Scan Magazine, Issue 131, December 2019

Page 118

Scan Magazine  |  Humour  |  Columns


By Mette Lisby

… who is too sensitive, or is anybody else bothered by being selected as phone entertainment by bored friends stuck in traffic? I appreciate people giving me a call, but when I answer the phone and am greeted by that awful din and the distant yelling indicating that whoever called me is calling from the car, it always kills my excitement. The person calling will start the conversation, all excited: “HI! I’M CALLING YOU FROM THE CAR!” and while this information is unnecessary, because otherwise they would not be yelling, it is also code for “I’m bored anyway, so I figured why not see if you had something fun to say?” Yes, it’s nice that your friends call you to catch up, but bear in mind that the person in the car has nothing else to do, so unless there’s a real, urgent reason, this person is calling me for the sole purpose of killing time – their time. As it happens, however, it will cost me time, too. That person can chit chat about nothing – on my time-dime, because I’m not in traffic and I’ve got stuff to do – for eternities, interrupting only with the

guaranteed “Oh! Hang on, I’m just going to change lanes here,” and then I am stopped in my tracks, held up by a traffic jam I’m not even in. I mean, really? How did I end up having to waste my time in traffic, when I’m walking around in my kitchen, probably, at least with some likelihood in my pyjamas? You don’t really have quality conversations with people while they’re driving, because they are distracted. You can hear them drift off every time you say something, inattentive to what you tell them, as they should be, since they’re driving around in traffic. They are moving around, operating heavy machinery, and it seems wrong that they should also be able to fully appreciate my super interesting stories about funny details from my everyday life. And bear in mind: whoever is talking to me is in traffic, surrounded by people who are also operating heavy machinery while on their phones – probably talking to you.

Pet Christmas Christmas this year will take place at my sister’s house in Sweden. A total of three dogs, two cats and five adults will cram inside my sister’s house in Jämtland. Five pets are about four too many for my husband, as is my family’s inclination to talk about them during all waking hours. The house itself is technically large enough to fit most of us; however, some rooms lack doors, others heating, others both – a situation that further puts my husband on edge. There are two bathrooms, but one belongs to the cats, as does the main guest bedroom. In this room, it’s important to remain perfectly still while sleeping, or you become practice target for tiny but razor-sharp teeth and claws. My sister is a vet, so there tends to be a lot of pet maintenance taking place: dental care, ear cleaning, worming and so on, all of which puts husband right off his imported mince-pies. Dog walks consist of dragging one dog along while chasing a 118  |  Issue 131  |  December 2019

Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad

been mopped up and darkness descends, Christmas peace arrives. Pets snooze in front of the fire, candles twinkle and snow falls softly outside. At this point, husband might agree that Swedish Christmases are quite special. He will, however, be quick to point out that they still aren’t a patch on those spent scoffing pigs in blankets while listening to Slade and torrential rain inside a decent West Midlands pub.

second (the third one is a puppy, who hasn’t yet decided which camp to join). Swedes wear socks indoors, which – as my husband likes to point out – is a bad idea when large parts of the floor are covered by puddles of melting snow, brought in from outside by 20 furry paws. To a non-pet person, it’s all a bit inconvenient and hectic. However, once the snow puddles have

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

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