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Let me explain Joanna to you.

Her ambition in life (as far as I can tell) is to be described as “quirky”.

From the clothes she wears to the far-fetched stories she tells, it’s all carefully crafted to give the illusion of kookiness and it winds me up more than it ought to.

She once told a group of us that she and a friend used to, after closing time, jump over the fence of Aldi and snack on their discarded produce (out of date food).

This raises two important questions:

  1. Why?
  2. If you’re willing to trespass and effectively break the law for some free doughnuts, why would you pick Aldi? Why wouldn’t you go somewhere like Marks and Spencer – where it’s not just out of date food they throw out… it’s M&S out of date food.

For some reason I’ve agreed to go to this nutters birthday meal. I walk through the doors of the restaurant to be greeted by an attractive waitress who immediately asks if I have a booking.

“It should be under the name Joanna Davies.”

The waitress looks blank as she checks the list on a clipboard and I worry/hope that I’ve got the wrong day or time.  Until she says “Oh, you mean JoJo!”

I reluctantly agree that we’re talking about the same person and she guides me to the table.

I say “reluctantly” because I don’t agree with self-given nicknames. Nicknames should be earned by some defining action or a physical characteristic. It is her birthday though, so I let it slide… for now.

I think if I could choose her nickname it would be “Grease-Head”. I bet she wouldn’t ring restaurants and book tables using that name.

On the table is a big sign saying “Welcome to JoJo’s 30th” – I shake my head as I take my seat but nobody notices or at least nobody comments.

Over an hour later – main courses finished, I’m quite proud of myself for not bringing it up… then Joanna orders a dessert.

It’s not long after the waiter returns with said desserts that I crack;

“So Joanna, elephant in the room, I thought you said you don’t use the name Jojo, I thought it was just something that other people called you?”

Grease-Head has just stuffed a massive amount of Apple pie into her face so I politely wait for her to finish it before she answers.

“How is that an elephant in the room?” She says before lying: “I know one of the blokes who works here. He must have put it” – I see a waiter nearby and am tempted to ask if she’s lying, but decide against it.

Then Chris pipes up and says “I’ve just always called her JoJo” and does a mini shrug whilst making eye contact with me.

A shrug sort of implies that it doesn’t matter… but it does! If we could make up our own nick-names then 50% of the bookings around the country would be for “Mr Mega-cock”.

It’s a real shame because I used to like Chris.

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