My New BFF

This girl is amazing. I have decided that I want her to be my new BFF, though I daren’t tell her in case she says no…

21 Accents

I have lived most of my life with a few extra people in my head- a schadenfreude Russian, a fat little South African girl, a French waitress amongst others. This girl is the same…but better… and after all these years, I have discovered that I am not alone! Thankfully my platoon of imaginary friendlies insures that I’m never lonely (I have been known to drive to school to collect my kids practising my deaf accent- my then two year old forgotten in his car seat while I jabber on until a tiny voice in the back breaking the spell with an innocent question: Mommy Whadoo doing?).

I love the idea that there is someone else out there who is as obsessed as I am with studying people, with listening to them and analysing them. But I guess that means that my secret is out! When I was still studying Psychology, every new person I met would use the old cliche, “So are you psychoanalysing me?” and I would smile politely and shake my head and reassure them that I wasn’t looking for Oedipal complexes or oral fixations. But secretly I was analysing them, and not just their psychological processes, but their posture, their body language, their accent, their idiosyncrasies, the way they held their mouth when they talked, who they looked at and for how long, what nervous habit did they try to hide with a glass of wine or a change of topic…all so that I could absorb them into my little collection of people in my head, a collection that has grown from a village to a city over years of people watching!

I am glad that I developed the habit (of people watching) while I was still quite young- it has been useful when it comes to developing characters for my stories. I take a little High School Crush and throw in an Uncle Richard with a side serve of Schizophrenic Neighbour and Gym-junkie Steroid Dude and voila…a 3D character ready to inhabit the pages of my next story…or joke…or fantasy. Don’t pretend you don’t do it! Surely you have imagined the pro-wrestling ex-bouncer into your front seat (crowbar in hand) to jump out at the traffic lights and deal with the person-of-less-than-average intelligence who pulled out in front of you on the speedway doing about 60 km/hr less than you were at the time and who insisted on pulling out in front of you at a snail’s pace when the road behind you was as empty as his head at daybreak? NO? Liar! How about the gutsy Brooklyn BFF who doesn’t hesitate to send back a $60 steak at the restaurant and manages to convince the maitre’d  not only to replace the overcooked hunk of beef, but to deliver it to your table with a smile and for free? No? Maybe I am a freak….oh well, if you haven’t done it, you haven’t lived!

Anyway, even if you don’t appreciate the finer points of my argument, at least go have a look at Amy Walker, if not for a shared interest in the study of human beings, then because, at heart, all of us are voyeurs and like to have a look at the freak. I hope that will be enough of a reason for the rest of you to keep talking to me too…otherwise a small, padded room and a few months to myself will do…


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