|Sausage rolls, baby.|
Today we had the joyous occasion of viewing our colleague’s new baby. I’m sure viewing is the incorrect word. Perhaps we had a showing; or an unveiling. But that’s beside the point, which was that the baby was very cute and mother and father are doing well. A blissful event, spoiled only slightly by the large number of males present, myself included.
Let us just say that the baby behaved a lot better – or at least more appropriately – than the males. She was awake and received her visitors well, with the obligatorily ridiculous displays of cuteness and smallness. The males, myself included, kept up their end of the social contract for a few minutes before looking around awkwardly for food.
It was all going very well – until the males, myself included, began talking. We are not good at saying the right things at such times. For we have the attention span of very small hamsters and when we stray into matters beyond our ken – such as baby unveilings – we tend to say rather stupid things.
Like “yeah, the first two years really just fly by, eh?” This to newly minted parents who hadn’t slept well for a not inconsiderable time and who were probably measuring the minutes in hours or even days.
Then food came and the men were relieved of saying even vaguely sensible things about the baby viewing. Now we could talk stupidly and considerably less offensively about other things, relieving the tensions a little bit.
Let me say once again that the baby was very beautiful and it was a wonderful occasion.
But then the sausage rolls arrived. This made me happy. These delectables are sausages wrapped in pastry and are the crack cocaine of New Zealand’s culinary repertoire. They are like pies, only better. They tend to make people purr for a bit and then, apparently, become very stupid – at least in company. We ate the sausage rolls, which were perhaps the best I’ve had in a very long time; like my Granny made.
|"There's only two sausage rolls left."|
It was at this point that I noticed another of my (male) colleagues begin to act a bit strangely. He began a sort of sausage roll countdown. “There’s only nine sausage rolls left,” he would say, stroke his chin, and then sit back as if a profundity had been uttered. I took the hint, of course, and handed around the plate.
Then there was silence for a while. The parents tended to their child. Sausage rolls were consumed.
“There’s only seven sausage rolls left,” the same colleague offered into the silence. We all counted and saw that he was right.
I handed the plate around again.
There was another silence.
Then the colleague told us that he had entered into a half-Ironman race. We waited for more, but there was another silence.
“I’m going to have to give up the sausage rolls for a while, eh?” he concluded his point.
“How many sausage rolls do you eat, then?” asked another (male) colleague.
|There were, in fact, just two sausage rolls left.|
This question was carefully considered.
“Oh, about four a week.”
“Well that’s not very many, is it?” Colleague two was baiting colleague one.
Colleague one considered this question carefully.
“Well sometimes I’ll have more,” he finally pronounced. “Like at Christmas I might have up to 20 a week. Yeah."
“Still, that’s only about 200 a year,” I joined the fray.
“True, but sometimes I’ll go a long time without a sausage roll.” He was making excuses now, clearly backed into a corner.
All this time the women were looking rather bemused. The baby, the alleged center of attention, was still conducting herself impeccably.
There was another silence.
“There’s only four sausage rolls left,” colleague one said.
And everyone laughed. It was a laugh led by the ladies. They were politely insisting on an end to these inanities. Soon the baby viewing was over. We said our goodbyes and left.
There were only two sausage rolls left. Oh yes, and the baby was gorgeous.