In Training

Nell: Would you mind wearing this hat while you stroke Harriet and Poppy, please?

Me: It’s very stripy and starry.

Nell: It’s American. Kev is wearing his.

Me: What’s going on?

Nell: I hope Babycakes Gillespie ordered doughnuts. Bagels aren’t going to be enough this week.

Me: Why?

Nell: We have lots of ice cream but no jelly.

Me: I haven’t eaten jelly and ice cream since I was a child.

Nell: The jelly goes with peanut butter in a sandwich.

Me: You mean jam. The Americans call it jelly.

Nell: That makes more sense. Or does it? Have you ever eaten cornbread?

Me: I might have done. Why is Kev outside in a sparkly top hat stroking Dave and drinking coffee?

Nell: They’re in training.

Me: For what?

Nell: Strictly. The competition starts on Saturday.

Me: I don’t think sitting around having your fur stroked by Kev in a hat is training.

Nell: We couldn’t find any Americans. Babycakes Gillespie is doing his best and Rupert and Monty are involved as Canadians are North Americans.

Me: I thought I was supposed to be the crazy one.

Nell: I suppose Chris could help from Wednesday. I mean he is an honorary Canadian.

Me: Help with what?

Nell: The training. The dance this week is an American Smooth.

Me: Oh, I see. It all makes sense now. But you’ve got it wrong, Nell. Smooth doesn’t mean stroking, it’s a dance style.

Nell: I know. Smooth is a ballroom dance style that consists of four dances: the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz. It has tremendous freedom in artistry and choreography that allows the dancers to create their own unique look and style.

Me: Yes. Exactly.

Nell: And all animals competing need their fur smoothing, preferably by Americans.

Me: Of course. Sorry.

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