Double BookingRita is looking for her lost diary. The phone rings - it's her cousin, Vera. Vera wants to go to the new James Bond film
Rita: I’d love to go. I don’t think I’m doing anything on Saturday night but -
Vera: Okay, it’s on at the Ocean Centre at 9.10. I’ll get the tickets. Listen, there’s someone at the door. I’ll speak to you later.
Rita: Vera, I need to check my diary -
But Vera has hung up. A moment later the phone rings again. It’s Jenny – another cousin.
Jenny: Hi, Rita.
Rita: Hi, Jenny. I’ve just come off the phone with Vera.
Jenny: I’m avoiding her at the moment.
Jenny: I can’t invite her to my party because her old boyfriend will be there.
Rita: It’s Saturday week, isn’t it?
Jenny: No, this Saturday. You’re coming aren’t you?
Rita mouthes the words 'Oh no!'. She realises she has double booked - but she can’t tell Jenny!
Rita: Of course. I’m looking forward to it.
Jenny: Great. See you at nine on Saturday
The phone rings again. It’s Rita’s mother.
Rita: Mum, I've got a big problem.
Mother: What is it, Darling?
Rita: Explains about the double-booking. If I don’t go to the party, Jenny will be upset. If I don’t go to the cinema, Vera will be upset.
Mother: Don’t worry, Rita – Granny has solved your problem.
Mother: She’s arranged a surprise party for Granddad's birthday on Saturday night.
Rita: So I have to go?
Mother: Of course. Jenny and Vera, too.
Rita breathes a sigh of relief.
The Fred and Rita dialogues first appeared in Ming Pao Daily in 2008. Text: © 2011 Kieran McGovern Illustrations: © 2009 George Hayford-Taylor