Wednesday 26 November 2008

My 'no-wife' life...

My wife has this recurring daydream - I would perhaps call it a fantasy, if the term wasn't so desperately inappropriate for what follows - about what my life would be like without her. She likes to describe this scenario in some detail, carefully outlining every single aspect of the heartbreak and misery that I will suffer through each day, in an fairly transparent attempt to make sure I know just how lucky I am to have her around. Sadly, she has overplayed this particular card, and I am now totally immune to it and find the whole thing amusing, which is even more aggravating:
"I notice you didn't load the dishwasher..."
"Didn't I? Oh, sorry, I forgot."
"You said you would...."
"Yes, yes, I did... but I also just explained that I forgot. I didn't do it to spite you."
"Well, it's annoying, because I did remind you."
"Earlier. When you weren't listening."
"When was that?"
"All the time. You're never listening."
There is pause while I think carefully about this, seeking the correct answer. There doesn't appear to be one, so a switch of tactics is required.
"Could you actually tell I wasn't listening when you reminded me?"
"I had a pretty good idea, yes."
"It's not really reminding me, as such, then, is it? If you knew I wasn't listening? It's more just talking out loud with me in the room..."
"I shouldn't have needed to remind you in the first place."
"Well, why did you, then?"
"Because I knew you'd forget."
"Well, as we've established, I forgot anyway. Why didn't you remind me again, if it bothered you that much?"
"If I remind you more than once, you accuse me of nagging."
"Yes, but I have to actually hear you the first time for it to count...."
There is a another pause. It is clear that in this brief exchange, we have both swiftly moved to DefCon 3 and there is now a real danger of escalating hostilities. The pause continues, but with a different timbre: it's now the kind of menacing quiet that emanates from a loaded gun left carelessly on a counter top....
"I notice you still haven't done anything about loading the dishwasher.."
"We are lying in bed. It is nearly midnight. Do you expect me to pad downstairs and load the dishwasher now?
"No, I would have preferred you to have done it earlier..."
"Believe me, if I could go back in time, my failure today to load the dishwasher would be the very first thing in my life I would go back and fix..."
"Now you're just being sarcastic."
"...but just to be sure, I would then travel a bit further back, and remind myself to listen at the point when you reminded me."
"Do you know how lucky you are? Do you have any idea what your life would be like without me?"
"Oh Christ, not this again..."
"It would..." (dramatic pause) " shit."
"Yes, you've mentioned that before. At least 5 times. Possibly more, in fact, if you deliberately chose to tell me at other intervals when you knew I wasn't listening..."
"I suspect you would be dead. You would have died of a cardiac arrest from eating Pot Noodle sandwiches if I hadn't come along and starting feeding you properly."
"Is this the part when I get eaten by cats? Because last time you mentioned this, after I died of the heart attack, you said my body remained undiscovered, and got eaten by cats. Which is strange, as I'm allergic to them, so it seems unlikely I would have any around..."
"You would spend you whole life playing Nintendo, and farting..."
"I don't think you really addressed the cat question..."
"You got a cat to help with the loneliness. Because your life was so empty."
"That seems a poor decision on my part. What with my allergy, and you know, not actually liking cats that much..."
"Well, yes, but that's your life without me. A string of poor decisions."
Another pause.
"What is the cat called?"
"What is the cat called?"
"Oh, I don't know, something hateful. Bumhole. Something like that."
"Wow, things really are grim for me without you, aren't they? Not only have I stupidly gotten a cat that I'm allergic to and don't even want, but I've called it Bumhole. That's going to make for some tough conversations at the vets..."
"You're not taking me seriously."
"Oh, I am, I'm getting quite into it. But on the plus side, if all I'm eating is Pot Noodle sandwiches, there will be very little washing up. I probably won't even need a dishwasher in the first place..."
"But you will have no wife, no life, and no children. And you will smell. Badly. And no woman will ever touch you."
"Well, at least I'll still have Bumhole."
"Who will ultimately eat you."
"I'm OK with that. I'll be dead, so I won't feel it. And I hate to think of him starving because in some crazed alternate world you just dreamed up, I failed to meet you. It wouldn't be fair."
"Look, just load the sodding dishwasher in the morning will, you?"
"Yes, I will. I promise."
It goes quiet. Conflict over. But I can't resist one last jab.
"Can you remind me, though? When you know I'm not listening?"


Anonymous said...

You know, there are times in my life -- like those mealtimes after I've asked the kids for the fiftieth time in five minutes to stop poking each other and eat their veg -- when living alone, eating Pot Noodle sandwiches and playing Nintendo all the time wouldn't seem like such an awful thing.

And Bumhole is a genius name for a cat.

Anonymous said...

Deep down, you know she's right.

That's funny stuff. There's nothing like being set up for failure.

Misterimpatient said...

You mean the rumor that Madonna left Guy for you is not true?

Anonymous said...

sh*t! I'd better get a cat!!!

MDK said...

I want to hear more about the adventures of Bumhole the cat!

Dan Bruna said...

I've just found this - BRILLIANT!
'Bumhole' & pot noodle sandwiches - inspired.