Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Calling Dr Rorschach

It's recently been brought to my attention that a mother from Ashland, Kentucky has had her knickers in a twist over a packet of fun-shaped straws that she bought for her three-year-old girl.

The little girl chose a heart-shaped straw for her drink, which is just lovely. However, her mum was not at all impressed by the next ones to come out of the packet. Wal-Mart are on record as saying that they are clearly supposed to be rocket ships.

What do you think?

I need to ask because I've seen a number of messages posted on forums suggesting that this mother clearly has a depraved and filthy mind, and needs to take a good look at herself. But I can say with some certainty that she's not alone.

So - innocent space rocket, or phallic filth? Answers to the usual comments box please, I'm off to wash my depraved and filthy mind out.

Monday, 17 March 2008

'How to Handle a Press Conference' for Betrayed Wives

Poor Mrs Spitzer. Yet another casualty of the Curse of the High-Profile Politician. Hillary Clinton, Norma Major, Pauline Prescott, Judith Mellor - and now Silda Spitzer takes her sorry place in the line-up of the Betrayed Political Wives.

The element of these scandals that I find most excruciating is the inevitable press call where the devoted wife is hauled out alongside her philandering spouse to take her share in his humilliating exposure. Normally she stands by his side and stays quiet, looking respectably upset while he expresses his 'deep regret at the pain I have caused to my wife and family'. Deep regret he got caught, more like.

Why do they do it? I'm sure the reasons are plentiful and complex, and I'm not about to attempt to discuss them here. But I've got an alternative scenario. And I'll vote for any woman who does it, should she subsequently decide that she wants to be Prime Minister.

At the first question from the first journalist, the long-suffering wife steps forward, takes the microphone and makes the following statement.

'Stand by this arsehole? I'd rather stand by a pile of horse shit. I'm only surprised that the ugly bastard managed to find anyone deranged enough to have sex with him in the first place. $5,000? She must have been charging by the 'indaequate fumble'. Thank you all very much for your time, I'm off to make a start on that divorce settlement. Has anyone got the number of Heather Mills' lawyer?'

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

The Husband in 'Kitchens Are For Girls' Shocker.

Every so often, a toddler comes across a toy which keeps him good and quiet for so long that you can't help but rush out and buy one immediately. This is not because your child said they wanted one, but because a safely occupied toddler is a priceless gift.

On Sunday, my little boy discovered such a toy at our friend's house. Their little girl has an Early Learning Centre Sizzlin' Kitchen. It was the kettle that did it. Not only did it have a little red light - he loves lights - it was very shiny, and made all sorts of entertaining bubbling, boiling and pouring noises. He was quiet for about 2 hours. It was bliss.

On the way home, I put it to The Husband that, as our boy doesn't have any of the larger role-play toys yet, perhaps we should consider getting him one of these kitchens.
'Hmmm', came the reply. 'Do you not think that it's a bit...well...girly?'

'What's that, now...?' I said, in horror.

'A toy kitchen. Don't you think it's a bit of a girly toy?'

'Why would you say that?', I asked, in utter bemusement at this sudden transformation into Alf Garnett. 'Of course it's not girly - it's not even slightly pink. Don't start with this crap - you know very well that most top chefs are men. Would you tell Gordon Ramsay that you think kitchens are for girls?'

'Gordon Ramsay is a whinging old woman.'

'OK, bad example...although I bet you wouldn't say that to his face. Honestly though - you know as well as I do that the ability to cook is a very attractive quality in a man. You love to cook, and you're better at it than I am.'

'I know. Couldn't we get him a toy tool box though?'

'When has he ever seen anyone with a tool box? Are you insane? He's 19 months old and a complete danger to himself just now - I do not want him getting ideas about hammers and saws being lots of fun just yet. Come off it, that kitchen was very well thought through - gender-neutral colours and realistic utensils. It's hardly a pink princess kitchen and tea set, is it? And besides - THERE IS NOT A HOPE IN ALL HELL THAT I AM RAISING A BOY THAT CAN'T, OR WORSE, WON'T COOK!'
The Husband sighed. He knew he was fighting a losing battle. 'OK then, see how cheaply you can find one'
Jolly good. Now get in that kitchen and cook my cheesy nachos, you big sissy...'

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Other Peoples' Houses

I should be quite the expert at moving house, all things considered.

I have done it 7 times in the past twelve years, with an average of one move every 13 months. So you would have thought I'd have got the hang of it by now.

This is sadly not the case, despite my ability to segue seamlessly into White Van Man behaviour the second I've finished loading and handed the keys over. Mind you, The Husband doesn't like that sort of thing, so we hire people now...

It's been very tedious - I've been colour coding the local A-Z according to school catchment areas, making viewing appointments and graciously explaining to estate agents that 'a good-sized family home - it must be child-safe, but I don't care how minging the decor is.' does not mean 'Please show me every tiny cubby hole on your books that's been cheaply done over by someone with a tragic fondness for property porn and overblown hopes of a huge profit. You dirty, thieving bastards.

Other people's houses are fascinating. Apart from the voyeuristic pleasure of having a peep behind someone else's curtains, I always come away feeling greatly relieved that other people do not necessarily have cleaner, tidier houses, an innate feel for exquisite interior design, more expensive furniture, well-kept gardens and lifestyles straight out of the glossy pages of Good Housekeeping magazine. It makes me feel quite adequate, which is always A Good Thing.

Other people's houses can also be very odd. Why, for example, would Mr & Mrs H at number 54 choose to have an en-suite shower room and king-sized bed taking up so much space in their tiny master bedroom that they need to keep their wardrobes in the next room? And what's with Mr & Mrs P at nunber 45 - don't they know that if you smoke a pipe and allow your cats to spray your furniture liberally with Eau de Tom, you should at least consider trying to disguise the smell on viewing days?

From the other side of the fence, I would also like to apologise to Mrs ? at number 42 - my little boy had just had a very long and boring morning looking around number 44, and he never normally does that in the street.

And so it begins. Wish me luck - this project is going to be taking up a lot of my time in the coming weeks, and my attempts to be light-hearted and amusing about it here will be my lifeline to sanity. The last move saw me hiding in the hole where the fridge used to be, rocking backwards and forwards with my head between my knees, as the spotty teenaged removal men bounced my piano down the stairs. It still hasn't recovered.

Perhaps this solution might be the best bet, although if our local removal firms can't manage a small, upright piano, I don't fancy our chances of getting away with it...

Courtesy of boeke&maverickapollo @ flickr