"These days you can't tell the difference between the real Nutters and those talking on hands free." I muttered Grumpy Old Woman style, momentarily forgetting I was not alone in the vehicle. Which only goes to show that I am one of the aforementioned. Whilst I considered this, a voice from the back seat piped up,
"Vat ist ein Nutter mama?"
A number of synonyms made themselves immediately available. Fruit-case, Head-case, Do-waa-dip-dopper, one twist short of a slinky, running on empty, as sharp as a marble, to name but a few. Not particularly politically correct or indeed, any easier to explain away to a four-year-old than Nutter.
Germans don't have many good slang words for dotty. Oh and you do know I'm not talking about those with serious mental issues here don't you? I mean crazy in a friendly I-secretly-sing-Barry-Manilow-love-songs-under-the-shower way. The word the Germans frequently use is "Spinner" which covers all variables. Efficient as they are.
As this is not really a "bad" word as such and yet again demonstrating exemplary parenting skills
I assumed it would be an acceptable explanation. I'm not inclined to use a German word to illustrate an English one but I was under pressure and in need of caffeine.
I forgot however, that the word "Spinner" sounds like another German word "Spinne", which means "spider".
Getting increasingly confused, Finje was trying to figure out why people talking on a hands free phone should be compared to a bug. I left her to it as I negotiated precision parallel parking.
Walking towards the supermarket entrance, our attention was taken by a bloke dressed as a squirrel coming in our direction. Sure he was trying to sell something, I grimaced politely and urged Finje on. You can remove a child from a life sized furry squirrel as well as you can remove Vimto from your favourite white t-shirt. He was giving out promotional nuts. Interest lost, we entered the shop. As we did so I felt relief that at least the squirrel guy had distracted her from the original conversation. And then:
"Wow mama, he was as mad as a box of spiders!"