“I cannot believe,” architect’s wife and mother of two Iseult O’Malley said to next door neighbour Margaret Carberry, “that he actually agreed with me when I said I’m as bad a communicator as he is?” Carberry crossed her eyes, leaned her head to her left and stuck her tongue out of the side of her mouth, before miming a horse frantically pawing the ground.
In reply, O’Malley put her head back to signal wholehearted amusement.
“Mister Ed,” Carberry then said, referencing the 1960s American sitcom about a talking horse, “was JFK, compared to your Donal”.
O’Malley snorted appreciatively at her friend’s latest ‘how fucking mental is your husband’ witticism. But she also briefly considered whether Carberry had gone too far, before deciding it was more fun to pretend she hadn’t noticed and instead, finish her ‘routine’.
“I mean,” she said, “how simple a question is, ‘Do you want your mother to come on holiday with us or not?’” Carberry shook her head in disbelief at Donal O’Malley’s inability to communicate his wishes, on such a simple matter.
A brief pause followed this exchange before they agreed their street’s newlyweds would all too soon, ‘grow out of all that lovey-dovey stuff they still go on with in public’.