Its teatime and I’m busy on my mobile phone trying to fend off a cold caller.
“I’m not interested in life cover at the moment,” I say and stir the peas. I readjust the phone and trap it between my shoulder and chin. “I’m happy with the one I’ve got…” I say and feel a strong tug on my shirt. It’s my wife. She is mouthing the words ‘Just tell them to fuck off’.
I glance over to my kids who are sat at the dinner table reluctantly waiting for food. I mouth back to my wife ‘I can’t tell them to fuck off. The kids will hear me’.
She mouths back, ‘Tell them to fuck off, or I will do it.’
I start to circle away from my wife who is now upping her game by jabbing me in the kidneys. I can’t seem to get away. It’s like having a bee in your hair, but for some reason I feel that if I stop stirring the peas they will not cook properly. This is a common fear for the untrained cook.
“Sorry…” I say, “You want to know who my current policy provider is?” My kidneys receive another jab; my back spasms and I lose a few peas. I start to think that it might be a good idea to increase my life cover.
I move away from the peas to check the fish fingers under the grill. They look like they’ve just tried to reenter the earth’s atmosphere. Unfortunately, my daughter refuses to eat anything scorched, so I finger wrestle them out, drop them on a plate and start to pick off the burnt bits. I arch my back to shield the scene from my daughter whilst being jabbed in the kidneys.
“Well,” I say, “I appreciate…aaaagggh, it just takes a few seconds to change supplier…aaaaghhh…” I swat wildly away at my wife with my burnt fingers. Suddenly, my wife’s phone bursts into action. She scurries over to get it. This unexpected torture break gives me a golden opportunity to stir the peas.
My wife picks up her phone and confidently flips the cover. “Hello,” She says. “Fuck off,” she says and puts the phone back down.
“Who was that?” I ask.
“Your mother,” she taunts.
I seriously doubt that was actually my mother on the other end of her phone. For a start, my wife’s never usually on the phone to her for that long. Three words starting with ‘hello’, ending in ‘off’ and sandwiched by ‘fuck’ would be the longest they’ve chatted for six months. But cutting to the chase is something I love about my wife. It’s the reason she doesn’t waste her life being nice to cold callers, the reason she somehow manages to drive the kids to school quicker than me.
I think about how much I love my sweary wife as I stir the over-boiled peas. And that’s when I make the decision…
“Just hold on,” I say to the caller, “I think we can get this sorted pretty quickly.”
“Great,” replies the caller.
“In fact, “I say, “I think it will only take three words,” and I pass the phone on to my wife, who corrects me by mouthing, ‘Two words’.