Picture the scene; I am down the local housing office, undergoing the second stage of the outrageous rigmarole necessary to obtain a residents' parking permit (I won't elaborate, it will only get me annoyed again). I am sitting in the waiting area, due to be called to the desk, when a large, pregnant-looking woman enters the room and starts hovering at the desk in that 'I'm-pregnant-therefore-I-deserve-to-be-dealt-with-before- everyone-else' kind of stance. The woman behind the desk is having none of it, and calls me up in turn, but she recognises the pregnant woman from somewhere else, and acknowledges her at the same time.
Woman behind desk (widens eyes and nods knowingly at the customer's huge belly): Are you?!!!
Customer: No!!! (laughing somewhat nervously)
Woman behind desk (admirably swift recovery): Why not? You is still a young woman!!!
You've got to hand it to her, she's a pro! With no noticeable effort, and in a matter of seconds, she recovers from a position of having insulted the customer, to having flattered her beyond anything she's experienced for the last five years. Where you and I would be writhing in embarrassment and wishing for the floor to open and swallow us up, our public servant here is brazening out this hideous faux pas with the kind of grace that most of us can only dream of.
Open House pre-booking
3 hours ago