The bloke at the tennis club reckoned I’d ‘cut his lunch’.
I had no idea what he meant. He wouldn’t explain. He just kept repeating ‘Cut Your Lunch’ and then adding my surname. He hailed from Hawker or somewhere outback. I reckoned it must’ve been some bushie term. I asked a woman I knew who came from the West Coast. She said she’d heard of it but not for a while. Not for a few years, in fact.
So then I did what every curious early twenty-first century urban person does. I googled. Bingo!
Two definitions came up.
- To get involved with someone’s partner or possessions.
- To bed someone’s crush.
The first had a biblical ring. Recast it a little and you’ve got the ninth and tenth commandments. ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife’ and ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods.’ I preferred the second but preferring the second did not mean I committed the second.
According to the bloke I’d cut him out of some sort of relationship with a girl. That was the gist of it.
He had to be dreaming.
He’d never got near to having a relationship with a girl, any girl, in the twenty-five years I’d known him. He was socially awkward, he was a lumbering presence with a nervous tick of a cough. And he’d had that cough for twenty-five years too. It wasn’t an attractive feature.
Susie was the name of the girl whose lunch I’d supposedly cut him out of, from, to. I dunno. I can’t work out the proper preposition. I remember her vaguely now. She was part of a crowd I used to hang around with, a tennis crowd as it happens, and the bloke loomed on the edge of the crowd. If there was gaiety in the group the bloke was the dark cloud.
Susie might’ve been keen on me, I migh’ve bought her a drink or two, I might’ve even kissed her. Yes, now I think of it, we did slip out of a party one starry night and kissed lightly and lovely leaning against the boot of my D series Citroen. But that was it!
I never asked her out. I’d no idea the bloke harboured feelings for her. If he harboured feelings for her he should’ve summoned up the courage to ask her out. Perhaps he did. Perhaps she told him she had the hots for me. But if she did they weren’t requited or nowhere near fully requited.
And if the above is true, if any fraction of the above is true, it all happened a long time ago. It’s a long time to remember.
Cut your lunch, cut my lunch, cut his lunch. It makes/made no sense.
Either then or now.
© Bernard Whimpress