Betty: Hi, Henry. I haven’t seen you at work for ages. Is everything going okay?
Henry: Hello, Betty! Yes, everything’s fine. I’ve been working the late-afternoon/evening shift and it’s been really busy.
Betty: We’ve been the same in housekeeping. I’ve been working some evenings, which I don't often do. I think there’s been a run of trade fairs at the Convention Centre.
Henry: Yes, there’ve been four in a row, which is unusual. But it means good business for us. I’m just going to the airport to meet my wife. She’s been away on business for three days in Shanghai.
Betty: Are those flowers for her? What a nice thing to do to welcome her home.
Henry: I don’t usually go to meet her when she comes back from a business trip and I don't usually buy her flowers. But I thought I’d better this time. The flowers are a peace offering.
Betty: A peace offering?
Henry: Yes! While my wife’s been away, I’ve had a few minor household accidents.
Betty: Oh, really? What happened?
Henry: Well, a couple of nights ago I had a couple of friends over for pizza and to watch a football match on TV. One of them got overexcited when Manchester United scored the first goal, waving his arms about and jumping up and down, and he accidentally knocked over a vase that my wife keeps on the table by the sofa. The vase that her grandma gave her just before she died. It was an antique the old lady had bought in a market in Shanghai when she got married.
Betty: Oh, no! Was it okay?
Henry: Afraid not! It fell on the tile floor and broke into three pieces.
Betty: Did you rush for the super-glue?
Henry: Don’t joke! A professional might be able to repair it, but glue would have been no good.
Betty: It sounds as if you are really going to be in hot water. The very best of luck!
Henry: That’s not the end of it! I didn't know there was still water in the vase. My wife had had some flowers in it last week. And she must not have emptied it when she threw the flowers out. Well, the water went all over some paperwork she’d left on the table. Disaster! All the ink ran immediately. You couldn’t read a thing when we picked the papers up.
Betty: She’ll have kept a copy on her PC.
Henry: Ah …. ah ……. I know she did the work on the laptop we keep in the bedroom. Well, I was playing some stupid game on that last night, and the thing crashed. I haven't even been able to turn it on today. Total mess!
Betty: It might take more than a bunch of flowers to get you out of all that.
Henry: She’ll never forgive me.
Betty: You’ll be okay. She’ll appreciate the flowers as an apology.
Henry: Apology? They’re not for an apology! They’re for my funeral! My wife will kill me when I tell her what’s happened.