Monday, 9 November 2009

Greville and I

Greville shuffled through the door. He never knocks.
      ‘You look knackered,’ he said. I swear he’s becoming more perceptive the older he gets.
      So how old is he? I can’t remember and it’s such a long time since I entered his date of birth on some obscure tax form or other. He was seventeen when we set him on... or was he sixteen? He must be in his twenties by now, although he doesn’t look any older than the day Sharon prompted him to ask me for a job.
      ‘Late night, was it?’ He always made it sound as if I spent eons of time out in the pubs and clubs and generally enjoying myself in a state of nocturnal intoxication. He must have caught the beginnings of an annoyed look and he added, rather hurriedly, ‘Oh, not that Falmouth thing again.’
      ‘Been learning about editing,’ I said. That should have been enough to put him off.
      ‘Oh... full stops and all that?’
      ‘Yes – and apostrophes.’ We’d had many a heated discussion in the past about those ‘uppy comma thingies’ as he used to call them. ‘And grammar.’
      ‘Oh, you mean split infinitives and copulative verbs?’
      There was an uneasy silence.
      I took a deep breath. ‘Look, Greville, what do you want?’
      ‘Just passing.’
      ‘Well, would you mind leaving my laptop and I to get on with—’
      ‘Laptop and me,’ he said.
      ‘What?’
      ‘That's Laptop and me – object pronoun.’ He winked at me and left.

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