I am planning a new chart for the office, once it's been redecorated.
Over the last few months, we have developed a useful short-hand scale to describe the level of eccentricity currently being displayed by our respective mothers, similar to the US DefCon system.
But based on fish.
Inital discussion of the subject centered around the question of WHICH fish, exactly, would it be appropriate to use? If all fish are mad, are some fish madder than others?
Koi Carp, for example, strike me as being relativley soothing, particularly if you have bread crumbs or something similar to feed them - likewise Goldfish. Herring, on the other hand, or perhaps Haddock, often seem to me to be slightly more agitated, whilst Kippers are plainly up there quite high on the fishy madness index.
After careful consideration therefore, we have developed and successfully tested the following FishCon Scale of Maternal Insanity:
Koi (or 'Carp') - Very relaxed, dealing with all cards in possession, introduce any sensible discussion you wish to have NOW before it's too late.I am going to colour-code the chart, pin it to the wall and attach little pointers. Above Haddock, all bets are off.
Mackerel - Placid, relatively normal range of functions, able to communicate with outside world, but avoid very sensitive topics (modifier - 'smoked').
Haddock - Approached with caution on every day subjects should be fine. Do not attempt to discuss financial or relationship matters.
Herring - Will probably not make much sense, extreme caution needed. Do not ask questions if at all possible or introduce new topics in to conversation. Use 'yes' and 'really!' a lot (modifier - 'roll mop').
Kipper - No meaningful communication possible, try again later.
If either of them ever discover this blog, I am probably dead.