Rhiannon [opening the fridge door after arriving from the train station]: Arrrrrrghhhhh!
Rhiannon: You always do this!!!
Rhiannon: Whenever I come for a visit, there’s like one hunk of cheese in the fridge and that’s IT!!!
Me [protesting]: You know I wait for you to come so we can go grocery shopping together. That way we can get the things that YOU actually want!
Rhiannon: Great, but what am I supposed to eat tonight and tomorrow morning? Cheese?!
Me: Well, it may not look like it but that’s one awesome hunk of cheese in there….
Me: That’s not just any old cheese, you know. The teats on the udders of the cows that produce the milk in that cheese aren’t barbarically hooked up to industrial sucking machines. No, no – the milk is gently massaged out of them by young virgins high up in the Swiss Alps. I’m telling you, it is more like the breast milk of angels than anything you’d imagine coming out of a cow. And the rennet in that cheese is not any old enzyme coming from any old mammalian stomach. Oh no, this rennet is a complex of enzymes extracted from the stomachs of endangered Siberian tigers – many a Russian peasant died in order to create that hunk of cheese. And the salt that’s added at the end? Only the finest sea salt dried from oysters freshly shucked by nubile pearl divers off the coast of Japan. I’m telling you, honey: one bite out of that hunk of cheese and you will think you have met God.
Rhiannon [raising an eyebrow]: Then why does it have generic Metro brand packaging?
Me: It’s in disguise, of course. Cheeses as rare and magical as this have to travel incognito.
Rhiannon [rolling her eyes and peering in the fridge again]: I suppose you even forgot to get my apple juice. Hmmm, let me see. Yep, you did!
Me [clearing my throat]: Um, well, as for your juice… as we speak, the apples from the finest orchards known to humanity are currently being cored by a lost Mayan people in the Yucatán Peninsula. I-
Rhiannon [sharply]: At least go to the dépanneur and get me some apple juice!!!
Me: Oh man, it’s cold out there with snow up to the teats. Why can’t you just drink beer like a normal person? There’s plenty of that in the house!
Rhiannon: Stop saying ‘teats’ – it’s gross. I’m 11 years old!!!
Rhiannon: Kids aren’t supposed to drink beer!!!
Me [dismissively]: Don’t be such a slave to convention. Throw off the shackles of society’s tyrannical notions of what a child can and cannot drink. Emancipate yourself, girl!
Rhiannon: Just GO!!!
Me [grumpily putting on my coat and shoving my feet into my boots]: This dictatorship you’ve established over me will be overthrown one day. I hope you know that.
Rhiannon [Orwellianly]: Oppressing you is how I emancipate myself.
Me [after Rhiannon has introduced me to the television series ‘Bones’ based on the life of Kathy Reichs]: I just don’t understand you.
Me: You won’t come to see ‘The Hobbit’ with me because you’re scared witless of a few make-believe goblins and a dragon and yet you can merrily watch this totally dark real-life shit.
Rhiannon: It’s not that dark.
Me: Excuse me, but that story turned on a young intern, impregnated by a powerful US Senator, who was murdered because she had become a threat to his political future.
Rhiannon [shrugging]: So?
Me [exasperated]: The girl was stabbed repeatedly as she struggled against the Senator’s Aide, had her fingers cut off, had her head beaten in with a sledgehammer and was dumped in a lake where koi devoured her butchered and battered remains!!!
Rhiannon [shrugging]: So?
Me: What do you mean, “so”?! How can you be so complacent about that degree of horrific violence and yet be so spooked about a traveling band of homoerotic dwarves, a hobbit and a wizard? I mean Gollum hissing “my precioussssss” kind of looks like a bit of a pussy standing next to the killer in ‘Bones’ wouldn’t you say?!
Rhiannon [thoughtfully]: Yes, but everything in ‘Bones’ makes sense. The story fits together in an order that makes it not so scary. Creepy goblins and trolls jumping out of nowhere, for no reason, are more scary.
Me: It’s fantasy! It’s make-believe! That’s exactly why it’s NOT scary! Goblins and dragons and trolls are NOT real so there’s nothing to get stressed out about!
Rhiannon: They stress me out, okay? Now I’m putting on another episode of ‘Bones’. Are you in?
Me [resentfully]: Only if I can close my eyes during the scary bits.
Rhiannon: Now who looks like a pussy…