A few months ago, when I first started seeing my girlfriend (who will be referred to from this point onwards as Sloth, for reasons that I will probably go into at some critical point for maximum embarrassment) I had stayed over at her flat for the first time. I had been slightly intoxicated the previous night. I believe we had taken a taxi there; add to this my general inability to process geographical locations even in Edinburgh (a city I've lived in for over a decade) which culminated in a slight confusion and hangover as I stood at the bus stop the next morning and unwisely decided to ring my parents for a quick catch up.
Mum: (far too brightly for that time of day) Good morning!
Me: (trying not to make noises like a bison being sick) Good morning.
Mum: Where are you?
Me: I don't know.
Now, I realise that I should have taken a moment to think about this, because no parent ever wants to hear that answer from their child, but the previously mentioned slight geographical confusion and hangover had cruelly robbed me of my fragile mental filter and common sense.
Me: (flustered) I mean... I know where I am! But not exactly! I mean!
There was a brief and awkward pause.
Me: (muttering) Goddammit.
Mum: I just wondered. Because the traffic sounds different. That's how I knew you weren't near your flat.
Far from this being a horrendous and inexplicable statement unto itself, I would also like to query that surely given the nature of the beast, traffic always sounds different. No? Fine. Let's move on. Last weekend I visited my parents, and the topic of new Sloth girlfriend came up again.
Mum: And where does she live?
Me: At the shore.
Mum: (uncomprehendingly) The...?
Me: The shore.
Mum: (continuing blank face)
Me: The shore. The shore. Where the sea lives. Um. I can't really make that much clearer. The sea? You know what the sea is, right?
Mum: (hesitantly) I've heard of Ocean Terminal?
For those of you who don't know, Ocean Terminal is a shopping complex in Edinburgh, situated... you guessed it. Near the sea. JESUS CHRIST THEY DIDN'T BUILD IT ON A MOUNTAIN AND THEN CALL IT OCEAN TERMINAL.
Me: (gaping and speechless) Uhhh?
Mum: Is that in the sea?
Me: IN the sea? No. No, it isn't IN the sea. How... I can't...
Mum: Well, I don't know. (giggling) I know there's sea there, I just didn't know where.
Me: I give up. You know we live on an island, right?
Me: (pinching nose) Nothing. Forget it. I'll put the kettle on. Tea?