What time are you picking me up for that funeral?
The text message wakens me from my lazy, unemployed, mid-morning slumber. It is 10.15am. I leap up in horror, having forgotten all about said 11am funeral until the arrival of The Sister’s message. As I am brushing my teeth, ironing a pair of trousers somewhat desperately (on the worktop, with very little water in the iron) and trying to find a top to wear, The Sister texts again, this time requesting that I also bring the blender with me.
I stumble towards the car in creased clothes, with my hair in an unintentional but undeniably bizarre punk style, carrying a blender. I phone The Sister as I attempt a 3-point-turn from the parking space in which all of my neighbours have thoughtfully conspired to trap me. “I’m on my way,” I tell her, dazedly, noting that I have no petrol. “Does this definitely start at 11?” “Don’t know,” she replies. “Have you got the blender?” “Yes,” I say through gritted teeth, “because I *always* bring a blender to a funeral. Ring Dad and check the time.”
I drive like a maniac to The Sister’s workplace, screech to a halt, and trip headlong into the showroom, launching a blender at the surprised-looking girls behind the desk. “Err… did somebody want a blender?” I ask as an afterthought. They take it off my hands and I attempt to justify my dishevelled appearance, which is not unlike that of an utterly wild madwoman. The Sister, clearly embarrassed to be my blood relative, comes to my side and escorts me off the premises.
Dad returns her call as we are engaged in a minor scuffle in the car, brought on by The Sister answering my distressed “Do I look like a total gypsy?” with a blunt “Yes” and making an unnecessarily violent attempt to brush cat hairs off my jacket. “Just checking what time the funeral’s at…” she says casually, as if we are not later than anybody in the whole wide world has ever been for anything at any given point in the history of time. “Yes, we’re on our way… yes… right. See you there.”
“We’re never going to be there for 11!” I exclaim fatalistically, executing a spectacularly illegal manoeuvre around an unexpected Road Closed sign. The Sister looks sheepish. “That’s OK,” she says quietly, “as it doesn’t start until 12.”
Speechless, I gaze at her, and narrowly avoid mowing down a postman.
We go to Starbucks.