The Stevieling has been packed off to confirmation camp, a week of calisthenics, theme parks and brutal indoctrination at the hands of organised religion1.
No sooner was the little
sod darling safely packed in the minibus than Mrs Stevie cast a look in my direction and said that now we were alone, we could "do stuff".
I was puzzled. Rain had soaked the ground for days, so mowing the lawn was precluded. All the dishes were in the dishwasher. I knew for a fact I wasn't allowed to fiddle with the laundry after an incident last Tuesday involving some highly coloured polo shirts and a bottle of chlorine bleach. What on earth could she be hinting at?
Mrs Stevie reached out towards my face. I parried her with the hook-shaped steel bar I lock across my car's steering wheel2 and yelled my signature war cry3 all the time watching for her next attack. Mrs Stevie used some harsh words on me, and I realised she was attempting to open negotiations of an intimate kind rather than trying to kill me again.
This was unexpected, but not unplanned for. I have many contingency plans for various eventualities laid by, and although I had given this one a low probability of arising I had allowed for the possibility and was prepared.
Once home, Mrs Stevie said "What's your pleasure?" and I promptly handed her a thick manilla folder with that very thing spelled out in terms that brooked no ambiguity. Mrs Stevie read the first three pages, which detailed the Elizabethan backstory her character should be familiar with and some of the pretend "Laws" my stern Witchfinder character would be holding her under, examined two of the diagrams and the list of accessories required, went bright red and yelled "never!" just as I entered the room with some of the wardrobe items.
I was disappointed, and not a little put out that she hadn't voiced her objection until after I had begun getting dressed, but my plans included this contingency and I promptly handed her a well-stuffed legal envelope containing "scenario 'b'".
I could tell Mrs Stevie was intrigued by the notion of taking the role of an ingénue wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille, but felt that I had perhaps overstepped her suspension of disbelief by placing her character in the same cell as the infamous Marquis De Sade (to be played by yours truly), two quarts of hot honey and some anachronistic technology when she shrilled "In your dreams!"
In rapid succession and increasing stridency she dismissed elaborate fantasies based on Flash Gordon, The Matrix, The Story of O, Battlestar Galaxative, Lord of the Rings and Night of the Living Dead.
I admit to being a little put out by her sustained negativity. After all, it was her idea to "do stuff".
Eventually I twigged, and suggested a nice restaurant meal, to which she readily acquiesced. Of course, she whined all afternoon about some of the material I had given her. It's her own fault.
She should have just said "Let's eat" at the start.