Andy Richardson: Lesson was well-learned from Dave’s pasta maker incident
My friend – let’s call him Dave, because that’s his name – taught me a valuable lesson. I’ll share it with you.
Dave bought a pasta maker. It sat in a cupboard for two years. He made no pasta. But he knew that if ever he wanted to make pasta, he could. His wife, let’s call her Mrs Dave, grew tired of the pasta maker. She dreamed of silky ribbons of tagliatelle but Mr Dave was too busy on his allotment to make them.
The days passed. The pasta maker gathered dust. And then while Mr Dave was out tending his marrows – that’s not a euphemism – Mrs Dave took action.
The next day, Mr Dave was rooting through the cupboards. The pasta maker was gone. Had his home been infiltrated by crack thieves looking to pass on moody kitchen appliances? No. Mrs Dave had got bored of his dalliance with Italian starch and moved it to the loft.
They discussed the curious case of the pasta maker in the loft and Mr Dave decided that Mrs Dave was right after all. Though he’d miss the unopened box and the opportunity to make those golden silky ribbons, he respected Mrs Dave’s choice and no more would be said about.
Some time ago, Mr Dave regaled me with his homespun homily. I think I may have been midway through a deeply unpleasant second divorce. I pointed out the error of Mr Dave’s ways. “There’s no way I’d have moved it out of the cupboard,” I insisted.
“And that’s why you’ve been divorced twice and I’ve been happily married for 20 years,” replied Mr Dave. He had a point.
Lockdown has brought homeworking. So each day, I make the three-second commute to my office. It’s styled immaculately – even though I say so myself – with a vintage barrister’s desk, inlaid with ox blood leather and ornate gold piping. There’s a Chesterfield director’s chair, an acquisition I’d targeted for eight years. And on top of the herringbone oak floor – laid by my own calloused hands – is a really, really, really warm deer skin rug. It’s a beautiful, creative space, though I’m not sure it would appeal to vegans.
At the end of each day, I make the three-second commute home. There’s a clear divide between home and work; everything is cushty, as Del Boy might say.
Except it’s not. There’s a problem with the rug. Though it’s the warmest, softest, cosiest thing this side of a cluster of baby polar bears, it sheds. So my journey home from the office is trailed by an untidy line of thick venison hair. It marks the precise direction of travel, across the landing, down the stairs and into the living room.
Like the trail of breadcrumbs left by Hansel and Gretel, the venison hairs provide a trail. Though thankfully, there’s no child abandonment, attempted cannibalism, enslavement and murder at the end of this tale – the Brothers Grimm were nothing if not dark.
She Who Must Be Obeyed spotted the venison hair. And like Poirot, she deduced that the problem arose when I wore a particular pair of socks on which the hairs collected like iron filings on a magnet.
At the top of the stairs, she smiled and held out the socks.
“Might be an idea not to wear these to work, dear.” It was all she needed to say.
Back in the days of get-married-get-divorced-buy-an-ex-a-house, repeat, I’d have protested. “But I like those socks,” I’d have said.
And I’d have continued to wear them, particularly following the next divorce when I’d again run out of enough money to buy new socks.
But I have learned the Tao of Dave And The Pasta Maker. And so this time, I said: “Good idea.” The socks were banished to the drawer, I still have a relationship and I don’t have to buy another partner a house. I’m quids in. Though, to be fair, I probably deserve a break. I’ve bought my own house not once, not twice but three times….. But I digress.
The lesson of Dave and The Pasta Maker has been learned and I might hope that a happy relationship won’t be ending anytime soon. Lucky me.
Not that I’ve lost the ability to think for myself. Lockdown has brought with it the opportunity to wear the same camouflage clothes to work each day. If I were an army captain, the khaki might be appropriate. But nobody sees me – apart from selected Zoom callers – and I wouldn’t be foolish enough to share that secret with anyone.
She Who Must Be Obeyed quizzed me on the khaki. “It takes money to look this bad,” I insisted. She smiled and said no more. Having won the early sock war, she closed the door to my office, left me with my laptop and sauntered off to do more interesting things.
Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.