I have a cold.
As well as all the usual side effects of a cold – the nose-blowing, the sniffing, the sneezing so many times you do your entire weekly quota of sit-ups in one go – I am also much much deafer than usual.
I seem to have lost the edge of the sound that helps me get by. That turns the lipreading into comprehensible conversation.
So yesterday, I had a snuffly lunch with one of my favourite people TT. We were sat there chatting and I was getting by until suddenly I lipread the word 'boobs' at the exact same time that she did a corresponding hand movement that also looked like boobs.
I sat there for a moment backtracking, recounting the train of conversation, my mind flailing around wildly, fork mid-aid as I struggled to work out why the hell TT was telling me about boobs complete with sign language when just a second ago we'd been talking about her new flat in Battersea.
'Boobs?' I said, stuffing a mouthful of EAT's delicious Falafel salad in my mouth.
'Boobs?' TT replied, the question mark audible even with my very, very deaf ears.
'Boobs.' I said back, fighting back a snort of laughter for fear of falafel coming out of my nose.
'Didn't you just say boobs?' I continued, while doing the exact hand movements (kind of Benny Hill-esque ones) at the same time.
And at that moment there was a slight danger of TT's meatball panini being laughed all over EAT…
Turns out boobs and bulbs (as in the ones for lights) look the same when lipreading… and the dual hand action of screwing in a lightbulb, cupped around the bulbous bit…
So we went shopping after lunch to buy boobs. Still giggling like a pair of schoolgirls.
Problem is, I have a day full of meetings today. Important ones. With important people.
Please nobody say bulbs. Or anything else with dual lipreading consequences.
Such as colourful. And I love you.
Wish me luck peeps...