It is time, I feel, to introduce regular readers to another side to the (in)famous Usher Gene. I think you are probably up for it by now.
Just to recap.
To date I have explained how those afflicted with the Usher Gene (generally related to, or descended from, me, but only on the female side) have a propensity to shed copious tears at the slightest provocation. The Olympics, even thus far, has been fertile
ground for the Usher Gene. The Union Jack rising on the flagpole, the crowds singing the National Anthem always a few bars behind the band, the grateful tears of the successful, the wobbling lips of the also-rans (or also-swams, or rows, or cycles,
Oh, and that moment when "Golden Shot" Peter Wilson, after searching the crowds desperately to find his parents, finally caught sight of his father and croaked: "Dad!" -
well it's up there with the final scene of International Velvet in terms of moments which will always make me well up.
However, you know all this. What I now need to explain is the truly impressive
skill the Usher Gene bestows upon its carriers when it comes to fridges, cupboards, drawers, larders, suitcases or almost any receptacle you may care to name. Show me a fridge, full to bursting, and a pint of milk and I will show you how to cram that
bottle into said fridge. Point me in the direction of an airing cupboard, all neatly stacked with clean towels, sheets and pillowcases - and challenge me to somehow fit a bulky duvet into non-existent space. I can do it! Left your anorak
out of your suitcase? Never fear, I will get that anorak into your over-flowing suitcase if it kills me. And, no, I won't leave so much as your swimming cossie out to make room for it.
nobody who lives with a carrier of the Usher Gene ever appreciates this quite amazing art of the impossible. Mr B says he has lost count of the number of times, over all the years of our marriage, when he has opened a cupboard door only to have six tins
of baked beans, a bottle of tomato ketchup and a Scotch egg tumble out onto his toes. Actually, I made that bit up. The bit about the Scotch egg, I mean.
It's a pity, I feel, that
this particular skill is not just under-appreciated but positively derided. It's not something which can be learnt, you know. You either have it - or you don't.