It’s early evening and I’m sat on the couch flicking through the channels when I receive a text. It’s from my teenage son. He is texting me from his bedroom…
Son: What’s all that banging??? The pipes are rattling. And what’s with all the swearing???
Me. It’s not me. It’s your mother. She’s exercising.
Son: Do something!!!
Me: Are these texts costing me money?
I’ve got no idea what ‘Fffp’ means, but I don’t have time to decode teenage slang right now, I need to stop my wife exercising because it’s damaging the central heating. But asking my wife to stop is hard because we’re all banned from entering the room when she’s doing her fitness routine. She says it’s the only time she gets to herself, and she wants to spend that precious time doing lunges and swearing.
I enter the room…
My wife is stood motionless on a scatter rug. Two dumbbells lay discarded by her feet. She is watching an extreme fitness video called, Insanity: Body Transformation in 60 days. I notice that unlike my wife, none of the people in the video are wearing cardigans.
“What you doing?” I ask. “It sounds like you’re just dropping those dumbbells on the floor.”
“I am,” she says. “It’s called a ‘Mic-drop’. It’s trendy. Keep up.”
“OK, but can you lower your voice when you’re swearing at the exercise video,” I say. “I’m getting complaints.”
“What, like this…” she replies, and says in a slightly lower tone: “Twatface.”
“Bit lower,” I say.
“Twatface,” she whispers.
“That’s fine,” I say and skulk backwards out of the room, like a butler in a horror movie. I return to the couch and resume flicking. Over the next few minutes I can hear the word, ‘Twatface’ getting louder. I think about ringing the noise pollution branch of the local council and asking to be put through to whoever deals with ‘Exercising Wives’.
I go back in…
The door creaks. I poke my head into the room and I’m relieved to see that my wife has finally discarded her cardigan. She is running on the spot to the sound of, I’m So Excited, by The Pointer Sisters. She sees me, smiles and shouts: “Fuck off! Fuck off! Fuck off!” to the rhythm of the music.
I skulk out again and return to the couch where I receive another text from my son. It’s a picture of him laughing…
Me: What’s this?
Son: Sorry, forgot to tell you. You only get charged for texts if I send you a picture.
Me: How much?