Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Smoking Gun. Or Rabbit, In This Case.

Huh, so much for Max's much-vaunted self-discipline during his latest attempt to renounce smoking.

I'm sitting in the garden at lunchtime today - smoking, of course, but then I'm not the one who's claiming to have given up - when Josh comes out to complain about Connie. Apparently, she's getting too competitive while boxing on the Wii and has just whacked Josh on his unbroken arm.

"I'd take that as your punishment for the shoes incident, if I were you," I say. "And, anyway, leave me alone - I've only come out here to get away from you two arguing."

"No, you haven't," says Josh. "You're a filthy addict, unlike Dad. If he can give up - just like that - I don't see why you won't even try."

"Unlike your father, I have a genuinely stressful job," I say, "And maybe I'm not motivated by the same rewards."

Josh isn't listening. That's so typical.

"Look at that," he says, pointing towards the side of the shed. "Something's on fire."

He's right. There are clouds of white smoke, billowing around from the back of the shed wall and drifting across the garden.

"Dad. Dad!"

Honestly, I don't know why the kids always assume Max is the only person who can deal with an emergency. He doesn't even know the meaning of the word, not to mention that I am the designated fire officer at work. (There's no need for everyone to keep pointing out that I can't lift the extinguisher by myself.)

"Yes?" comes Max's voice - from the other side of the shed.

"What are you doing? Are you okay?" says Josh.

"Just feeding the rabbit, and cleaning out the hutch," says Max. "Nothing to worry about."

"But there's smoke coming from the back of the shed." Josh is getting very worried now, and is heading towards it.

"No, that's just dust from the hay. I'll be with you in a minute."

"Oh, for God's sake," says Josh, in a tone of deep disgust. "Mum, Dad's smoking a bloody cigarette. Right next to the poor old rabbit. Dust from the hay, my arse."

"Oh, honestly, Max," says Ellen, over the garden wall. "And when you were doing so well, too. "

I do wish Ellen would stop appearing from nowhere, even when she's fully-clothed - although I'm quite enjoying watching Max blustering and claiming it is "just a lapse." At least, I am until I remember that he is my husband, and yet I'm not the one he's been trying to please.

I don't say anything about it, though. Some of us are capable of genuine self-discipline.


  1. Oh Molly - let Max have his little lapses. You're having yours!