Sunday, 21 March 2010

Those Hands Under The Table

I have had lots of feedback now to my comic strip and I have learnt a good lesson about the power of communication.  The storyline is much more ambiguous than I realised!  Naturally, I knew what I meant.

It's my own fault but I was slightly mortified to realise that many people thought the Ambassador had his hands under the table for a reason.. blimey!  The real reason is this: I didn't have the energy to draw that many pairs of hands on the table! (Lesson No. 1 to myself: no shortcuts)

My meaning (clearly oblique) was that the scenario is a metaphor for the difficulty of making conversation to a gentleman who is hopelessly uncommunicative but nevertheless has a strong sense of entitlement that you will do the business in entertaining him.  It doesn't happen often but I did once feel completely shredded after an encounter with an ambassador who shall remain anonymous.  No, he didn't come up with the punch-line but I was bloody furious with him!

That swan!  Nobody understood that reference but there were plenty of interesting interpretations.  It was meant to represent the fact that I looked serene on the surface and was paddling like mad under the waterline.  Well, there you go Rosie..   You'll have to try a little harder next time!

Watch this space.


  1. I thought it was excellent too. I'm still not sure what "I haven't come yet..." refers to, but given the fumbling, the interpretation seemed to suggest some "unseemly" behaviour between the two; you are suggesting otherwise in today's post, so please, do tell!

  2. Thank you Columnist.. I do love the encouragement. I am beginning to realise the concept was a bit of a mess! OK, the idea was that she was having to w*** him off but purely through the means of conversation..not naughty chat but purely the erm grinding business of keeping it going ..and still he wasn't grateful. Sometimes, at dinners you do feel you're acting like a bit of Geisha! I think I'll put it down to experience.

  3. Without wishing to proclaim any exceptional powers of perception
    dear Lady West, I knew exactly what was intended and am shocked, simply shocked, to think it could be interpreted any other way. Do clerics read your blog? Might be interesting hear what the Archbishop of Canterbury has got to say on the subject.

  4. Mr Worthington, I am greatly relieved. (Hope you are too..ooh) I always find the Archbishop of Canterbury delightful company but you're right, he should definitely follow my blog.

  5. Ahh! I'm so relieved (to know), now!

  6. Thanks for.. erm.. coming .. back .. Columnist. Loving getting a good response to my post.

  7. Hands under the table telegraphs the natural discomfort and guardedness some of these events generate. After a litre and a half of whatever they'll let you have, and only then, will I put both arms on the table.
    You could have a frame showing the both of them with their hands under the table "twisting paper napkins into odd little shapes"*

    *Nabokov. He knew from parties.

  8. Lady West- I am sure that guests are constantly moving seating around in order to get a change to- converse with you. You tease! pgt


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