I met Mrs Frosdick-Borehead two days ago. She is a very old lady who lives nearby. So old she is in Genesis; and I don't mean Genesis the rock group with Phil Collins. I meant the first book in the Bible which she helped edit.
She approached me as I was getting out the trash and she said, "Is that yourself ?"
I hesitated and said, "Yes ... it is me!"
She screwed her eyes a little to focus better and then added, "It is you ... isn't it?"
I smiled and replied gently, "yes ... I've always been me ... at least I was this morning when I checked!"
"Where have you been all these years," she said angrily, "I have not seen you for thirteen years. Ever since I asked you to go to the kitchen and get some olives!"
I did not know what to say for a moment or two. My mind focussed on the olives. I like olives. Black ones, green ones, with stones, without stones, stuffed with that red pimento something. How do they get that red thing in the olive? Is there a man with a hole punch making a small hole and then pushing in the pimento with a toothpick? Or are the olives grown with the pimento in them?
She interrupted my tasty train of thought.
"I bet you still haven't found the olives, have you?" she cried.
I wondered who she must have mistaken me for. Her husband perhaps. I've never met him. I assumed he was dead not in the kitchen looking for olives. Maybe he went in the kitchen and stepped into a magic portal which transported him to another world. Maybe he is in an olive grove somewhere in another world still searching for olives.
"Well, don't stand there like an idiot not saying a thing," she continued, "have you got the olives or not?"
I don't know why I said this next thing. May the Good Lord forgive me. The devil tempted me and I succumbed.
"Yes," I said, "I've got the olives. Let me get them for you."
I then went into the house and got her a jar of olives which we had bought just recently. A new jar. Unopened. Full of lovely olives with pimento inside each of them.
I gave it to her with a smile.
"I prefer the black ones," she said, "but these will do". And she walked away with my olives.
This morning, whilst pruning the roses in my front garden, a neighbour said to me, "I hear you got caught by Frosdick-Borehead the other day. She always asks people for things she wants to save her going to the supermarket. I gave her a packet of tea the other day. We always buy a few extra in case she asks again. You'd better stock up on olives!"