Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On breaking the house rules

On breaking the house rules

I have written on several occasions on the baffling set of House Rules bestowed on any man who dares to set up home with a woman of the female persuasion.

In a sad indictment of the way that gender roles have reversed Grapes of Wrath-style in recent years, the rules of any domestic arrangement are set in stone and usually involve death threats over the state of the toilet seat.

The man's role in modern household decision-making has gone the way of Kate Moss's breakfast (violently purged and flushed down the lavatory) and he now sits forlornly in a corner of the room, the remote control in enemy hands as the TV screens a solid, mind-numbing diet of soaps between 7pm – 9pm, while he finds access to Men and Motors inexplicably blocked.

For example:

- There are no rules, except for the ones I make up, arbitrarily and on the spot
- No pissing in the shower
- All beetroot must be crinkle cut
- Obey all the rules

Every weekend, there's a new discovery. Some new rule that I didn't know about the week before, which has – as far as she's concerned - always existed. They invariably start with the words "In future..." as if I've been doing this wrong all my life, under watchful, unappreciative eyes, and it is time – dammit – to put an end to this tomfoolery. For example:

"In future, don't wipe your arse on the doormat. I don't care how itchy it is"

"But the dog does it ALL the time" – This kind of pathetic bleating always falls on deaf ears. It is always best, my padowan learner, to do as you are told, wait until her back is turned and ease your itching crack on the door-jamb.

I'm not even allowed to fart in the bathroom "just in case you bring the smell back to bed". Handily, I now have a jar for the purpose.

When I open it – under carefully controlled conditions at our municipal nuclear waste-and-asbestos handling plant - it goes "parp".

Then, arriving home from this chore, I have to burn my shoes at the front door "just in case you've trodden in something".

A small price to pay for a quiet life, to be honest.

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