'just now'....when you say you'll meet someone, you say.."OK , see you just now"..which is also anything from 10 min to 10 days. Can be confusing to newbies in SA.

Z said...

Are you calling me an intellectual giant? Well, you are just too kind.

Dinner time, yes indeed. Noon to two or any time from six pm onwards.

Movable, moveable - both look right to me, but I believe for once Blogger has it. Both my OED and my 1856 Imperial Dictionary give movable.

HDWK, darling, I just passed on the message. I expect the Sage will turn up about 5 o'clock or a little later, for if he arrives after 6, they might feel they should offer him a drink. I think they are cup of tea at 4.30 people, whereas the chap who gave the message is high tea (as we folks who eat dinner in the evening think of it) at 5.30 or 6.
I'm a little worried that Dmitri might have a point.

Wendz, I am a literal-minded lass, and if you said now-now, I'd put my coat on and stand by the door. 'Could be' confusing is a little understating it.

Dandelion said...

No, sir, but I do bite my thumb...
:-)

Z said...

A Shakespearean too, hey? Hm. If I only remembered which play, I might come up with a suitable riposte. As it is, I can only say, with respect, a hit, a very palpable hit...

PI said...

That phone call would have had me climbing up the wall:)

Dandelion said...

It's R&J. I think it might be the fiery tybalt, but I'm not sure.

Z said...

I was very amused, Pat. And I've dined out on the story already!

D, it's Samson (Capulet's servant) to Abraham (servant to Montague). Tybalt came in a few moments later and promptly, as you'd expect, picked a fight.