scarlatti's parents -- her mother and stepfather -- were visiting, and were keen to meet me. They're moving from from Virginia to Washington -- that's Washington state -- and were emptying their existing house of their childrens' posessions. So now scarlatti has some more stuff -- including a surprising quantity of tourist memorabilia from London. And I have met the parents. I seem to have gained their approval, not least because although I'm a conservative in the UK I seem to be a liberal in the US, which pleases the stepfather. Additionally the mother and I have traded bad jokes. scarlatti had previously told me that her mother knows only one joke, and I was under strict instructions to be impressed by this joke of hers and respond in some encouraging manner. I had, additionally, prepared a suitably similar, and suitably clean, joke to trade.
scarlatti's mother's joke goes as follows:
A termite goes into a pub and asks "is the bar tender here?"
My joke in exchange goes as follows:
A friend of mine told me that he'd found a penguin, so I told him to take it to the zoo.
A few days later, I saw him again -- and he had the penguin in tow.
"I thought I told you to take that thing to the zoo", I said.
"I did, he thought it was great, it was loads of fun," he replied, "we're going to the movies tonight."