I have laughed in confusion and realised that my Facebook profile picture was now embellished by a string of golden coins, the kind Uncle Scrooge McDuck (el tio Gilito, in Spanish) loved so much. I…
Me and my wife were out doing what all boring couples do in their 30s on a Friday evening: we were out buying new cushion covers.
There was nothing wrong with the old ones, the missus just deemed it essential that we buy some more festive versions ready for when the Christmas decorations go up in a few weeks.
She likes to get prepared. I usually like to stay out of her way.
After an hour of looking, with the suitable cushion covers selected, much to my horror she then left me unsupervised in a quite lengthy queue. She needed to go off and get fabric for her sewing machine, she said, but I suspected this was punishment for a previous indiscretion.
As a result, you have to understand, I was already in disarray. I’m not the sort of person who can handle being left alone in a store, around other people.
What if one of them spoke to me? I couldn’t handle that.
And what if I made it to the till before my wife got back? Would I have to explain that she was on the way and delay the others queuing behind me? Or would I have to just pay for the cushion covers and be on my way?
No doubt further punishment would be waiting for me if I did that, and for penance she’d probably make me queue again while she sat in the car doing that thing she does with her hand, where she looks down at her wedding ring and goes in to a semi-trance, and I wonder if she is questioning the “till death do us part” bit.
I say all this to explain, madam, that as I first joined the queue, I wasn’t my usual self, and if you felt in any way offended or slighted by my actions, I apologise profusely.
When my wife vanished down the bedding aisle, I found myself having an out of body experience and felt immediately feint. I don’t know if you noticed, but I had to clutch a shelf to stop myself toppling over.
But, regaining my senses, I proceeded forward to join the back of the queue, like the good obedient British husband I am, clutching my cushion covers like a shield, and didn’t see you approach from the side.
On this side of that guardrail, a sleepy little neighborhood. Families of boys, girls, bankers, bus drivers, business owners, custodians, mechanics, politicians, policemen, and one rich old lady no…