My apologies for the delay, I understand some of you were quite keen yesterday to see the post. Unfortunately our new flat's internet will not be installed until 6th April and so I have to publish these during my breaks at work. Life is hard and then you die, I believe the saying goes. But we shall soldier on.
Yesterday, I was padding about in the new flat while Other Half was taking a nap in the bedroom. I was thirsty and had a sugar craving, so I trotted into the kitchen and found some bottles in the fridge. I decided to make a concoction of orange juice, lemonade and whatever else I could find that took my fancy. A sparkling beverage! A liquid dream! However, disaster struck within moments when I couldn't unscrew the lid from the lemonade bottle. I stared at it in amazement and growing horror. My feeble heaves and twists were doing nothing to shift the cap. I ran the top of the bottle under the hot tap. I wrapped a dish towel around the cap and strained with all my might. I beat the bottle quite vigorously against the side of the counter, against my fists, and eventually against my head in despair. The ordinary refreshing beverage I had wanted only minutes before had become some kind of mirage in the distance – a lemonade-y oasis, if you will. The moment I was denied the chance of lemonade was the exact moment I had realised I'd never wanted anything quite so badly. This tends to be the way with me.
Eventually Other Half came wandering into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes with her fists, hair slightly askew, to find me slumped listlessly on the counter, refusing to quit my furious staring match with the bottle.
Other Half: What are you doing?
Me: (wailing) I wanted lemonade but I can't get it open!
Other Half: Oh for god's sake.
She reached over, picked up the bottle and in one swift motion, as easily as picking a blade of grass, she unscrewed the cap. Immediately, I couldn't help myself.
Me: Well, I loosened it for you.
Other Half: That's such a man thing to say.
Me: But I did.
Other Half: Just accept that I'm stronger than you!
Me: I agree, you are. But I totally loosened the cap. Just saying.
Other Half: You're incorrigible.
Me: That's why you love me though. Right?
Other Half leaves the room, giving me a quick reproachful glance.
I feel I should point out that I am not the only one to behave like this from time to time. Other Half has been known to do some truly dangerous things, like accidentally applying nail varnish remover rather than makeup remover to her face while not fully awake, or trying to take trays out of the oven without wearing mitt protection. So very occasionally, I find that our normal roles (me - endearing eccentric, her - attractive with no visible character flaws) have reversed, such as several weeks ago, before we had moved out of our old, mouldy house. I had just got home from work and Other Half had accosted me at the door in a frenzied panic.
Other Half: The tap in the sink upstairs is leaking!
Me: Seriously? Great, this is all we need.
There was a moment when Other Half and I mentally eyed each other up, compared our skill sets and stats, and reached the mutual silent conclusion that this could probably be filed under 'technical problems' and so fell within my area of expertise. I communicated by way of a slight eyebrow raise that if, say, the router had been dripping water, I would have been closer to my comfort zone, but Other Half's eyes twitched in anguished desperation, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I gave in and accepted the task. I could understand why she was so worried - after all, we'd just lived through the Great Downstairs Swamp Debacle of 2010 and the thought of dealing with a similar situation upstairs made me want to curl into a corner and weep copiously. However, I squared my shoulders, gave Other Half the most confident smile I could manage and headed upstairs to the bathroom.
I entered the bathroom warily. The tap was indeed running, but I could tell, kneeling and pressing my hand to the carpet (like I imagined Indiana Jones would have done in the same situation) that it was as dry as a desert. Puzzled, I stood and advanced towards the sink. I examined it from the sides and from underneath. No water was leaking out. I stood again, and looked thoughtfully at the tap. After a moment, I reached out and cautiously turned it off. The water flow stopped.
Other Half: (calling from downstairs) Is it okay? Is it ruined?
Me: Did you say it was leaking?
I could have let her think that I just happened to be excellent at DIY. I could have quite easily made up some elaborate lie in which I tightened various nuts and bolts, thus saving us and the cats from imminent death by further mould. I could have been a Hero. Instead, I chose the low (but hilarious) road, and not least because Other Half has on several occasions watched me unsuccessfully try to follow instructions on a packet of Lego and would presumably have seen right through my lie.
I explained painstakingly to Other Half that the tap was, rather than leaking, actually just running water, which is in fact the sole purpose of a tap, and that a person could, if they so wished, miraculously control the flow of water by rotating the metal cylinders on the side of the tap. I provided several practical demonstrations and a Powerpoint presentation on the subject. I may have stretched this out further by making fun of Other Half continuously for days on end, leaning over every time she did the dishes and asking in a low, sincere tone whether she needed assistance with the tap management etc.
This may not have been received in the best of spirits, but on the plus side it entertained me for weeks, and hopefully now it will also amuse you.