just after the Bells, the TV remote did a runner. My son started hyperventilating. Like all teenagers, he regards losing control of the techno as up there with the Mayan apocalypse.
Anyway, a quick ransack of the sofa – and by that, I mean, I lifted the cushions, which have the same effect as garlic on vampires to teen boys, apparently – and there it was, and at the same time I thought, time for a new sofa.
Furniture showrooms are strange daunting places. It’s the neat grouping of the sofa and chairs with no one sitting on them. It’s as if the Mayans were right, but the apocalypse was going to take the people but leave the soft furnishings behind.
And of course, ever circling, the great white sharks of the sales force, who may have badges that say “Happy to Help”, but as they survey you across the great veldt of Destiny Ivory Fabric three-seat corner groups and Natural Bronze Leather four-seat with recliner option and footsool sofa collections, make no mistake, people, you are walking money.
We’re never rude to the staff, my husband and I, to use the royal term. For one thing, everyone’s gotta make a buck, and for another, I leave being rude about working people to Tory cabinet secretaries.
Anyway, they pretty much leave us alone fairly quickly. We disturb their world view and customer training. They usually speak to me first, under the mistaken impression that as the woman on the team, I will have a sensible view of the matter. However, as soon as they discover that I can’t be left alone in a roomful of sofas without jumping on at least one and playing relentlessly with that recliner option, they switch their attention to the husband, who is from Yorkshire and has a formidably taciturn turn of phrase. Until he sees the price of course, then he tends to the positively voluble, pointing out that you could buy a farm for that money. The farm, I assume, is in some unpopulated part of Patagonia.
Just out of interest, when did the cow apocalypse happen? Is that why there’s so much leather about for three-seater sofas? I tend to slide about on leather furniture. Not a good look for a woman of my age.
When did sofas of all types get so big? Some of the four-seaters could be pressed into service as aircraft carriers, if we could afford the planes.
My wee short legs couldn’t reach the ground, and again, not a good look for a woman galloping into early old age. I looked like a sort of weirdly aged toddler who needed a nap.
And why on earth would I want to dock my phone to my sofa? It’s hard enough keeping tabs on the remote for the telly. All I want to do is sit on the thing and watch the telly. I don’t want my sofa singing to me.
I fancy a helping hand to get me on my feet
The sofas that get you back on your feet were rather tempting, it must be said. Only the other day, I noticed that both the man and me now spend our lives grunting like Russian wrestlers. Every movement has its own wheezing puff noise. Getting out of bed requires the sort of “Hup! Ha!” exhortation you usually associate with Hungarian acrobats building human pyramids. Moving to the upright involves that sort of cheek puffing shoulder waggling movement you see in men the size of pantechnicon about to lift weights bigger than Piers Morgan’s ego.
Ah well, old age doesn’t come by itself, but it certainly makes a noise about it.
Can I keep the family in the ad too?
The decision to cruise the furniture showrooms may not have been entirely our own. We may have been swayed by the advertisements that have dominated the airwaves since the Hogmanay bells stopped peeling.
However hard we may battle to defy their influence, we feel the need for a new sofa, a diet plan delivered direct to our door and a family caravanning holiday at one of familyholidaycaravanningdotcoms wonderful sites, where everything is on hand, sun, sea, sand and endless fun.
Obviously, I’d be expecting them to supply the family, too. The one in the advert looks like jolly good fun and the mum has thighs to die for, whilst mine could kill small animals if I sat down without checking. The dad looks rather nice as well...
Why the disaster round-up?
Why do the broadcasters feel the need to show programmes about disasters at the end of the year? Are we supposed to feel relief that we dodged the bullet of an Italian captain who liked to do hand brake turns in a 115,000 tonne cruise ship? Or is it so we can laugh at the ad breaks, which were full of, you guessed it, glowing enticements for cruise holidays?