Day 99

Be afraid, be very afraid …

The Wife’s (pt) Tale

Right! [Oh shit! – Ed.] Oh shit is right, Sherlock, and you can shut up too; I have confiscated your square brackets, which means you are speechless as you are too shy to speak to people without them.

Right, this is the Wife speaking. Listen carefully, I shall say this only once. Looking after yer man is a full-time job for anyone, never mind for someone who has a part-time job of her own and who does all the washing of clothes, most of the cooking, all of the cleaning, the vast majority of the dishes and far too much of the sex thing.

I ended up in here because I noticed that yer man was far too pleased with himself lately. This perception required no little skill on my part, as the same boy is quare and often far too pleased with himself. But there seemed to be a certain contentment and calm about him this past while which, as his duly anointed wife, I felt it was my duty to put an end to. So I stalked him for a while – he is that self-centred that he barely noticed me following him about the place – and eventually discovered through a brief check on his internet browsing history that he was spending far too much time on this particular site. I knew he had been writing something as he occasionally tried to tell me about parts of it. But my strict policy with anything he writes is never to read it: he gets far too much attention anyway without getting any from me. That keeps him on his toes.

But, as I said, this time, this writing seemed to be providing him with more than acceptable levels of joy and equanimity, and, as any wife will tell you, there is nothing more dangerous that a content husband. It is much more advisable to keep them in a state of semi-worry, constantly alert to the fact that you might just find out that they have been negligent in one of their many duties and that you expect the situation to be remedied immediately. So I have been perusing the product of his fevered imagination, and let me tell you, it is mostly imagination.

While I am here though, there are a few things I would like to set straight. My three children are wonderful and beautiful – and I say ‘my’ rather than ‘our’ to teach him a lesson about casting aspersions on their parenthood. He can put that in his pipe and smoke it.

Secondly, as a proper county person, I know that long runs the fox, and that the only way to have cordial relationships with the neighbours down through the generations is by never saying anything about them in public. So I wish to formally disassociate myself, and my children, from the scandalous fictions he has written here about my good neighbours. He is a blow-in, but even a blow-in should have a bit of cop on.

Thirdly, I have never visited a brothel in my life. I have lived across the street from a few, and, in my younger days, earned a good living in a high-class Parisien one, but visiting the places would be beneath my dignity. When I have finished my shopping and am ready to go back to the hotel, I generally send the driver of the taxi over to those establishments with the message that if he does not hurry up and finish the hamburger, he will find that steak is permanently off the menu when he gets home. It is a sad state of affairs that his expertise in sexual matters is in inverse proportion to his interest, but at least his brothel visits give me a break for a month or two; longer if ‘we’ have given up sex again for Lent.

Anything else? He no more has Spanish-speaking staff than the Man in the Moon, he does not know one end of a paintbrush from the other and he claims that he can never boil potatoes properly because there are no cooking instructions on the packet. The extra income from his part-time (!) importing of Colombian dope does come in handy though, and keeps me in the style which his prize-winning Irish poems don’t.

What should a woman do with a man like that? Well, one time I left him hitching for a lift at a disused railway station, as you see in the picture below.

Vagabond at railway station in Donegal

But he found his way home eventually. In truth, I would not swop him for the World. Better the devil you know, eh girls, and I could not be bothered with all that effort of training another one.

But he could start putting a wash on the odd time. And that pile of stuff in the hall has still not been filed away somewhere. As for the shelves he said he would put up …


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