Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blue clothing and smiles

A lady came round to our house to talk about investment, which is to say after her first two words, 'Well, the....', I had no idea what she was talking about. Occasionally Bea the cat walked in and out of the house and I began to wish she'd bring in a mouse or a sparrow to liven up proceedings. I looked in a glazed fashion at the succession of stock photographs flickering by on her laptop, mostly of couples wearing blue clothing and smiles. I became fascinated in these, couldn't notice anything else, started to wonder if the Baron and I should be posing like this.

At one point she talked about a 'growth matrix', and my ears really perked up. Could we have that great mythical beast, a growth profit matrix, in our own house? Eventually another one came on the screen and I almost felt like cheering. Another page in her computer seemed to simply consist of a circular red band with a word in the middle. She pressed a button and another red band appeared inside the first one, and a different word replaced the original one. I began to feel like she was giving us an ad for Target by mistake.

Why is it that these talks invariably make me look in all directions but the one I am supposed to be looking at and start obsessing about the furniture, about how pretty the mountains look on the graph, about the obscure choreography of models in stock photographs? I suppose this is a failing in me, this inability to fully appreciate portfolios, or to use phrases like 'going forward', 'fully across', 'grasping the opportunity'.

Finally the lady came to her grand conclusion, which of course I hardly noticed because I wasn't even sure what she was grandly concluding. She turned her computer off. She put it in her bag. She got ready to go. "Ooh, ooh, ooh," I cried. "Do we get a booklet?" Everyone gives you booklets. The Mormons even give you booklets; I felt sure she would have one as well. She gave us a comfortable, reassuring booklet with blue cardboard covers, rather like the comfortable, reassuring booklet with blue cardboard covers I got from the old place of employ when they made us all redundant. Ah, that's nice. We thanked the lady for her time and apologised that we couldn't do business with her and offered her dinner, which she refused, and sent her on her way.

I'm pretty sure I practiced my stock photograph posing in my sleep though.

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