Poor Mr B!
It’s his birthday tomorrow, his party on Saturday – and nobody will tell him what’s going on.
It’s enough to drive a man to drink...
I know you are not supposed to advertise on social media that you are having a party for fear of gate-crashers but
I am making it known, here and now, that among our guests is a former Hell’s Angel. OK, it’s true that his membership of the Feared Tribe was about forty years ago. It is also true that he now sports a gammy leg and a disabled sticker on
his car. But it’s the principle that counts. It is also worth saying that the only drugs on the scene will be Anadin Extra in case the Birthday Boy develops a headache from all the excitement and Calpol lest any of the four small boys sleeping
upstairs (i) falls ill; (ii) develops a temperature; or (iii) cuts a tooth.
At the moment there may not even be any music and you can’t have a party
without music, now can you? The Youngest of the Darling Daughters was going to bring her I-pod and docker, loaded up with the playlist from her 40th birthday party but unfortunately, due to a huge computer virus which necessitated the purchase of
a new computer, the playlist is no more. All this is music to Mr B’s ears (though only metaphorically speaking, of course) because it gives him the perfect opportunity to wax lyrical about how Apple Mac computers never, ever fall prey to the dreaded
virus and to bewail, at length, the fact that the family “forced” him to give away his precious stereo system when we decorated our lounge a year or so ago. “We HAD music,” he tells everyone who will listen to him. To hear
him speak, you would think he was the victim of a family of bullies, not the head of family which loves him very, very much.
As well as the party itself, I have
organised a lunch out for our close family – that’s eighteen of us in all – and several of that close family are staying over which means that I have been on Bedroom Blitz for the last four days. Blitzing a bedroom requires a great deal of
imagination in order to find homes (temporary or, even better, permanent) for all the clutter taking up precious space into which bodies will need to be crammed, come Saturday night. Fortunately I am blessed with the Usher Gene which enables me to find
space in or on cupboards, larders, fridges, shelves where no space exists. It’s a kind of magic, as Freddie Mercury and Queen once memorably sang. I’m not sure if they were singing about the Usher Gene but, as they say, if the cap
Mr B hates this particular manifestation of the Usher Gene in full flow because he knows that the next time he pulls open the door of any particular cupboard,
half a dozen photo albums, three rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, the last six months’ issues of Family History Monthly and the Build a Beetle game will all come toppling out on top of him. The brightly coloured bits of beetle – legs, eyes,
feelers, noses – will go everywhere, never to be found again. I will know when this happens because I will hear the roar of disapproval even if I am way down at the bottom of the garden talking to the fairies. Let’s just hope and pray it
doesn’t happen on his actual birthday.
Thanks to the Usher Gene, all three bedrooms are now looking spick and span with plenty of room for blow-up beds,
travel cots, sleeping bags and assorted additional bedding. Once everyone beds down, of course, we will look like a refugee camp, but for the moment I can’t remember when we last looked so tidy.
Mr B hasn’t noticed how tidy our third bedroom, which doubles as a study, is. He is up there at this very moment, putting together a file of papers for his new role as Competition Secretary of the Bowls Club. He has
borrowed my hole punch and has used it liberally to punch holes in various sheets of paper, thereby shedding lots of what I think are called “chads” all over the freshly vacuumed carpet. I can’t even be cross with him because it’s
his birthday tomorrow.
On your birthday, you can get away with just about anything. If Mr B happens to open the fridge, or that cupboard, I imagine won’t
be quite so lucky...