“There’s good news and bad news.” I said to my wife.
“Have you brought me a cup of tea?”
“Well,” she said sleepily, “That’s the good news. What’s the bad news?”
“Er… no,” I said. “The good news is I’ve made an omelette.”
“It’s eight-thirty on Saturday morning. I don’t want an omelette. You eat it.” She sat up and looked at me suspiciously. “You’re being stupid aren’t you? Tell me what’s really happened.”
I took a deep breath. This one took high order in ‘disastrous ways to start the weekend.’ “I made an omelette. It’s in your car. I can explain everything...”
Five-thirty, Saturday morning. Why am I wholly reliant on an alarm clock from Monday to Friday and then on Saturday I’m possessed by an evil spirit that relentlessly tips me out of bed at stupid o’clock?
No matter. Two hours later I’d finished a report, emptied the dishwasher, fed the animals. Two gold stars at least. Now take the dog to the beach, call at the butchers – and reward myself with a ridiculously large bacon sandwich.
But before I went out I sent a tweet. Dangerously close to perfect start to the weekend. Hubris, I believe the Greeks called it. Which inevitably led to nemesis…
“... And a tray of eggs,” I said to Steve an hour later. Five quid a tray from the butcher’s own hens. A bargain – and as free as free-range gets.
Definitely a perfect start to the weekend. Autumn sun coming up over the sea. A deserted beach. The dog not rolling in that dead fish…
Time to go home. Eggs on the front seat, bacon and oven bottom cakes on the back seat and Pepper dripping sea water all over the boot. But as I said, the world was a perfect place. I was driving Jane’s car. And driving it carefully. My boy racer days are long behind me.
As is my driving test. But you never forget the emergency stop. A cat shot across the road in front of me. Grey. Sort of Siamese.
I slammed the brakes on.
The cat made it to the other side of the road. The dog howled in protest. The bacon flew off the back seat. And the eggs…
“Oh £$%&,” I said. Several times. And then I thought long and hard about what to say to my wife.
“So there you are,” I said to her. “I’m a hero. I saved a cat’s life.”
“How many eggs?” she said.
“How many are broken?”
“On the floor of my car…”
“Not all on the floor. A couple hit the dashboard.” On reflection perhaps not the most sensible thing I’ve ever said.
“So my car stinks of wet dog, there’s a giant omelette on the floor and the dashboard is dripping with egg yolk. Why don’t you go and Google ‘valeters,’ darling?”
I reminded her that I’d saved a cat’s life. I pointed out that she was a devoted fan of Supervet. That she – along with four million other women – swooned every time Noel Fitzpatrick put a cat or dog back together.
I was wasting my breath. “I’ll have another cup of tea,” she said. “And a slice of toast. And then you can make a start on the car.”
Damn it. There had to be a way to get back into her good books. And that’s when a flash of inspiration struck me. Pure genius. “You wouldn’t like a boiled egg by any chance, would you?
There’s one left...”