The play book of social norms was ripped up into pieces today after a man washing his car took up his neighbour on the jokey aside that ‘you can wash mine after you’ve finished yours’.
Peter McBride made the throwaway comment after coming out of his front door, seeing Mike next door waxing his Nissan Qashqai, and realising he had little else to say to him.
‘Next thing I know he was knocking at the door saying he had a spare half hour, asking for the keys to my Astra and did I want the interiors vacuuming too’, said a flustered McBride. ‘I don’t want him anywhere near my pride and joy. It was just weird.’
‘The ‘you can do mine after you’ve finished yours’ is a timeless bit of small talk, simultaneously designed to close off further conversation whilst acknowledging the effort being undertaken to keep their property in better nick than your own’ , said David Davidson, Professor of Social Niceties. ‘It works particularly well with creosoting fences, trimming hedges and of course cleaning windows, the latter inevitably preceded by the quip ‘you’ve missed a bit’.
McBride is said to be looking forward to the clocks going back next month so he can revert to his ‘the nights are drawing in, aren’t they’, one-liner for the next few months.