Non – Defining Caroline

Marco asked Tony why he called his colleague Non-Defining Caroline.

“You know what a non-defining relative clause is, where additional information is added to the sentence and could be removed without changing the main point, like, er…

‘The cute young serving girl, who had aroused the interest of the lascivious English teacher, had a mole on her left buttock.’

Obviously the most important fact here is the mole on the bum, and my interest is secondary, so you could leave out the part between commas. I’ll be going back to check, though,” he winked. “And so all Caroline does is add endless non-defining relative clauses to everything she says.”

“Non-defining, non-relevant information,” nodded Marco. On his way home a little later, he invented a text and a whole ‘not so Sweet’ Caroline non-defining, rambling version. The original, short version of a holiday postcard home ran thus:

“Having a great time in Modena. The weather is cool, the city is beautiful, so many impressive old buildings in the town centre. We visited that Ferrari museum, the food is excellent and there are some great shops. We’re at an Airbnb, a whole flat for us, it’s comfortable, cosy and quiet.”

The hijacked version came so thick and fast to Marco’s brain that he recorded it on his phone as he went, trying not to laugh in the middle of the street. Later he typed it up and sent it to Tony, who said it was ‘just like Caroline.’

And a few people I know, too,” said Marco.

“So tell us about Modena, Caroline.”

Ooh, we had a great time, I’d been there before, of course, but Ernie had never been, it was his first time in Italy with me, although he went to Rimini once when he was a teenager, where he caught the clap from some dirty local girl, she had the cheek to write to him as well, saying she was coming over and could she stay? I ask you, cheeky Italian bitch. Anyway, it was quite cool, cloudy in the mornings but it never actually rained, but it had been lovely at home in the summer, we were out in the garden every day, we even had to water the grass it was starting to turn brown, so we wouldn’t have minded too much if it had rained, actually. And the city’s lovely, I know Rome of course, and Florence, oh, that’s my favourite although I didn’t like Naples, I got the shits there, I’ve not had them since then, funnily enough, I must be getting used to the foreign food, well, we do have Chinese at least once a week, although I don’t like curry, well, not too hot, anyway, that takeaway in Osbourne Road does a lovely Lamb Korma, but God, you should smell Ernie’s farts after a Vindaloo, I have to send him out of the room, ‘I’d give it five minutes,’ half an hour more like, you fat bastard.’ The car museum was ok, bit pricey, I thought, especially when you consider that all the museums in London are free, I mean why should I have to pay to see some old wop racing cars when I can see dinosaurs, mummies and Vermeers in London for nothing? No, I don’t go to museums normally, they’re a bit boring, but when you go on holiday, well, you have to, don’t you? Anyway, we had some great pasta one night, mine was tagliatelle, I tell ya’ it was on the telly, ha-ha, on Master Chef, I can’t wait for the next season, and I love Junior Master Chef, those kids are so clever, but Ernie’s not too keen on pasta, he’s a meat and two veg man, and you should see his meat and two veg, especially on a Saturday night. I’ve not seen much of it lately, though but. Anyway, Ernie had the chicken, which he said was a bit chewy, cos he likes it more well-done, and at home he always puts lashings of brown sauce on everything, and if it’s not done enough, he’ll tell me, ‘you should cook your own bloody food, you fat bastard,’ I say, I’ve been trying to educate him but he won’t change, not at his age, he’s too stubborn. There were some lovely shops, they’re so elegant them Italians, aren’t they? Ooh and I love the coffee, and there was this waiter, barista they call them over there. No, not like a solicitor, it means barman in Italian, called Francesco, or was it Fabrizio? No, it was Maurizio, Fabrizio was the caretaker of the building we stayed in, I gave him a great blowjob on the last day, you know, to thank him for everything, well, you have to, don’t you? And Ernie needs to buck his ideas up, I told him, I said, ‘Ernie you need to buck your ideas up,’ and the flat was great, lovely and clean, had everything you’d need but the telly didn’t have BBC, but Master Chef had finished by then anyway, so it didn’t really matter. I tried to tell Fabrizio, or was it Francesco, I get confused, they’re all gorgeous, but my Italian’s a bit dodgy – doggio they say over there – but Ernie kept interrupting me, he never lets me talk.”

Adapted from The Morning Sun

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