It was morning, and the kettle was on the boil.
“George,” said Gwen. “It says here in the paper that 'The high prices for gas and food have taken a bite out of consumer confidence and there are worries among economists about the threat of other external shocks, such as a possible debt default by the Greek government, that would ripple through the world's financial system.' What do you think, George?”
George pondered his wife’s words; mulling them over in his head; deciphering the common from the not-so-common, resulting in a series of short, cloudy bursts of exploding brain cells. This conversation business was cooling his mostly sunny temperament.
He hated conversation.
“They’re probably right, Gwen,” he said. “But who can really say?”
A good generic response was always welcome at these moments. And George had plenty of generic ammo at his disposal.
“Well, George,” continued Gwen, “I think you should consider a great many other factors that are affecting our current economic downfall. Such as . . .”
George was always intimidated by his wife’s British heritage. She always sounded so damned smart. He hated that.
“I‘m not so sure,” said George. “On the other hand, you never know.”
George was never sure about anything.
“To change the topic,” said Gwen, “my parents are flying in from London next August and are upset about the outrageous leap in air fares. And I can’t blame them, can you?”
“I‘m sure I can‘t,” said George. “Can I?”
“For heaven’s sake, George!” said Gwen. “Must you always be so damn reticent?”
“You tell me, Gwen.” said George. “Should I?”
“You’re an idiot,” said Gwen.
That, unfortunately, was something George had always suspected.
“That explains a lot,” said George. “Now, how about that tea?”