IT was half-price-sale time in Avoca so we raced over from the bogs to snap up the bargains.
Patsy had arrived before us and we found her standing in front of a mirror, grinning like a culchie in a turnip shop, as she held up a dress that might have fitted a 12-year-old child.
"I read a book over the Christmas called Adore Yourself Slim which says that when you look in the mirror you must think good to look good," she explained.
"I hate to be the one to tell you, but no amount of happy-clappy thoughts are going to help you fit into that dress unless it comes in size wheelie bin," said Josie.
Maggie tittered like a canary and then skipped off to drape herself in jewellery which she claimed she had no intention of buying. Needless to say, she bought four bangles and a ring which she tried on and couldn't get off.
Later, over a slice of pavlova that must have weighed in at half a pound, Patsy explained how she was going to love herself into thinness.
"It's all about banishing negative thoughts about yourself. In the book it says there is no point in going on a diet if you can't look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful -- regardless of the fact that your arse is bigger than a wheelie bin." She stared hard at Josie and Josie had the good grace to downgrade Patsy's bum size to just plain large.
"The first thing you must do is write down 10 things you love about yourself."
"Only 10!" exclaimed Josie with just a hint of sarcasm.
"Then you have to write down 10 things your friends love about you," Patsy said.
I knew if we got involved in this process it would end in the cat fight to end all cat fights so I kept mum and, anyway, perhaps all this writing - down business was to stop the dietee thinking about food. If it was, however, it was failing miserably with Patsy. As she was furiously scribbling down all her good points, her pavlova was disappearing faster than a dose of flatulence in a wind tunnel.
"It is also recommended that you should act like a girl guide to achieve your goals. You know, like carrying out good deeds on a daily basis."
"For feck's sake!" shouted Josie, who had reached her limit. "I've never heard such rubbish in all my life!"
Patsy put down her pen and thought for a second. I waited for the explosion but instead she said: "Do you know something, Josie, you are absolutely right!" She then proceeded to shovel the remainder of the pavlova into her gob. Pheww . . . cat fight avoided.