"What?" I said, thinking I'd got something smeared on my face, or they'd spotted a fresh whisker. "What?"
"Nothing" said my eldest son. "You're just funny." Then they started laughing again. For no reason, just like that. Is this any way to greet your dearest Maman when you haven't seen her for three days? Must have been discussing me in the car.
"Funny? Funny how?" I asked.
Hmm. Just funny. What can that possibly mean?
"Funny, like Peter Kay?" I said hopefully.
"No," he said.
"Funny like Phyllis Diller perhaps?"
"Who's Phyllis Diller?" he said.
"OK. Say.... funny like Victoria Wood? "
"No," he said. "More funny... like... ... ... ... Grandma."
Funny like Grandma means - long-term dozy baggage who forgets stuff; has a million little irritating foibles and idiosyncrasies; totally freaks you out if you get in the car while she's in the driver's seat; can't remember if she switched the iron off, or even switched it on in the first place, or indeed if she ever got it out at all; and finally, regularly burns the dinner because she's found something better to do than stand over a hot stove, something pressing like hoovering the lawn because it's got three leaves on it. Added to this, each time I see her I have to search the joint for precision implements - tweezers to pluck her beard and scalpel to pare her corns. Plus, she wears giant knickers, all a fetching shade of washed-out grey. Bras to match.
Followers! What on earth do I have in common avec cette vieille femme who is my mother? Rien!
But soft, what light through yonder light bulb breaks?