Saturday, February 17, 2007

Charlie and Pirate Princess

For all those who thought I only ever blogged about politics, here's a people-watching post.

(Disclaimer: any resemblance to real people is probably an exaggeration.)

On Valentine's Day, Mrs Impala and I went out for dinner at the local pizzeria, where we enjoyed a nice seafood pasta and chicken salad. But that's not what I wish to write about today. I wish to write about our waitress.

There should be a term for somebody who is "just like" another person, despite looking and sounding completely different. The waitress was one of the people: she was just like Charlie from Heroes, despite being an Italian-Australian, olive-skinned brunette instead of an untanned, red-headed Texan. But there was something about the way she carried herself and her friendly manner that just screamed "Charlie". It's a type.

(Okay, so that isn't the most significant thing I've ever written about. I just wanted an excuse to mention Charlie from Heroes *grin*)

A few days prior to that, Mrs Impala and I went out for drinks with the Kitten and her beau, to celebrate his birthday and referee their latest flaming row. One of the people there was Kitten's flatmate, who I'll just call the Pirate Princess.

Mrs Impala has met Pirate Princess before, but I hadn't, and I can honesty say that my brain is still spinning. She's one of those amazing people who are a tangle of contradictions and contrasts and I for one didn't know whether to be impressed or to back away slowly.

Possibly a little of both is appropriate.

On the one hand I don't think she's especially made anything significant of her life, apart from possibly a mess, although she's still young and she's not in prison so it can't be all bad. On the other hand she's one of those over-achievers who cleans the house twice a day, and goes to the gym, and holds down a job, and bakes cakes, and makes her own mayonnaise, and dresses, and probably leather boots for all I know, and yet still has time to Par-tay!!! like an extra from Animal House. (And here I am, struggling to update my blog once a day.)

Under-achiever and over-achiever, at the same time.

Her body language says that she should have been born in the USA, where she would have run for Homecoming Queen and won by a landslide after bribing the entire school with muffins. As much as she's a dinkum Aussie (now there's a phrase I haven't heard for a long time! -- not since watching a Goodies episode) she carries herself like an American princess, and she doesn't have any time for false modesty. I can just imagine her as captain of the cheerleader squad. Oh. yes.

But she's not just all eye-candy, even with legs all the way up her legs. Pirate Princess is also fond of cleaning. Quite fond indeed. One might even say that cleaning is her passion.

At one stage during birthday drinks, Pirate Princess explained at length about the millions of microscopic bacteria crawling over every single inch of your skin. I was expecting her to launch into a full blown rendition of Weird Al Yankovic's Germs when she surprised me by suddenly declaring that people shouldn't use all those commercial disinfectants and cleaning products, because we need all that flora and fauna in and on our bodies for good health, and that excessive cleanliness leads to immune problems and asthma and other illness.

I'd hate to see what Pirate Princess considers excessive cleanliness.

All joking aside, what struck me was the fact that just when I thought I had her pegged (slightly off-square peg in a slightly off-round hole) she said something which caused me to completely rethink my opinion of her. I love it when stereotypes are broken and people are pleasantly surprising.


Noni Mausa said...

And my stereotype of the year is what I call the "manda".

Not an anime term -- a manda is a girl (though come to think of it, I have met a male manda) who combines the qualities of sulleness, ineptitude, resentment, cluelessness, and a misplaced enthusiasm which leads nowhere except to complex and fruitless activities or study. Oh, and I often guess there's some schizophrenia in there too. Physically, mandas often have large, rather unfocused eyes. They are not truly stupid, but they might as well be.

Mandas make me NUTS.

That's my rather heartless addition to the taxonomy of annoyance.


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