It is Thursday evening around 7pm, and my wife is working through her second day of a gruelling gin hangover. My wife can get a little caustic when she’s hungover, so to ease tensions, I have been avoiding her. I reckon I only have four hours left to endure before she slumps into a coma on the sofa, so I take the plunge and enter her lair. With great caution, I open the door…
Everything seems normal, there is crap all over the floor and my wife is laid out on the couch flicking through an old photo album. She turns to me and says, ‘Hi’ in a spritely fashion. I say, ‘Hi’ back and cautiously sit down beside her.
My wife continues to flick through the album, she stops at a picture of me in my younger days and says: “You look so much better in 2D.”
“But I spend most of my time in 3D,” I reply.
“4D. You forgot about your smell.”
I am constantly amazed by my wife’s ability to elevate and deflate in the same sentence. I get up to leave and remind myself that in future I should never return to a lit firework.
Living with my wife during a hangover is not all misery though, when she’s not finding me unbearable, she is doing a stirling job of ignoring the kids. In fact, I could swap the kids for two chimps and she’d never notice. She denies this of course, and says that if the kids were swapped for chimps she’d know because the house would be cleaner.
Thankfully, I’m saved from any more complimentary insults by our son who bursts into the room shouting: “My eyes! My eyes!!” like one of the old hags in Macbeth, and rubs both of his eyes with the palms of his hands. “My vision has gone all blurry. I can see little dots. They are all in clusters.”
My wife looks perplexed and says to me: “I used to really like Clusters; they were my favourite cereal. Did they stop making them? I’ll google it.” She starts scrolling.
“My eyes. My eyes!” wails my son.
“Excellent! They still make them,” exclaims my wife. “Score!”
I make soothing noises about his eyeballs and look over at my wife, prodding away on the ipad, and wonder why I’ve never noticed before that she says: ‘Score!’
“Do you mind,” I say pointedly.
“What’s the matter?” she barks.
“Can you come off the ipad and help me look after our son.”
The injured chimp looks longingly at his mother, eventually she presses ‘Buy Clusters’ and comes over to dish out hugs and cuddles. This gives me a golden opportunity to dump my parental duties and tip-toe out of the room. I can feel her eyes burning into the back of my neck as I escape. As well as giving her a two-day hangover, gin also appears to have given her laser vision.
A few hours later the kids are in bed and my wife and I are sat downstairs enjoying the last few hours of her hangover. My wife turns the TV on and we try to select a programme that we both like so that we can ignore it and go on our ipads.
“What about, Australian Border Control?” she asks.
“No,” I reply. “It’s just all about Chinese people smuggling fruit. I never knew Australians were so scared of Chinese fruit smugglers.”
My wife chucks the TV remote at me and says: “Here, you have it. I can’t be arsed looking any more.”
I start operating the clicker. I’m feeling adventurous and scour the unchartered channels, – high up in the 500s. I land on a programme about injured chimps and look at my wife with a sarcastic look on my face. She doesn’t see it because she is slumped awkwardly asleep; her dressing gown has parted – revealing all to the world. I sit back and think: My eyes! My eyes!