The moments that make up the day

"My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be." (Erma Bombeck)

Peter Warland

“Tempus fugit. Time flies? You can’t; they won’t go straight.” Anonymous

When I was suddenly invited out to dinner a few weeks ago, I checked the clock and noted that I had several hours to fill before I left the house. I wondered what to do in order to fill the time.

I need not have bothered. Spare time is, after all, like a hole in the sand of a beach; it’s never too long before it fills itself in and becomes invisible. Anyway, I felt sure that I had time to take a leisurely shower and a shave then dress myself in my usual finery before I ventured out.

The shower went smoothly enough but, when I stopped to dry myself, I noted that the adjoining toilet looked grubby: I flushed it, and that was a big mistake. I’ve no idea why a toilet suddenly decides to overflow. Even if it hadn’t been utilized since Aunt Mabel stopped over for that weekend, it still conjured up some reason to block itself. I had to resort to a plunger and lots of Drano before the problem was solved. Then the rug had to go to the wash, just in case.

Eventually, I made my way up the stairs and shaved without actually cutting my throat, although I did, in fact, whilst seated in the living room near a window with good light, manage to cut two of my toes as I was clipping off lengths of stubborn toe-nail.

As I was cleaning up the vagrant nail-clippings I discovered heaps of cookie crumbs hidden in the folds of the sofa cushions. I’ve no idea how long they’d been there; we haven’t had children living in the house nearly twenty years. I checked for squirrel but found no guilty rodents.

Whilst I was cleaning up those mysterious crumbs once and for all, I discovered blood on the carpet. This, however, was no case for Hercule Poirot. I solved it myself when I limped towards the bathroom to clean my toes, and find a disinfectant plus some sort of bandage before I did eventually bleed to death.

Then the carpet had to be cleaned, that’s no easy chore.

Time, as everyone knows, is extremely fleeting. I was, by then, in a real hurry for that dinner date but, as luck will have it, there was a bang on the front door; a young relative, like an attention-seeking missile, dropped in for a family visit. I said something polite like, “Oh! Hi!” pushed past him, and grabbed my shoes, put them on, then spent what felt like hours attempting to get rid of the lad inoffensively as possible, like not actually shoving him out the door. I was hungry to boot.

I explained that I was going out to dinner. The lad eased past me and headed for the settee where he flopped and, grinning, asked, “Got a heavy date?” Then, “How come this carpet’s wet?”

I didn’t bother to explain as I laced up my shoes and hauled a coat out of the wardrobe by the door. I merely snapped, “Yep. And she’s a beauty. Think I’ll propose tonight.”

That brought the lad to his feet. He asked, “How old is she, then.?”

I zipped up my jacket, thought about a hat and said, “She’s the perfect woman for me. She’s half my age plus eight. That’s always the perfect match for a man. Now, excuse me, I’m off.” I held the door open as the lad wandered past me, the brain cells in his head buzzing with mathematics.

With both of us outside, I relaxed and realized that I was actually going to be on time for the dinner. I made my farewells to the lad as cordial as possible, then had to go back inside for the car keys and, while inside, I decided to pull the living room drapes. Guess what!