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Cold comfort

In the bleak midwinter, a mucus-challenged Kate has to fend off motherly concern more powerful than a force 8 gale.Dear Bex,

So snot is pouring from my nose into the telephone receiver and I'm desperately trying to fob Mum off.

"Are you drinking enough water?"

"Yes, Mum. I'm drinking enough water. Now if you don't mind, I've really got to go."

"Are you taking enough vitamins?"

"Yes, Mum. I got the two boxes of vitamins. They're in the garage, under the six crates of Vicks VapoRub you sent. Now, I must dash."

"What about sport? Are you getting enough exercise?"

"Yes, Mum. I'm jogging, swimming, cycling..."

"Cycling? Not on that death trap of a bicycle I hope!"

"Don't worry, Mum, the left brake works perfectly."

She mutters darkly about how they'll find me splattered all over the ring road, and Dad will have to drive up on his night off to identify the body.

"I still don't understand why you won't use your brother's old car."

"What, the one with the sticker that says 'Take Me to Your Dealer'?"

"It was perfectly good when your father drove it."

"Yes, but he probably thinks it refers to getting a good price on a Ford Escort. Look, Mum, I've got to go."

"I expect they're overworking you as usual."


"I read in the paper - apparently four out of five teachers have been stabbed to death by a teen gang."

"Not sure that's true..."

"You should have gone into law like your cousin Sam. His wife works in human resources and they've got a bidet and everything."

"That's very impressive."

"Anyway. While I remember, what do you want for Christmas?"

"I don't know. Honestly, Mum, I've got to go to the loo."

"Well don't hold it in, darling, you'll end up with kidney stones like your Uncle Alan."

"Alright, Mum. Must dash. Toodle-oo!"

Love Kate x.

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