Tuesday, 23 September 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Litmus on the wall

If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?

Beware the bird

I know the bird on the photo has nothing to do with litmus or questions. He was born in the local supermarket, he asked me to take him home and put him in the garden and since he has been sitting in the garden, so I decided he deserved a photo.

First of all the only knowledge I have of litmus is litmus paper from the dark days of my chemistry lessons in school. Dip the litmus paper in the substance, (animal, vegetable or mineral) and if it turns red it is acidic, if blue it is alkali and what if it does not change in colour? Then you have a problem, because that confuses the litmus and me as well.

Secondly I do not compare people to litmus paper, it is a little more complicated and I definitely do not want to befriend someone I have just met.

“Quite right Mrs. Human” said Tabby my feline. “First of all you have to smell them to see if they have a positive feline karma and examine their intentions in connection with territorial rights. Generally this will be completely negative, and for this reason we intellectual felines do not make friends. We do not need friends. If you really must have a question what about “where’s the tuna?”

“Tabby we are discussing a human question which is not the same thing as a feline question.”

“Mrs. Human, we felines believe that actions speak louder than meows, pounce while the bird is least expecting it.”

Somehow I had the feeling that my tabby cat did not exactly grasp the true meaning behind this wise inquiring question, but to be quite honest neither do I.

Do you sometimes have those strange telephone calls from someone you do not know. It often happens to all of us. It might be a wrong number; they might want to sell you something. Generally you hang up and perhaps offer a feeble “no interest” comment. Sometimes my “no interest” comments can be more than feeble, quite strong and even insulting.

I remember particularly a gentleman that was constantly calling on my mobile. I noticed the number he was ringing from was foreign. I checked it and found it to be Nigeria. As I do not know anyone in Nigeria I decided to ignore the call. However, he was persistant so one day I took fate by its hands and answered.

“Hello, hello”

Just white noise and no answer. I put the phone down, as I cannot speak white noise.

He rang again.


There was a voice on the line.

“Hello can you hear me, I am Ubanga, Ubanga (or something like that).”

“I don’t know you.”

“I know, but I want to be your friend”

At last someone wants to be my friend. That does not happen very often, especially a gentleman from Nigeria.

He continued: “What’s your name, where do you live?”

Was this acid or alkali? I decided it was one of those in between and I also decided I did not want to be his friend, imagining a surprise visit from Mr. Ubanga Ubanga with his ten brothers, mother and father, and a few Nigerian uncles and aunts. Not that I have anything against Nigeria, I have never been there. My answer “I do not want to be your friend” and I hung up the telephone. Since I have not been bothered by this Nigerian gentleman

In this connection I would say there is no question, no right answer, although I just met a new neighbour this week and said “Hello” without a question mark. I do not have the custom to ask people questions when I meet them for the first time. If they answer with “Hello” that is OK, we are both civil and friendly, what more could you possible need?

Oh dear, this is one of those daily prompts where I do not really know where I am going.

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