Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Blow Up Doll

Women, wonderful though they are, do the strangest things. Every bloke will know what I mean - the odd little habits, endearing in their own way, that defy all attempts at logical analysis and rational debate.

Take Mrs S, for example. The family Seggars has just returned from a few days' break at the seaside - a pleasant excursion to a smallish coastal town, well provisioned with comfortable accommodation, delightful scenery and more eateries than you can shake a stick at. Naturally, as is her traditional wifely duty, Mrs S has tended to the packing / unpacking with typical skill and efficiency, helped just a little by my insistence that we were not, absolutely not, under any circumstances, taking our laptops with us.

There was some resistance, but I held out. We live our lives surrounded by computers of all descriptions, and, for the time that we were away, I wanted to be free of them. And it was wonderful, let me tell you! In fact, I was still reflecting happily on their absence when we got home. I was unloading the car (Mrs S packs / unpacks, I load / unload, everyone else gets in the way - a pattern many guys will recognise, I'm sure) when I spotted IT tucked away in the back of the boot.

No, not a guilty laptop or other piece of I.T. kit, but IT - the subject of many a bickering session over the years, none of which has ever come to any meaningful resolution. IT is an inflatable mattress, of the kind often advertised in the Sunday papers - you know, pumps up in a matter of hours, just in time for you to gasp you last on it as you expire from bloody hard graft with the tiny pump provided.

Mrs S insists - INSISTS - on taking this wretched thing with us whenever we go on holiday. In vain do I point out that we're staying at a hotel, and their rooms often come complete with a bed. And, if there is a mysterious sleepware malfunction, we can demand a new one, or, for that matter, a new room.

Reasonable, rational questions like "Why?" or "What the bloody hell for?" run into those typical female responses: "Might come in handy" or "You never know." Never know? I DO know that in all the years we've had IT, and, come to think of it, I can't recall how long that is, we have never, ever needed IT. Nonetheless, every year IT emerges from wherever Mrs S keeps it for the rest of the year and makes its way to the heap of stuff to be loaded.

This year, I made a stand for common sense and didn't load IT into the car. Clearly, with endearing strangeness and unexpected guile, Mrs S wasn't in the least bit fooled and loaded IT herself. Words, of course, have been exchanged. Nothing serious, naturally; just the usual sarcastic comment and feisty riposte that remind me why I married her in the first place.

And, of course, nothing has been resolved. IT has returned to its burrow (maybe I can find IT and dump IT while ITs hibernating!), Mrs S is being slightly smug and I am contemplating the consequences of almost two weeks without touching a computer. Aren't holidays fun?

Billy Seggars.

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