A Cut Above

by Sandra Arnold

‘You remember that shy lass, Ellie, who used to live on my street? The one that married an Officer in the RAF and went to live in Germany? She’s back home now on holiday. I called in to see her mother the other day and she started telling me that Ellie mixes with all the Officers’ wives in Germany. Then in comes Ellie. Speaking so beautiful now.’

‘Hmm. I heard she took elocution lessons over there. People say she’s a bit up herself these days.’

‘She’s moved up in the world, not up herself.’

‘Never mind Ellie. I’m looking at that barista. Man or woman? Looks like a man with the clothes and haircut, but definitely sporting boobs.’

‘Ah, that’s Troy. They’re non-binary.’

‘Non what?’

‘It means they don’t identify as either male or female.’

‘That makes no sense. And why are you saying ‘they’? I can see only one person.’

‘Troy prefers to be referred to as they and them.’

‘But that’s not grammatical.’

‘It’s what some people prefer these days.’

‘Some people? How many theys and thems are there?’

‘We all need to move with the times.’

‘Meaning what?’

‘See that woman over in the corner? Troy is bringing her two cups of coffee and two cakes.’ ‘So?’

‘The woman’s husband died two years ago. When he was alive they always sat at that table and ordered coffee and chocolate cake. Now, every time she comes in here Troy brings her two cups of coffee and two chocolate cakes same as before.’

‘That’s kind of her.’

‘Kind of them.’

‘Her! And the husband dead two years? Time she moved on.’ ‘Has your husband been dead two years?’

‘Of course not!’

‘So how do you know it’s time she moved on?’

‘You’re so full of it today, ‘You’re so full of it today, aren’t you!’