23 February 2010

Death at Dinner

We had Irish Dave chez nous for dinner last Monday night before he headed back to Belfast after a two week stay down here in the snow and rain – poor thing! As we chatted in the kitchen, (I was doing the cooking – a truly international dinner of meatloaf followed by crèpes suzettes!!) mention was made of his first visit to the Côte D’Azur a couple of years ago when he and his friend, Michael, were invited to a lady’s house for dinner. They’d met at church that morning and in true Christian spirit she (let’s call her Maxine) had invited them to dinner to relieve them of the burden of cooking at the camp site where they were staying.

Dave and Michael duly turned up at the appointed hour with the appropriate flowers and bottle of wine and after an aperitif sat down for dinner. Sometime during the meal when Maxine was preparing the next course in the kitchen, Michael got up from the table and went off to the toilet. Not having been told where to go he opened the first door he came to, switched on the lights and entered the room. He was back out in a flash as white as a sheet.

‘Dave’, he said, ‘there’s a dead man in that room’. Dave knew Michael didn’t drink alcohol so assumed that he’d maybe mistaken something for a body or was maybe even joking. Michael persisted with his claim of a body in the bedroom so Dave opened the door and switched on the light and there he was – an elderly man laid out on the bed as dead as a dodo.

Dave and Michael sat back down at the dinner table and waited for Maxine to return from the kitchen. They looked at each other waiting for the other to raise the subject of ‘the dead man in the bedroom’. Eventually Irish Dave could stand it no longer and as diplomatically as he could, said he’d gone into the bedroom by mistake and that he thought there was a dead man on the bed. ‘Oh that’s my dad’, said Maxine. ‘He died yesterday and I’m waiting for the undertakers to come tomorrow to pick him up’, and with that carried on serving dessert as if nothing had happened and it was all quite normal. Quite a dinner story – eh? And Dave who is a good Christian boy says it's all true.

Then there was Lisa, an expensively ‘sculpted’ blonde who was a friend of J and mine. We’d had lunch and dinner a few times with Lisa’s parents and it was obvious that Lisa’s dad did not have long to go, poor thing. A few months later he was taken into hospital in Nice and sadly, died. Lisa who did not have much money at the time attended the hospital to make the appropriate arrangements and was horrified to learn that it was going to cost a couple of hundred euros to have her dad’s body transported to the undertakers. ‘Do you think he’d fit into the back of my Ford Escort’, Lisa asked the mortuary nurse. ‘What’, was the reply. ‘I don’t have much money and if I could get some help to put him in the back of my car I could take him to the undertakers myself’, Lisa said quite seriously.

Now – that much is true. What happened after that we never found out because Lisa met a handsome, French aristocrat and we never saw her again!

PS – when trying to find an appropriate picture to accompany my posting, I came across the following site – have a look at some of the designs. J would probably like hers in the shape of a Prada handbag!


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