Monday, October 28, 2013



 "Fridge isn't going".

 "Didn't know it was invited".

 "Nah man, fridge hasn't gone for a couple of days".

 "Yeah, I noticed it was still sulking in its corner".

 "Think I should call a vet - or maybe a counselor?"

 Karen, new to the flat, to this sort of carry-on, stood bewildered.

 "Nah, I'll talk to it, I've done a counseling paper" - and Matty sidled up to the fridge, rested one hand supportively on the door.
 "Now c'mon Kelvin old chap, you can open up to me. I didn't really mean it when I told you to chill-out. We do love you really - it's just wierd the way you stand there humming in the corner. Makes me think you're up to something".

"Will you guys just cut it out!" Karen's voice was sharp and loud, with an element of panic.

Matty stopped, turned back to the fridge. "Well Kelvin, there you have it, somebody does care about you".

 "Knock it off Matty". Ron could see that Karen wasn't handling their carry-on, their humour. She was a good addition to the flat and he didn't want to frighten her away.

 "Are you guys always like this?" she asked with that same anxious tone still evident.

 "Nah, sometimes we sleep".

 "Or sometimes we drink beer, and get silly", Max added.

 Ron met Karen's eye, flicked his head towards the deck, and walked out of the room into the sunshine, Karen close behind.

 "Will you guys ever grow up?"

 "We work on it from time to time, but personally I think I might have missed my chance". He couldn't help himself, the style just kept on coming. Looking up he saw a cold glaze draw across her face, and he backed off.

 "It's just the way we talk - its our style of humour. It doesn't hurt anybody, it keeps us entertained, and it keeps us sharp. We all do it - its fun."

 "You're just a bunch of wannabe stand-up comics if you ask me." She paused. "I have a brother like that. Younger brother, and he's at it all the time - except when he is with strangers - then he is super shy."

 "All of us are too" agreed Ron. "Until we met at Uni, and started flatting together. It's a real relief to find that there are other people as weird as I am. It can be lonely out there."

 "Yeah, but it's also lonely for me meeting up with you three guys. You're all lovely, sensitive intelligent guys, but you carry on like this. When I can't get a straight answer, or a straight conversation with any of you I feel like an outsider - like you are locking me out."

 "That's 'cause you are a girl" he began, then stopped recognising he was starting to do it again.
 "Look, you don't know any of us very well yet - nor we you. I can only speak for myself, but all my life I have been the odd one out. Different in some way. My mind constantly twists things that it hears. I hear something and get a picture in my brain, but it has several options, and my brain picks up the least likely option and runs with it. Yeah you're right, its what stand-up comics do - well, good stand-up comics. Most just seem to rely on swearing and smut."

"Well for me its too reminiscent of years of pain trapped in an unhappy childhood home, with a brother who wouldn't let up. If he wasn't being smart, he was being silly, stupid, sad or suicidal. He played the class-clown at school until he was kicked out at fourteen and told never to come back."
She paused, then continued. "Our father wasn't that much different. Thought it was really clever to name him Sean. Nothing really wrong with that, until you realise that our surname is Lamb. He calls himself Syd now. Sells cars for one of the second-hand importers. Makes a killing, but can't keep a girlfriend."

"Is that a wee warning I hear?" he checked.

 "No, but you do have to know how tiring it can be".

 Matty and Max briefly appeared at the door.

 "Hey, you guys want anything from the supermarket? We're taking the fridge out for a walk".

 "Hope you've got a long lead" It was Karen this time, but not recognising what she was opening up.

 "Nah, the dog laws don't apply to electric lawn-mowers, toasters or fridges - and anyway Kelvin is in denial, he doesn't think he is a fridge." - and they were gone.

 "See, that's the way it happens. You say one thing, but it can be taken two, or even three ways, and off it goes".

 "But how do you all do that so quickly - and follow what each other is saying? It's almost as if you have rehearsed it".

"It's the pictures the words put in my head. You said 'lead', and I get a picture of an electric lead, which is probably what you meant. But 'lead' can mean several things, and I also get a picture of a dog-lead, and another of a clue, sort-of lead. So my brain comes up with a stupid picture of a fridge on a dog-lead. Warped, but fun. And the other guys brains are doing exactly the same, so the conversation can go anywhere."

 She wasn't convinced; "Only fun if you are part of the action though".

 "So what's stopping you?"

 " I don't get those pictures. Well, not the deviant ones you get".

 "Well that just proves that you're a woman. The pictorial thinking thing is predominantly a male domain, and women have less pictorial processing potential than blokes. See, there is some value in doing Psychology 101. Women are the language predominant ones, the talky talky stuff, lots of words. Apparently they have eight separate brain sites for language, and that gives you linear, straight-line thinking. Us blokes, especially ones like your bro, who is probably dyslexic like me, are wired for pictures, but not so much for words. It makes us parallel, or divergent thinkers, which is why we are such great problem-solvers - and possibly a pain in the bottomless pit".

 'Thank goodness for a moment of almost serious conversation' she thought.

"C'mon, lets go and see if the fridge wanted to go for that walk".

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