what’s the word

‘Now where have I seen you before?’ says Agnes, leaning back in the chair and sighting me along her nose.
‘Crimestoppers?’ (An old response to an old question. Sometimes it gets a laugh.)
Crimestoppers? What’s that? A television show?’
‘You’re thinking of Crimewatch, mum,’ says David, her son, coming in with her blister pack of medication. Crimestoppers is something else, something you ring when you want to report a crime.
She narrows her eyes.
‘No. It’s not that.’
I write out the paperwork; Agnes carries on staring at me intently. ‘Are there more of you?’ she says after a while.
‘What do you mean, are there more of you, mum? He works for the hospital. Of course there are more of him. At least I hope so.’
He nudges me in the ribs.
‘She’s not normally like this. She’s normally running round the house, tidying up, cooking, sharp as a whip. This infection has really knocked her for six.’
‘You’re very…. now what’s the word?’ says Agnes, reaching forwards and tapping me on the arm.
‘I don’t know, Agnes. Handsome? Debonnair?’
‘He’s very strong, mum, that’s for sure. See the way he helped you out of the chair like that? There  mightn’t be all that much of him, but I think he’s a bit of a pocket rocket.’
‘A what? No, no. It’s not that,’ she says. ‘You’re very…’
‘Funny? Kind? I don’t know. Humble?’
‘Very ordinary,’ she says, and then closes her eyes and nods, as if she’d just paid me the biggest compliment in the world.

2 thoughts on “what’s the word

  1. I used to answer that question with Police 5 (keep em peeled) until people started staring back blankly at me.Possibly because it’s an old gag,or possibly because they’re too young to remember it.

    Ordinary is no bad thing though Jim.

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  2. I just about remember Police 5. I love the way they have catchphrases. Nick Ross’ “Don’t have nightmares” (which immediately made you even more anxious).

    I agree with you, J – ordinary’s good. I’ve got no problems with it. For ‘ordinary’ read ‘access all areas’ (which sounds a bit creepy, and probably is). :/

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