more than two

“Basically,” Sue said to Hannah, “computer simulation theory is split into three separate suppositions.”
Hannah, sitting opposite Sue, stared into a space, her attention drifting. A gingham patterned tablecloth, wooden chair and contrasting coloured floor tiles blurred together, swirling in a clockwise direction. Taking hold of the teaspoon in her coffee cup, she stirred the brown milky liquid in an anticlockwise direction, hoping to counteract the effect. When this failed she blinked a few times, restoring focus and easing the sensation of soreness in the corners of her eyes.
“Did you know,” said Hannah, “GIF is meant to be pronounced jiff, with a soft G.”
“Can I explain to you about simulation theory, how we may all be living within a computer simulation created in an advanced, post-human age?” Sue said.
“Soon,” Hannah said, “but mine is quicker than yours, so let me get this out.”
The waiter arrived at their table with a tray, from which he served two plates of breakfast. He smiled at Sue, waved his hand from left-to-right above the table.
“Have you everything you need?” He asked.
“Yes, that’s fine, thank you.” Sue returned a smile. Satisfied with this, the waiter smiled once more.
“Great, enjoy your meals.” He gestured with a ‘thumbs-up’ and turned back towards the cafe counter.
Hooking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, she watched him walk away. Hannah looked around, following her gaze.
“Nice tush.” Hannah said.
“Ay, what?” Said Sue, her cheeks flushing red.
Grabbing the salt grinder on the table, Sue twisted the top several times, scattering grains of salt across the plate of food and her side of the table.
“It’s alright Sweetpop, it’s not a crime to admire an area of outstanding beauty!” Hannah said, enjoying Sue’s discomfort.
“So was his name Jeff, the guy who invented the jiff?” Sue said, bringing the conversation back to where they’d left off.
Hannah had forked a slice of sausage, some baked beans and fried toast into her mouth. An involuntary smile formed, prompting her to let go of the cutlery knife and cover her lips with her fingers.
“I’ve noticed this,” Sue continued, “you always start eating a meal before adding any seasoning or sauce. You know people don’t generally do it in that order.”
Attempting to suppress laughter, Hannah rocked in her chair, then reached out a steadying arm onto the table. Grabbing a breath, hurriedly chewing and swallowing her food, she tried to reply. Before able to do so, Sue spoke again.
“I suppose it makes sense. Find out what the food actually tastes like before seasoning.”
“There you go!” said Hannah, “Makes perfect sense, see?”
Hannah’s hand slid across the table and covered Sue’s hand. She slipped her thumb in between Sue’s thumb and index finger and squeezed gently, giving Sue a cheeky smile.
“There you go, indeed.” Said Sue lifting their hands up together, twice kissing the top of Hannah’s hand.
“I love how gentle you are with me Sue.” Hannah said.
For several minutes, they devoted time to their meals, looking at each other often, smiling and remaining effortlessly tuned in together. Occasionally, Sue glanced out through the windows at people walking past.
“So? Was it Jeff Jiff, or what?” Sue said.
“I don’t know what his name was! You want me to find out?” Hannah reached into her back pocket, retrieving her phone. Face up on the table, she keyed in the code, unlocking the screen.
“No,” said Sue, “let’s not know.”
“Ok.” Hannah said, giving a slight shrug of her shoulders.
“He must have been annoyed about the mispronunciation.” Sue said.
“Well no, apparently not!” Said Hannah. “This is the thing, after inventing the GIF, he referred to it as a jiff, with the intention to confuse and irritate people.”
“Really?” Said Sue.
“Yes, but this is the thing-”
This, is the thing?” Sue poured herself a glass of water.
“Yes, because it was an internet thing, practically everyone only ever read the word rather than heard it, so it became universally pronounced with a hard G.”
“Oh,” said Sue before sipping from her glass. “so his ruse failed then?”
“Anyway, it’s an acronym for something, isn’t it?” Sue said, squinting as she sifted through her memory. “Graphic, Interchange, Format?”
“Yes, think so,” replied Hannah, “which makes me think it should be pronounced jiff, because as a letter on its own we say the letter G softly.”
Sue raised an eyebrow, tilting her head from side to side, acknowledging Hannah’s conclusion.
“It’s a tricky one,” Sue said, “phonetically, G can be ‘guh’ or ‘jer’ in English, although I reckon there’s a predominance of the hard G. Plus, the word graphic uses a hard G.”
“I wonder if in Sweden, they say yiff?” Said Hannah.
“Probably.” Said Sue.
Since soon after their arrival, a steady flow of customers had filled up each table. Drawing in and releasing a deep breath, Hannah looked around at the eclectic mix of diners gathered inside the cafe. Hannah felt Sue’s fingers touch the knuckles of her hand.
“You know how pretty you are?” Sue said.
“What were you talking about when we first sat down?” Said Hannah in between taking sips of coffee. “Assimilation theory, or something?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.