You might remember Doug and Wendy Whiner from the TV show, Saturday Night Live. If you don’t, I’ve included a video at the end of this post. (Watch at your own risk. They make me want to pull out all my hair. Well… the hair I used to have.)
|I THINK PERHAPS THE SUN MIGHT BE TOO BRIGHT.|
The Whiner’s English relatives sat near me on the beach today. Rupert and Emma Fretter and their two sons, Alfie and Oliver. At least those are the names I gave them. They’re much more posh than the Whiners and their voices are actually very pleasant — as long as you don’t listen to what they have to say. They could also be related to Debbie Downer. Below is their conversation. Truly.
First, Mr. Fretter and Son #1 (around 17) arrive.
Son 1: There’s a better spot.
Rupert: Well, I don’t know why it matters. Someone will just sit near us eventually.
Son 1: Well, that’s not the point is it.
They settle themselves down.
Rupert: It’s quite hot. Perhaps not a good day to be by the sea. I think perhaps the sun might be too bright.
Son 1: Couldn’t we cool in the water? If we wear our caps and sunglasses?
Rupert: Well, yes. I suppose there is that. But the water felt chilly.
|WELL, YES. I SUPPOSE THERE IS THAT.|
At first, I was annoyed. There was quite a lot of negative energy floating in my direction. Then Mrs. Fretter and Son #2 (around 15) arrived and it became entertaining.
Emma: Is it not too hot?
Rupert: We’ve discussed that and think it might do.
Emma: Well, alright then.
Emma (to both sons): Make sure to use plenty of cream.
Son 2: But I’d like some color.
Emma: Well, if you burn, it makes your skin fall off. And then you’ve lost it.
I think she meant you’ve lost the color if your skin falls off (i.e., peels). But perhaps she was simply confirming that if your skin falls off then you’ve lost your skin. I didn’t give it more thought because a vendor came by peddling drinks and ice cream. And, of course, Mr. Fretter had something to say about that.
Rupert: There he goes. He loses his soul and continues to go on doing as he does.
Son 1: Why does he lose his soul?
Rupert: Well, just look at him. Selling things no one wants. How could he not?
|IF YOU GET WET, THE SAND WILL STICK TO YOU.|
A very mild and pleasant breeze arrives. Others nearby sigh with delight.
Rupert: Well, it’s only warm air, isn’t it.
Son 2: How can I sit when the towel continually folds over in the wind?
Rupert: Perhaps you could place your chair on one end.
Son 1: Yes. I saw someone else do that when we arrived. It appeared to work.
Son 2: There’s sand on my towel. Every time I place it down, sand gets on it.
Rupert: It’s quite unpleasant.
Son 1: Will the umbrellas be alright in the wind?
Rupert: We’ll have to monitor them closely.
I have by this time turned onto my stomach, so I can surreptitiously watch the family. I’ve taken out my mobile and am keying in the conversation as it occurs. Mr. Fretter lies down on his own towel momentarily. He sits up and inspects his chest.
Rupert: Oh, this is uncomfortable. I don’t like wearing undigested cream.
He stands and fussily rubs at the cream.
Son 1: Shall we go in the water?
Emma: Do you think it’s nice?
Rupert: I did try my feet when we arrived. If you get wet, the sand sticks to you.
Emma: Well, that doesn’t sound pleasant.
Rupert: Perhaps just our feet then.
Emma: Or a walk instead? I’ll not go, but you two might.
Son 1: If I leave my chair it might blow about.
Son 2: Fold it.
Son 1: Fold it?
Son 2: Flatten it.
Son 1: Oh, I see. Like we did to carry it here. Brilliant.
The chair folded, Mr. Fretter and Son #1 head off, but not without leaving one final instruction.
Rupert: Be sure to don’t let sand get in the bag while we’re gone. I don’t know what we might do if we should find it in our rooms.
Emma: Oh, of course. And do please be careful. There appear to be shells and stones at the water.
Son 1: It’s alright. We’re wearing our flip flops.