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U3A Writing: Mention My Name

“Just mention my name,’’ said Mabel – but she said it once too often.

Zelda Margo tells a tale concerning brainwashing.

I believe that friendship does not mean being nice to each other, but being real to each other.

I exercised my mind a lot to find how much I could tell you about friends. Most of whom have departed to make their own mistakes. But there is Mabel.

Oh yes; there is Mabel, who can hustle up a hundred best friends for a party. I'm unable to hustle up three for a game of bridge.

“Listen to me,” said Mabel. “There is my friend Gladys. She is a wizard with people who have no card sense. Just mention my name. When your game improves you'll have no problem getting players.”

If I were able to bundle up all Mabel's “JUST MENTION MY NAMES”, it would be a load for an elephant.

There was a the doctor she insisted I see, and to mention her name. He gave me a clean bill of health and an account for R500.

Mabel was now convinced that I was a hypochondriac. “You must go to my psychologist, mention my name for an appointment.”

I had been paying hairdressers for finding my hair. Mabel had a solution. “you must go to my hairdressing salon. Ask for Anton and mention my name. He is creative with baby-fluff like yours.” Mabel never doubts the authority of her money.

Into the salon I walked looking like a moulting white hen. Three hours later out I walked looking like a moulting orange macaw.

I don't consider myself naďve or vain, but the time had come. “Mabel,” I said. “Your constant mantra of JUST MENTION MY NAME is brain-washing. I act on it and it is an abandonment of self. I know that friendship demands tolerance of each other's imperfections, but I'm inauthentic with you. Please, please Mabel, STOP!”

She lookd at me wide-eyed. “Interesting formulation. You should be in a creative writing group. Here is their number; the mention of my name will assure your acceptance.”

So, it was throttle Mabel, or bore you.


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