…but they're probably not, "Have a banana."
You know Mrs. Jana? The formidable lady who is supplying me with the linguistic tools for my assault on the Czech language? She who cheers me ever onward as I traumatise my hapless colleagues and random strangers with feats of verbal daring? (There's a lady in the sandwich shop near work who visibly flinches and retreats behind the crusty rohliky when I walk in the door.)
Well, she is a woman of Machiavellian cunning. She was clearly unconvinced by my paltry excuses for a lack of grammatical precision when ordering beef stew with dumplings during Tuesday's role play exercises. (Curse you a thousand times, oh bizarre-rules-of-declension-that-only-affect-masculine-animate-nouns-which-category-deceptively-includes-dead-animals-and-fish-but-not-eggs.) She views with scorn my plans for a 4-day weekend of frolicking in parts Britannic.
And so, to prevent me backsliding, she has given me several sheets of fruit to identify. Easy? You might think so. And perhaps with a dictionary, it might be. But so far, late nights at work have been an obstacle to acquiring that particular learning aid. Especially as Mrs. Jana recommends a "special" one with pictures. (Should that make me laugh or cry?) So instead I may end up in the fresh produce section of my local Albert, notebook and sheets in hand. This may be the straw that breaks the Black Ox's back after that check-out debacle with the unweighed bag of carrots.
But here's the rub(-arb). I have just received a text from her, which reads: "I am waiting". Nothing else. No greeting, no sign-off, no smiley faces.
Now I can tell myself that this message has been hovering somewhere in SMS-space since my slight delay in arriving this morning. Messages occasionally do this and it is of no concern. But the part of my subconscious that remembers what it was like to be a small squishy primate beleaguered by big pointy-toothed beasts is very very afraid.* Waiting where? With what? An AXE??? Eeek. Or perhaps even Oook.
*On re-reading, I dimly recall reading something similar in a Terry Pratchett?? In which case, apologies/credit to him.