So this is the very first instalment of the DOTY blog and I was hoping for something like Hangover Day, Sleep-in Late Day or Keep a Bucket Next to Your Bed Day. But no, today is Z Day, which is quite a challenge in itself and even more so when you’ve woken up with a hangover, having slept-in late with a bucket next to your bed. Happy New Year, by the way.

Apparently I need to let someone whose name begins with Z go before me in a queue, or something along those lines. (Heh, ‘lines’, get it? Queue, lines… never mind.) Anyway, who do I know whose name begins with Z? It’s not exactly very common round these parts and I have neither the time nor the inclination to pose the question to random people shopping in Tesco, not without practicing my nervous twitch. I could wrack my brains but instead I do what our generation does more than anything else in an average day; I check Facebook.

Click on ‘Friends’, type the letter Z, wait 0.07 seconds, voila! Apparently I know five Zoës and one girl whose name doesn’t include a Z at all but she came up anyway. Good for her. The point is, I know five Zoës (I don’t know anyone with a surname beginning with Z, so this’ll have to do). One lives in London, two are in West Yorkshire and the fourth is somewhere beginning with C that’s slipped my mind; I know it’s miles away, though. However, my good friend Zoë Hughes lives right here in Hull, just around the corner, so she became the lucky beneficiary of a Sutherland-brand queue jumper.

For your reference, here’s a transcript of our short phone conversation:

  • ME: “Hey, ZoHu.”
  • ZOË: “Hey, lovely, how’s it going?”
  • ME: “Good, thanks. Yeah, good. Gooooooooood.”
  • ZOË: “That’s… good… then?”
  • ME: “I need you.”
  • ZOË: “…Rich, we’ve talked about this.”
  • ME: “I mean for coffee. Today. I need you to come for a coffee with me. I’m, er, bored.”
  • ZOË: “Oh…”
  • ME: “And only you can satisfy my unquenchable thirst for thrill and… mild peril.”
  • ZOË: “…”
  • ME: “So, coffee?”

Granted, it could have gone better, but within the hour we were in a nearby coffee shop, waiting in line to order something that would be more syrup and Pick ‘n’ Mix than caffeine, but it was only as I arrived at the head of the queue that I remembered the reason for the visit. Grabbing Zoë by the shoulders, I thrust her to the counter, grinning down like a giant idiot, and nodded my encouragement as if she were a performing pet. Five minutes later we were sitting silently at a small table, a smug look plastered across my face as I watched my friend take impressively large gulps and desperately try to make eye contact with a passing member of staff.

So today, Z Day, was a success; only 365 days still to go (curse you, 2012, you pesky leap year!) Oh, and did I mention that Zoë paid for the drinks? A most excellent result, I just hope I see her again to repay the favour in regular A-Z fashion.

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