Tuesday, August 10, 2010


My mother's friend Bertha is staying with us this week. I have so many positive and interesting things to post about but instead I'm going to post about Bertha because she has been here for three days and if I don't have a huge rant about her I am going to go mad and kill her and wear her skin.

Bertha is a hideous old bag sent from the mouth of Hell to torment me for my sins, except I can't remember ever doing anything heinous enough to warrant a week of Bertha. Here's a taster: Bertha arrived in the house and responded to my "How was your trip?" by completely ignoring me and talking to the dog for five minutes, then ordering me to bring in her suitcase. Bertha refers to herself as a 'sweet old lady' but she is actually a 'bitter old woman who looks like a dude and is constantly offending people through being tactless and uncharitable.' She's not an inherently awful person, she's just so rude that she's kind of awful to be around. And she makes other people awfuller, too - right now I am slurping my tea obnoxiously just to fuck her off.

When Mum announced that Bertha had invited herself to stay (oh, yeah, we didn't invite her... she's up here for a week for a weaving course and announced that she'd be staying with us) she said, "I couldn't say no... Bertha has been kind to us over the years."
"Bertha," I said firmly, "has never been kind to me."
Mum paused and said, "No... I guess she hasn't."

When my sister and I were little, Bertha used to give my sister $50 birthday and Christmas presents, and take her out for lunch and shopping trips. Bertha did not, however, ever take me out for lunch or buy me anything. Bertha did not, in fact, acknowledge that I had a birthday or might like to partake in Christmas. This wasn't because I was a horrible child, but purely because Bertha had two adult daughters - one she liked, and one she didn't like. Kate reminded her of the one she liked. I reminded her of the one she didn't like. So she ignored me, or said hurtful things which is A-OK now (this evening she said, "What are you going to do with your life? You have to do something!") because I am big but it's pretty uncool when you are little.

One of my most vivid memories of Bertha is from when I was about 8 or 9, and still harboured ridiculous and ill-suited career dreams. We were walking up our driveway for some reason and I mentioned that I would like to be a chef. "Don't be stupid," said Bertha instantly, "you haven't got the imagination."

Since Bertha has been here she has insulted everyone repeatedly, shown us a million photos of her house, and scratched her back with the wooden spoon. Yes, the one we use for cooking. No, she didn't ask first.
Hilarious moment when she was showing house photos:
Bertha: "... and on this lawn is where the rabbit cages go."
Kate, who likes animals: "You keep rabbits?"
Bertha: "Yep. Breed them for eating."
Kate: "!!!"

Currently, Bertha has turned the TV up insanely loud and is sitting on the couch, knitting and blinking like a hellish owl (that knits). Here is a list of things Bertha has complained about in the hour since I came home from work:
  • Dinner (meat tough, vegetables undercooked but, in longsuffering tone, "it is food and we must be grateful for it")
  • The TV news (content)
  • The TV news (reception)
  • The royal family (inbred and adulterous)
  • The dog, Charlie (unsure exactly what the problem here was)
  • Heat pump, setting of (too cold)
  • Heat pump, setting of (too hot)
  • Heat pump, setting of (fan is blowing in face of Bertha)
  • Kate ("That girl talks too much," said Bertha as Kate was talking)
Also, she is mean to Charlie, so I am going to 'accidentally' knock Bertha's finicky, tiny-stitched knitting onto the ground and then let Charlie in and leave the room and laugh HA! HA! HA! then bury the remains of the knitting in the garden and be all like, oh, no, I sure haven't seen your knitting HA! HA! HA!

Right now though I'm going to go to the pub or something because if I am in the house any longer I am going to take Bertha's knitting and shove it down her neck and HA! HA! HA!

Sorry. But thanks for letting me vent. Normal post tomorrow.


Holly said...

Wow! She sounds horrible! I don't like her either, and (fortunately for me!) I haven't even met her!
I like the idea of *accidentally* letting Charlie near her knitting. Heh!

Sam said...

Jeez, what a bitch! There should be something that makes people like her vanish. You know, legally.

slommler said...

Sounds like my MIL!!! Rude and obnoxious!! And she was never a grandparent to our son which really ticked me off!!! No gifts, no treats, no nothing...!!! She is still with us too, at 90 years of age. Just not as rude as she used to be but still not a grandmother either. Glad Bertha is only staying the week!! Whew! And I vote for Charlie taking care of the knitting as well!! Ha!

Stephen Stratford said...

We are all on your side, Ally.

But spare a thought for me. Today I had to listen to Paul Holmes talking about himself and his awesomeness for five hours.

I don't think you'd swap, not really.

IT IS ALLY said...

Holly - Well, she's here all week. Pop round and experience the wonder that is Bertha for yourself!

Sam - I know. There should be a RULE. To be fair, normally she lives bloody miles away and we haven't seen her in years

SueAnn - How awful! And yours is full-time, too :( Glad you agree on the knitting thing, will let you know how that works out.

SS - You know what we should do? We should put Bertha and Paul in a room, lock the door, and back away. Then come back a couple of weeks later. My money's on Bertha, but only just

otherworldlyone said...

You should slip a little some special in her next undercooked/tough meal. She'll have to be grateful.

cerebral e said...

The moral of this story is: do not name your child Bertha. They will grow up into a complete fuckface.

Jade Carver said...

I'm with cerebral e. Ugh. At least it's ONLY a week and not longer, I guess!

Anonymous said...

In the words of Kanye West's twitter: (WONDERFUL, btw, if you're not already tuning in)

'Don't waste your moments with people who don't deserve a moment of your time'

[The man's a prophet.]

But yeh, try to ignore her the best you can! I hate toxic people like that, drives me crazy how they can just stroll through life carefree making everyone else feel like shit. Ignoring everything she says is the only way to preserve your sanity!

Though the knitting thing is an excellent plan B. :D


Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Oh, THAT'S where all the world's evil is right now. Was wondering why all the people here were in spectacular good moods today.

Em said...

Damn the Berthas of the world and our childhoods - they do a lot of damage. As for saying you have no imagination I suggest you show her your bucket list. That'll show her!

You could cross "running someone over" off...

a cat of impossible colour said...

She sounds AWFUL!

Corinna said...

Sheesh - she does sound ghastly. Hope you feel better knowing that you can vent to your heart's content in your blog :-) Bertha sounds like it should be a swear word, not a name. Dropped a jar of mustard? "Oh BERTHA!" Stepped in doggie poo? "Bertha that". Bertha being rude to you again - "What the Bertha?".
If it is any consolation - it makes for awesome reading (for the Bertha-free segment of the population).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you really need to call her on her bitch-face-ness. Plan out exactly what you'd say to the hateful old biddy and then just unload. We'll see how long she sticks around!
and if you chicken out, you can always use your pre-planned speech as a blog post!

Michelle said...

ha ha, you rock, Ally!

imagine if B-meister was like a secret blog reader or something, and every anonymous comment was actually from her.......

Anonymous said...

Bahahahahahahahah!!!!!!! I love this post. LOLOLOL.

Love, from absent sister. You know, the one who made the fish. Which you SOLD. Mullords remember.

Maybe Bertha thought you did not appreciate the fish, and I reminded her of her long lost older sister who she looked up to and adored?