After Sunday dinner last week my mum suggested playing a fun game. I have conveniently forgotten what it’s called, but it’s a cross between Taboo and Who’s In The Bag, where you have to describe an object to your partner or team, without using that word. It’s very popular in the Richardson household, because we never remember the name of anything anyway, and consequently have got quite good at describing random objects. Mum was on Nana’s team.
Nana: Oh, oh… erm, what does a cow do?
Nana: …Yes… but that’s not what I meant.
I found this hilarious, because not only was Mum ridiculously close to the correct answer (moo, obv), she went for one of the only things that (as far as I’m aware) every single creature ever does. She could have said ‘eat grass’ or ‘produce milk’ or even ‘chase people around fields’ and even these generic answers would be more specific than the one she gave. In a roundabout way, it reminded me of a conversation we once had, where I announced I was going to call my future daughter Poubelle. I don’t know how much french you know, but poubelle means bin. It’s not a good name, and I was just teasing my mum. Predictably, she shook her head.
Mum: Oh no, don’t call her that.
Me: Why not? I think it’s lovely.
Mum: Oh, no. It’s cruel.
Me: It’s not cruel, its a very pretty name.
Mum: No, she’d get bullied! All the kids would go ‘ding dong ding dong’ when she goes up to them.
Me: So… your issue with my naming my child ‘Poubelle’ is that… children would pick up the ‘belle’ part, and make bell noises at her?
Mum: (with an air of certainty)Yes.
Me: Not that it starts with what amounts to the word ‘Poo’?
Mum: (less certain now) …no.
Me: Not that ‘poubelle’ means ‘bin’?
Mum: (unconvinced) …no.
Me: Even though ‘Belle’ means ‘beauty’?
Mum: All right, clever clogs.