I went out with my friend Rita last week, we had a meal together I hadn`t seen her for ages and we had such a nice time. Rita is seventy nine, she has survived cancer as well as some pretty serious surgery on her spine, she rarely complains about it and she doesn`t let it get her down.
She is a rather conservative lady and has a manner of speaking which reminds me a bit of Hyacinth Bucket, she`s very funny but she doesn`t always realise it and I like her very much. She told me the following story and I thought it was so good, I decided to write it down. To set the scene, imagine you are seated at a table enjoying a nice carvery…… Appropos of nothing at all Rita began to speak, “Do you know,” she said, “two Christmas`s ago those boys ,” (that`s Mike and Mark, Mark is Rita`s son, Mike is his partner,) “those boys gave me the most lovely jacket. Very smart, black, tailored, Marks and Sparks. Quite expensive”
“Oh yes,” I murmured, chomping on my roasters. “Yes, anyway I tried it on and it was a little too small, so Mike said to me that it didn`t matter, he would take the jacket back to his sister who he`d bought it from in Liverpool and have the money back and we`d get something else.” “Oh right, “ I said, shovelling in some peas. “Anyway, he took it up to Liverpool on his next visit and his sister Jackie apparently hung the jacket on a chair in the kitchen and gave Mike his money back.
The next thing you know, their elderly neighbour came round for a chat and a cuppa I suppose and saw the jacket and asked if she could try it on.” “I see,” I nodded, a bit puzzled as to where the story was going. “So she took it home with her to try it on and she really liked it, apparently it really suited her but being a pensioner she asked Jackie if she could pay her a bit each week from her pension and of course Jackie said that she could.” I nodded again and took a sip of water. “Anyway, two days later she died.” “Oh dear,” I commiserated, slicing up my carrots, “how unfortunate!”
“It certainly was,” Rita continued, I could hear the affront in her voice…. “the family came round to Jackie`s after the funeral and said that their mother had liked the jacket so much, they`d buried her in it. So Jackie never got her money, and I never got my Christmas present!” Classic.