The Precious Life and Rambles of Liz Tattler

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      (And her struggles with editorial and cleaning staff anarchy)

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    • #3595
      F LoveF Love

        Bugger caution, thought Finnley. “My cousin Finly has a new job,” she said impulsively to Godfrey, while they waited for Elizabeth to return from the loo.

        Godfrey jumped.

        Finnley, I didn’t realise you were there. How very interesting. Where is your cousin working?”

        Finnley sighed loudly and decided impulsive conversation was overrated. Why do people always want to know more? She had given him the bloody gist of it hadn’t she?

        “Don’t make me talk. I hate talking,” she said, rudely rolling her eyes.


          “What I really love about this, Godfrey,” Liz said, “Is that it really is complete rubbish. I mean, it’s not cleverly pretending to be rubbish, it really IS rubbish. But I am feeling the energy, and I feel that I enjoy such utter rubbish, and that’s the feeling that counts.”


            “Oh shut up Liz, and finish your curry. Wasn’t it your brilliant idea to have Indian food before the court audition?”
            Godfrey smiled a painful smile eating with teary eyes a last spoonful of spicy butter chicken, thinking about Liz feeling the energy and enjoyment in the loo the next day.


              “The law is an ass, Godfrey,” Elizabeth said, extricating a bit of sag paneer from between her teeth that he had drawn her attention to. “I have no intention of wasting my time in court. As a matter of fact, I’ve written the critic out of the story. And the court. Waste of fecking time, fecking gobshites, the fecking lot of them.”

              “You seem to be developing an Irish accent, Liz,” he replied, signalling the waiter for the bill.

              “What did you do that for? There was no bill to pay until you introduced the fecking waiter into the script!”

              “If you don’t pay the bill or turn up in court, the police will come and arrest you, Liz, have you considered that?”

              “What fecking police?” she replied.

              “Who are you talking to?” asked Finnley. “I wrote Godfrey out of the story this morning.”

              “Whatever for?” Liz asked in surprise.

              “He kept talking. I hate talking.”

              Wisely, Elizabeth said nothing.


                Finnley got a book out of her bag and started reading, rather rudely, Elizabeth thought.

                Liz leaned over so that she could read over Finnley’s shoulder, in the absence of anyone to talk to as all the characters had been written out of the script.

                “…full of misinformation and wrong opinions.” she read.

                “Then sir, you may say so. The ruder you are, the more the editors will be delighted.”

                (A point worth bearing in mind, Liz thought)

                “But it is my own opinions which I wish to make better known, not other people’s.”

                “Ah, but, sir, it is precisely by passing judgements upon other people’s work and pointing out their errors that readers can be made to understand your own opinions better. It is the easiest thing in the world to turn a review to one’s own ends. One only need mention the book once or twice and for the rest of the article one may develop one’s theme just as one chuses. It is, I assure you, what every body else does.”

                “Hmm, you may be right. But, no. It would seem as if I were lending support to what ought never to have been published in the first place.”

                When Elizabeth had had enough of reading, she wrote Godfrey back into the script.

                F LoveF Love

                  “What ARE you reading, Finnley?”

                  “Just a book I picked up in Paris,” she replied nonchalantly, hoping that would be enough information to appease Elizabeth’s curiosity. And also, as an added bonus, adding a certain je ne sais quoi to her vibe. Finley knew she could come across as a tad boring, something she was quite proud of. Still, it didn’t hurt to mix things up every now and then.

                  Elizabeth sighed loudly. “If you can’t think of anything sensible to say then I wish you would just talk nonsense. Or go to another thread” she added as an afterthought, wondering just whose thread this was anyway. Finley was tending to monopolise things lately. Even without saying much.

                  “At least I am reading a fucking book”, muttered Finnley under her breath.

                  That being a euphemism for writing a fucking comment of course.


                    “Perhaps,” said Elizabeth, “A little less fucking reading and a bit more writing would help this story along.”

                    “Perhaps” replied Finnley sniffily, “You should be the one to start.”

                    F LoveF Love

                      “I win”, said Finnley


                        Finnley, I do hope you realize the extent of my kindness and patience with you. I hope you appreciate it. Not only should you be cleaning, which I have generously turned a blind eye to while you read cheap tuppeny scandals, but you badger me to keep busy while you are relaxing on full pay!”

                        But Finnley was engrossed in her tawdry novel again, and didn’t hear her.


                          “What was that you said, Finnley? Speak up will you, and quit that muttering!”

                          F LoveF Love

                            “By the way, how DO you spell your name? Is it Finnley with one “n” or two?”

                            “Either way is fine by me”, grunted Finnley, rolling her eyes.


                              Finnley?” asked Godfrey to appease the cat fight, “did you order that surprise grocery vegetable basket they just delivered?”
                              Finley shrugged apathetically.
                              “Well, I hope everyone here likes celery and Chinese leek, because they were generous with it.”


                                “There is an old fish in your purse”, said Finnley, “You really should offer it to Norbert, he loves it when they are smelly and dry”.


                                  “Norrrrbert, here, Norby Norby Norby!” called Godfrey.

                                  “You called, sir?” asked the gardener.

                                  F LoveF Love

                                    Nobody heard him so he tried again.

                                    ”knock knock”

                                    ”Who’s there?” called out Elizabeth


                                    Norbert who?”

                                    ”Nor, bert ya shudn’t cull out uf ya don’t wont mey tu carm knuckin”.

                                    ”Friggin kiwi accents,” muttered Finnley. “I can’t understand a word they say.”

                                    F LoveF Love

                                      ”And that’s another thing,” she continued. ”Why do all your characters have to be in some form of servitude to you?”

                                      She looked accusingly at Elizabeth.

                                      “I’m a lowly cleaner and Godfrey’s sole purpose in life seems to be to agree with everything you say and now poor old Norbert is a gardener! From New Zealand! Of all the godforsaken places you could have chosen.”

                                      “Steady on, Finnley …” began Godfrey

                                      Finnley ignored him.

                                      “You could have made the poor man anything and yet you made him another slave to carry out your every warped whim. Granted, that was rather an obscure comment I made about him liking smelly old fish. Perhaps that did narrow your options somewhat.”

                                      Exhausted, Finnley lapsed into a thoughtful silence.

                                      Elizabeth gazed at her in awed admiration. Finnley, your perceptiveness has rendered me speechless.”


                                        Finnley’s tirade stirred something in Godfrey.

                                        He may not have completely given voice of the thought in his head, but it made him realize that the thought of quitting for something different had been here all along.
                                        He liked Elizabeth well enough. To be honest, such caring for an ungrateful and volatile lady was borderline devotion, but still, it wasn’t about that.

                                        I wanted to change the world, and Elizabeth vision of greatness and madness alike was, for a time, something he could fall in line behind and support with passion.

                                        Through visionary books, to open the minds of the pleb to the realms of possibilities, ah! no matter how deliciously delirious and quaint such possibilities seemed. That was a grand epic in budding.

                                        And then, after so many years of relentless editing, copy-writing, and of course maid after maid interviews, all there was left? Unbridled madness and tyranny from the well of grandiose ideas that Elizabeth had been, and to some extent still, was.

                                        In fact, Godfrey had stifled his own creativity by falling in line behind the writing giantess. There were timid attempts at writing his own story, and only piles of old notebook to account for it.

                                        Purpose, Truth, Action those were the magic words…

                                        “Oh, bugger it Liz’. I quit.”

                                        How’s that for action? Another thread would do me good. Like to see what life’s brewing on Mars.


                                          “I wasn’t expecting a mutiny this morning, really, how inconsiderate of them, they could at least have waited until I’d had my breakfast. You just can’t get the characters these days. Plotting against me all night while I slept the sweet sleep of an innocent lamb, I ask you! Where will it all end?!

                                          Ah well. They were due to be pensioned off anyway, poor decrepit old things, past their write by date anyway.”

                                          Liz was initially speechless, then miffed ~ but then an idea started brewing in sync with the kettle.


                                            The doorbell chimed. Liz had a chill streaming through her spine. As nobody was moving, still as a crane in a Japanese sumi-e.
                                            Finnley, ma fille, open the door.”
                                            The old maid mumbled something in Maori, rolling her eyes, and sticking her tongue out à la haka. She didn’t need tattoos with all her wrinkles.
                                            “It’s a baby madam.”
                                            “What do you mean a baby ?”
                                            “A newborn, I think the storks brought it at our door, it’s covered in guano”.

                                            F LoveF Love

                                              Finnley was glad Elizabeth had hired that old maori woman as a replacement maid. Especially if there was to be a baby to look after. She did a quick search to find the meaning of guano.

                                              “Gross,” she muttered.

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