GOING GREEN! (STORY)
The woman over the road was painting her door green.
“She’ll be one of those eco-warriors, you’ll see,” said Pat, as she let the curtain fall.
“Come away from the window,” said Bert, “What’s she going to think, you spying on her like that?”
“It’ll be all about using recycled toilet paper, you’ll see, and telling us off for putting tin cans in the dustbin instead of the recycling bin.”
”Well, maybe, she has a point there,” said Bert, returning to his newspaper.
At that moment, the doorbell rang.
“Sorry to bother you,” said a slim, blonde young woman on the doorstep, with a paintbrush in her hand and a green smudge on her nose, “but I’ve just been painting my front door and …”
”We noticed,” said Pat curtly.
“And I managed to lock myself out. I’m Diane, by the way.”
“Come in,” said Bert, who’d jumped out of the armchair and was extending a friendly hand.
“Well, you should have been more careful,” continued Pat, stonily.
“I was just wondering if I could use your phone to call a locksmith.”
“Of course,” said Bert, leading her into the dining room.
While she was making the call, Bert called Pat to one side.
“Why do you have to be so unfriendly? Why can’t you make an effort, for once? She’s our new neighbour. What will she think?”
“All very well,” continued Pat, “But I saw the way she looked at me. No doubt, that paint’s organic. She’ll be looking round now, waiting for us to offer her a drink and sniffing that our coffee isn’t fair-trade. You’ll see.”
“Thanks for that,” said Diane, a few moments later. “The locksmith’s on his way. In the meantime, though …”
“Sit down and join us,” said Bert firmly, “I’ll make you a nice cup of tea.”
Pat glared at him as he made his way to the kitchen.
“I suppose you’d better sit down,” she said to the visitor, grudgingly.
“Thank you,” Diane replied, sitting in Bert’s armchair. “Such a silly thing of me to have done. Still, it’ll be nice to get acquainted. What sort of neighbourhood is this anyway? I’ve only just moved in.”
“We keep ourselves to ourselves,” said Pat. “And we don’t force other people to recycle when they don’t want to and go on about global warming and carbon footprints. We leave people in peace.”
”Recycling?” said Diane, thoughtfully.
“Here’s your tea,” said Bert, placing a cup on the table beside Diane. “And I’ve even raided the biccie tin for you.”
”Biccie?” barked Pat, “The word is biscuit. And no,they’re not organic. We can’t afford all that nonsense. Supermarket brands are good enough for us.”
At that moment, the phone rang. Pat excused herself.
“Why is she like that with me?” asked Diane, when Pat had left the room.
“She thinks you’re an eco-warrior,” responded Bert with a grin.
“An eco-warrior?” asked Diane.
“Yes, bit of trouble with the neighbour before you.”
”Yes, caught Pat going to the bin one night with a pile of newspapers and emptying them into the dustbin instead of the recycling bin. Kicked up a right storm, he did, right there in the street. After that, she’s never forgiven anyone who claims to be green.”
”You were painting your house green.”
“And that was enough for Pat.”
“And what about you, Bert …”
Bert looked at the slender, pretty young woman in front of him and then at Pat’s stern face and ample frame as she re-entered the room,
”I think I might be up for a spot of recycling myself, one day,” he thought to himself and grinned.