Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A bit of a stitch-up...

I am sitting in my favourite armchair by the window, reading the paper while sipping tea and grimacing.
The reasons for the grimace are twofold: firstly the newspaper has done its best to assure me that the world in general (and the country in particular) is slipping slowly but inexorably into financial meltdown, and secondly because my tea contains artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, and therefore tastes just like a good cup of tea that has been ruined with a teaspoonful of shite.
I have been trying to wean myself off the good stuff and onto a low-calorie alternative for some time, but I have found it surprisingly difficult - none of the products I have tried have met their manufacturers promise of tasting 'just like the real thing'; instead each has had a peculiar tang which seems to have been custom-designed by scientists to render tea undrinkable. All the sweeteners I have tried have seemed unpleasantly chemical, almost metallic, giving a taste which I have come to mentally associate with drinking from a robots shoe - an image which does nothing to contribute to any enjoyment I might take out of the process.
In the background I can hear the hum of a sewing machine, accompanied by the low mutter of conversation and the occasional giggle: my wife is clearly doing some craft project or other with the children that has them enthralled. I have just turned to the sport pages, to read of a shocking recent performance by Arsenal FC that does nothing to lift my mood, when Youngest appears at the door with a message for me:
"Daddy, Mummy says do you want her to fix your floppy willy?"
I look at her. She looks back at me. She doesn't appear to be joking.
"Pardon?" I ask, after the longest pause.
"Mummy wants to know if you want her to stop your willy flopping?" she reiterates.
There is another, longer pause. She looks at me expectantly throughout, while I look at her as if she has just landed from Mars.
"No, she doesn't..." I decide, having mentally worked through as many possible scenarios that could have led to this statement, and finding none that can explain it.
"She does. She has her sewing machine out. She says she can fix it now."
That sounds both implausible and also quite eye-watering. I put down the paper and rise from the chair to investigate. Youngest takes this as a sign that I am willing to participate in....well, whatever it is that my wife has in mind, and runs off ahead, calling over her shoulder: "Go and fetch your pyjamas..."
This is sounding really ominous now. I enter the dining room with some trepidation.
"Where are they, then?" asks my wife as I enter. I notice that the craft project she has been doing is making bunting, but I am not sure that we have much to celebrate. It all seems very incongruous.
"Where are my what?" I ask
"Your pyjamas. The ones with the big hole in the seam at the crotch" she explains.
"That your willy might flop out of, if you wear them again..." clarifies Eldest.
"Oh..." I say.
"Nobody wants to see that..." adds my Wife.
"No!" chorus both girls in unison.
"Um..." I say, usefully.
"Go and get them, while I have the sewing machine out," says my wife. "And get that other pair as well, they look like they're going in the same place, I've no idea why - what is it that you do that seems to destroy pyjamas from the crotch outward?"
"Er..." I reply, by way of explanation.
"They are upstairs" she says, pointedly, with unmasked impatience.
"Upstairs, Daddy..." echoes Youngest.
"In your drawer," adds Eldest, as if dealing with a simpleton.
I go upstairs and find my pyjamas with the torn crotch, then return them to the cabal huddled around the sewing machine. My wife holds up my pyjamas, thrusts her hand through the hole and 'tuts' noisily. My children look at me as if I have committed some kind of hate crime. I back out of the room, feeling inexplicably diminished by the whole experience.
I sit back down in the armchair, and take another gulp of tea. It really does taste bitter.

4 comments:

catler said...

Lots of thoughts on this one, most are obvious so we'll leave them alone on this family friendly site and we'll have a chat Friday. No doubt your explanation of how you PJs are so worn in that place will be interesting. I have a theory myself which we'll also leave for now.........
ps where's the post about your "mates" I'm sure you regulars would love to hear about us.

Market-Mouro said...

try agave nectar as a sweetener.

Stephanie said...

ha!! I almost snorted tea out of my nose reading this.


Tea that just has milk and no sugar btw

The Whimsical Wife said...

What an hilarious post.... i am reading this at work and nearly laughed out loud in a quiet office!! Love it!