I am a little late publishing this post, for which my excuse is a combination of things – braving the crowds to go shoe shopping, a trip to the cinema and being determined to finish my latest audio book, which was Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.
The novel is no easy read – full of quite detailed examples of hatred, racism and discrimination. Amongst all that uncomfortable, disturbing stuff there are a few welcome moments of humour. My favourite was when one of the main characters, a white female lawyer, is talking about a meeting she has to attend at one of the state prisons to try to get them to allow her entry without the indignation of having to remove her under-wire bra which keeps setting off the metal detector on the way in. Brilliantly, she refers to this meeting as the ‘itty-bitty titty committee’.
I wonder if I can find a legitimate reason to use this phrase at work. Perhaps if there is a discussion about our policy on breast-feeding at work then I might get the chance. Alternatively, I might have to come up with some of my own.
If we’re asked to participate in a scheme to make the city centre more attractive, we might need an itty-bitty pretty city committee.
Or, if we want to organise a humorous poetry competition, then the judging panel could be the itty-bitty witty ditty committee.
If one of the local museums is putting on an exhibition of famous cinema cars, we might want to set up an itty-bitty chitty-chitty committee.
And if our gardeners complain about stray cats defecating on their beautiful borders, we might have to instigate an itty-bitty shitty kitty committee.
As you can tell, I was deeply moved by the book. No, actually it was very good, though quite distressing to read in parts. Likewise ‘I Daniel Blake’ which was the film we saw. Not one for a bit of festive cheer, but very worthwhile. I admire these writers who set out to hold up a mirror which reflects a picture most of us choose to ignore or not recognise. Both the book and the film did a good job of reminding me how bloody hard some peoples’ lives are and how lucky I am to have the problem of shoe shopping .