Eccentrics anonymous

I was socialising a bit on Saturday, and met an elderly couple who I’d heard were a bit quirky, particularly in the food department, but who in person seemed quite nice and normal. Until someone mentioned airline food. These two were visiting Australia from (insert name of far away continent here – heck, they’re all far away), and had flown business class. The wife said, "We asked for bacon and eggs… All they had was quiche."

And she went on, without even a shred of a hint of irony, "Well, we don’t eat that kind of food".

Good grief. I didn’t know how to react. Laughter? Anger? Just change the subject and try not to smirk? Quiche?! Bacon and eggs? It’s just about the same food! Just arranged a bit differently! Is that how you react to anything you find that isn’t quite what you’ve experienced before?! What do you expect on an aeroplane, the chef to personally cook precisely what you want? Even in business class, I think that may be pushing it a bit.

I have a theory that goes something like this: We all do silly little things. We all have our little eccentricities. There are two things that stop them getting out of hand:

  • the embarrassment of being spotted doing something that deep down we know is silly
  • if we actually do them, people pointing them out and saying "Hey, whoa, you shouldn’t do that – that’s silly."

I reckon that’s why people who live alone are more likely to be seen as eccentric. There’s nobody there to keep them in check.

Of course, when two people live together, and happen to share an eccentricity, and nobody’s around to keep them under control, things can get out of hand. That’s what’s probably happened to these two. And now there’s nobody, least of all the poor bloody flight crew they encountered, with the guts to slap them hard and say "are you out of your mind?! This is not liver and kidney and frogs legs with raw snails, this is quiche! Just eat the God damn food!"

Oops, gotta go. Quiche for dinner. Yum.

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