My Portuguese friend and I were in Glasgow on Saturday night, heading towards a birthday party which incidentally was at Kelvingrove Museum, after-hours, on a Victorian theme. We got into a taxi as we were already rather late and I'm still nursing a hacking cough which oddly has not been improved by hanging around in the cold very late at night.As we got into the taxi, I put my seatbelt on. I often do this, even for small journeys, because you never know when disaster may strike and I tend towards the blackest sort of cynicism. Portugal looked at me in horror.
Portugal: What are you doing?!
Me: I'm being safe.
Portugal: I can't believe this.
Me: (genuinely puzzled) What? If we crash, I'd rather not fly three feet at high speed and break my face on the glass window.
Portugal: You're weird.
Me: I'm normal. And safe.
Portugal: You're weak. And you wouldn't survive in the wild.
Me: I wouldn't survive in.... Okay. (pinching nose)
Portugal: You're not used to pain!
Me: Tell me, how many times have you crashed in a taxi?
Portugal: Well, just one.
Me: Uh huh. And so you're "used" to pain, are you?
Portugal: Yes. More than you.
Me: I see. And just out of interest, are lions and other predators particularly attracted to seatbelts?
Me: Because what you're saying is that since I have chosen to attach a potentially life-saving device while I am in a vehicle, in a city, this makes me automatically more likely to die in the wilderness of, say, a jungle.
Portugal: It's just so British of you.
Me: Yes, it's very British of me to prefer my face unsmashed.
There was a brief pause.
Portugal: Can I have some of your lip balm?
Me: No. Having dry lips is important for strength. If I give it to you, it'll just make you weak and then you'll die in the wild.
She may have been mad at me, but at least I arrived at the party safely and with appropriately moisturised lips. Otternator 1, Portugal 0.