The boys were sitting on the bed, watching TV.
They watch the most ridiculous shows by the way, and in a dazed manner which gives no indication of whether they are enjoying anything, or indeed recieving anything at all.
I forget what it was they were watching just then - Rahul ka Swayamvar would be my guess - but their demeanour was not unlike that of UN delegates when the general assembly is in session. Spaced out, if you know what I mean.
"Guys", I said enthusiastically, "know what? I just realised that your mom is from Northeast India!"
I continued beaming brightly, waiting for one of them to ask me "Northeast? Northeast India? Why?". No such luck.
"She's from Mysore, Annie. That's in Karnataka. Which is a state in southern India" said the elder one after a while, in a bored manner.
"I know that! I know that!" I continued beaming. "You know why I said your mom is from Northeast India?"
The silence continued for a few moments. The younger one spoke up.
"Ok, Annie. Why?"
"Because she's from Nagaland!"
A look of puzzlement greeted me.
"Nagaland! Nagger-land! Get it?"
Silence plus grave look.
"What? I asked. I was getting a little frustrated now.
"Annie", the elder one spoke gently, "the Northeastern countryperson is standing behind you"
"Just a joke that occured to me"
"Boys, would you mind going to your rooms for a moment? Annie and I have something to discuss"
The boys disappeared.
"Since when have I been nagging you?"
"Er, it was... I mean I was just.."
"Continue. I'm listening"
"I'm sorry, dash it. I just thought of Nagaland and Nagger land and made up a joke"
"Very nice. And for that I am going to let you spend the weekend without touching a drop of alcohol. I'm sure that is alright with you? Or would you like to extend the holiday a bit longer?"
I slunk away quietly but the dryness of the weekend stares me in the eye. It will take a small miracle, I tell you.
Which is why I hesitate to tell you the tale of Emperor Frederic of Prussia. If Nagaland can de-booze me for the weekend, Prussia could potentially do me in for a month. (But I will tell the story of Emperor Frederic, if you promise not to breathe a word to the missus. Ok, gotta run now. Catch you all tomorrow)