Today I really thought for a minute that I had lost Mr B.
I know what you are thinking, how could even I manage to lose a
full-grown man, in broad daylight, in a town like Sunny Worthing? Well, here’s how it happened.
Once again, we had two entries in our joint diary for this
morning. I was due at the community centre cafe for a 10 a.m. meeting while Mr B had an appointment with the dentist almost an hour later. No problems, I said airily, we would go to town on the bus separately and once my meeting was over I would
wait in the cafe for him to join me once he was through at the dentist. This shows, I think, that There Are No Flies on Me. If you ever yourself waiting for someone or something, then I would highly recommend a community centre cafe. There
will be constant access to reasonably priced tea and coffee plus lots of reading matter in the shape of fliers and booklets on the Information table and posters decorating the walls advertising everything from rock concerts to ballet for the elderly. Community
centre cafes are also unrivalled for people watching opportunities. The alternative this morning would have been for me to arrange to meet him in the dentist’s waiting room – but this is only equipped with one of those cold water machines.
There really was no competition as far as I was concerned. As regular readers are well aware, I am Always Thinking of My Stomach.
I estimated that Mr B’s dentist appointment would take 45
minutes at the very most. When he hadn’t turned up after more than an hour, I started to wonder where he was. My friend asked, perfectly sensibly, why I didn’t ring him on his mobile so I had to explain (as I know I have explained to
you in the past) that Mr B’s mobile has only one purpose in life which is to act as a paperweight on the yellow post-it note which announces “PUT RUBBISH OUT” and lives on our kitchen work top, next to the kettle. I decided there was
nothing for it, I would have to take a walk round to the dentist's to check he was still there.
At the dentist's, the receptionists confirmed that Mr B had,
indeed, turned up for his appointment – but they couldn’t remember seeing him leave. This was when I decided I really had lost him. Did he have his mobile on him, they asked? I decided not to go into the whole explanation about the yellow post-it
note and the weekly rubbish collection and simply said no. Could they just phone up to the dentist, I asked them, and check if her patient had left and, if so, how long ago? It turned out that Mr B was still waiting patiently in the waiting room on the
second floor for the results of his X-rays.
“I’m so glad I’ve found you,” I told him. I meant it, I really did. He looked up from
the sports section of The Guardian and asked where on earth I thought he would be if he wasn’t here, sitting in the dentist’s waiting room on the second floor. There was no answer to that. I felt a bit silly, to be honest. “At least it shows
I care,” I told the Ungrateful One. He didn’t look too impressed.
At home I am tapping away at my laptop when my brother contacts me on
Skype. “Did you call me?” he asks. I tell him that actually he has just called me. He looks confused. So do I. We decide it doesn’t matter who called who. This is, after all, the way our Skype conversations always start. Mr B is
trying to watch TV and can’t hear his programme with me nattering away. He turns up the volume – loud - which is my signal to decamp from the lounge, carrying my laptop before me, to continue my conversation where I won’t disturb the Man
of the House any further. I am obviously a liability. I am loud, in the way and lose people even when they aren’t lost. I take up a perch on the stairs, three steps up from the bottom.
“Are you sitting on the stairs?” my sister-in-law wants to know from the comfort of her arm-chair. I tell her yes, I’m on the Naughty Step.
It seems appropriate, somehow.