Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fancy an argument do you?

The dog had a very satisfying walk this morning. We came upon a flock of cockatoos feeding serenely upon the grass and he bounded upon them like a large black furry bowling ball, cockatoos scattering with raucous shrieks before him.

There was a notice up at the school in which I teach part time advertising a ‘Best Dressed Teddy’ competition, and overcome by my competitive streak plus the fatal desire to appear a jolly, participating, human type of teacher, I grabbed the stuffed gorilla that has slept in our bed for the last 20 years, pummelled him into a christening type dress and marched into school. When I arrived at school, smile nailed on my face, I was greeted by a table manned by a variety of parents and small children who promptly tied a label around Grill and announced that I would get him back on September 17th after the school fair. I was completely horror-struck by this announcement but felt I couldn’t possibly lose face by demanding him back. He was thrust unceremoniously into a black bin bag along with other random teddies and borne off. Fortunately as a household we are not short of stuffed animals should the situation become desperate and I do realise I am being pathetic because after all I do have a husband to clutch if all else fails.

I was in the car today listening to a Monty Python sketch that I have never heard before about an Argument Clinic. In the sketch Michael Palin arrives at the argument clinic and books a one off argument rather than the full course. He initially goes into the abuse room by mistake before arriving at the argument room and bandying words with John Cleese. I feel the book an argument is an approach I could adopt quite happily at home, encouraging members of the family to sign up for a 5 minute teenage argument with pauses to allow combatants to storm out of room, or alternatively to opt for the 1 hour intermittent sibling bicker or the 10 minute full on family recrimination about use of towels and general state of rooms. In fact Simon and I are in the midst of a minor argument about dishwashing – for the technically minded I shall merely say it centres upon the use of a dishcloth versus a brush to wash dishes. The most appropriate way of describing my reaction to the veiled criticism of my household hygiene is to say I bridled and made what I considered the strong defensive point that in almost 20 years of marriage I have yet to give him salmonella. He feels that despite having escaped food poisoning in the past he would prefer not to flirt with what he obviously considers a strong possibility of imminent hospitalisation. For both of us there is a strong sense of enjoyment associated with the discussion, as bridling aside, we can both sense the possibility of dragging in references to each other’s families and multiple incidents from our shared and separate pasts – should keep us going for some months.

I took DQ no.2 and 3 bikini shopping last week and I am strongly tempted to join the line up of supermodels in launching my own swimwear line for teens. The current general swimwear look in the shops seems to be “Something I’ve just popped into on my way to the lap dancing club” leading to more heated than usual mother daughter exchanges in the changing rooms, conducted in hissed whispers.

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