Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Collective Male Madness. An Under-Reported Problem.

God knows what's going on this week. The more I dither about meeting up with Johnny again, the keener he gets. It's most peculiar. I can't help thinking that both of us should be making more effort to sort out our marriages - if we don't want our kids having to deal with sort of parental nonsense that Dinah and I face on a regular basis.

Dad didn't even mention the Thai bride during his last phone call, but I have a horrible feeling that that doesn't mean she's out of the picture, and Dinah agrees. She says that the rule of thumb with Dad is that, the less he tells you, the worse whatever he's up to really is. A bit like Josh.

Mind you, I might be well-advised to keep Johnny happy. Not for more roses - the Joan Collins debacle was far too bad for my blood pressure - but because my attempt to sort things out with Max isn't exactly going well.

It would help if he didn't keep being so late home from work. I can't believe that one old lady can need so many out-of-hours visits. It's not as if Max is responsible for Care in the Community, which usually seems to be my bloody job. In fact, I'm not even sure that I believe in this Mrs Bloom at all.

It's as if all the men I know are caught up in some sort of collective madness. It's probably George Osborne's fault. Everyone who calls today seems to be freaking about about how bad the news is going to be in tomorrow's Comprehensive Spending Review.

Everyone except for Mr Beales, that is. He has much more important things on his mind when he comes to the office this afternoon. He wants a progress report on what I've managed to get done about his speeding ticket.

"Well, nothing," I say. "You already told me you were speeding. Just pay the fine."

"But what about this charge of dangerous driving?" he says.

"Well, you need to talk to your solicitor about that," I say. "I'm not qualified to give you legal advice."

"Doesn't seem like you're much good at anything. It's simple." He sighs, as if I am a complete half-wit, and then continues, speaking very slowly - just to make his point.

"I. Only. Hit. The Policeman. Because. He wasn't. Wearing. A Luminous. Jacket."

Gah. Does he never give up? I'm sure I'm hyperventilating.

Mr Beales waits for me to finish coughing, and then says, triumphantly,

"And he still isn't wearing the bloody thing either - another accident just waiting to happen."

"How do you know that?" I say.

"I'm a photographer," he says. "We are used to working undercover. I'll send you the evidence as soon as I get it, and then we can talk about what to do next."

For God's sake. What we should do next is to get Mr Beales committed, though maybe I could ask him to check out Mrs Bloom first, if he really is any good at stake-outs. And he could find out who Ellen was with when she bought those Lebkuchen, while he's at it - if that doesn't make me sound completely paranoid. Maybe this week's madness isn't exclusively male, after all.

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