Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Car Cabin Is Not A Democracy

JV: What do you live with Jason?

Jason: Um I just... sometimes I get in the car...well, all the time I get in the car and I know where I’m going but my wife seems to think she knows a better way to go. When, in fact, being a Sydneysider and her a Melbournite, I figure I’ve got one up on her. It doesn’t matter where we’re going. I’ve been driving around this fair city for the better part of 35 years now and it’s just hilarious. Even when we’re going the same way to the same place, as we often do travelling around with kids, ‘why you going this way?’ ‘Why you going this way?’ ‘Why don’t you go that way?’

JV: Right.

Jason: ‘This is the worst way to go. It’s the slowest way to go.’

JV: How long has she been here Jason?

Jason: Not long enough clearly.

JV: Not long enough...and does she drive around much?

Jason: Ah yes as much as I do, if not more, but I’ve gotten to the stage now where I just laugh. I say ‘enjoy the ride honey, don’t worry we’ll get there.’

JV: Yeah, look I think I’ve lived with something similar over the years and my approach has been...look, I’d like to say that I’ve pulled the car over and said ‘okay you drive then,’ but I haven’t quite got that far. I’ve more or less hinted at that.

Jason: I think you need to take my approach mate and just smile and keep going, y’know, enjoy the ride.

JV: Well I’ve got to the point of going ‘you know what? How about we just never have this discussion again?’

Jason: That won’t work. I put it to you, that that will not work.

JV: (Laughs) Well I tried to get to a rule that the driver will determine these things – you know – the route choice, whether we’re changing lanes or not, that sort of stuff – and the passenger will have no input into these things whatsoever.

Jason: You’re assuming that the cabin of the car is a democracy.

JV: No, no, I’m actually pointing out that you’ve got to decide these things at some point because otherwise you go nuts. See mine would do the ‘why don’t you change lanes? That lane’s empty,’ and you go ‘well, I’m driving the car.’

Jason: But that would take a rational conversation.

JV: (laughs) Yeah Jason, I can see there’s an issue here.

Jason: I’ve put some work into it, don’t you worry. I’m not getting anywhere so now I just laugh. I smile and I laugh.

JV: Yeah, yeah.

Jason: I figure that’s the best approach to a lot of things these days.
JV: No, very good Jason you’re settling into marriage well. I think it’s going very well.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Case of the Invisible Boat

JV: Chris, what do you live with?

Chris: Well I have a husband and he’s lovely but he keeps buying toys for his boat.

JV: Uhuh.

Chris: The one he doesn’t actually own yet.

JV: He doesn’t have a boat?

Chris: No, he doesn’t have a boat...but we have skis, and we have floating toys, and we have a biscuit, and other things that you put behind a boat and tow along. We just don’t have the boat.

JV: Have you suggested that if he stopped buying the toys he might have enough money to buy the boat?

Chris: I think I have, in fact, resorted to that.

JV: Right. That would seem like the first port of call.

Chris: Yeah it would, it would. But he’s waiting for the boat. The toys are waiting for the boat.

JV: Does he have a particular boat in mind? Obviously something with power because you can tow things and all that sort of stuff.

Chris: Absolutely he does. It belongs to somebody else at the moment.

JV: Oh okay, and does he reckon he’s going to be able to buy it soon enough?

Chris: Well he’s hoping to. He keeps driving past it and going ‘there’s my boat.’

JV: Right, right.

Chris: Of course he has to get through the financial controller for that.

JV: Okay, which is you?

Chris: Yes.

JV: Yeah, and is that moment going to come soon when he might get through the financial controller?

Chris: He has to do a bit more work I’d say.

JV: A little more work! (laughs)

Chris: A little more work.

JV: That is odd. So does he think buying the toys is a way of going ‘come on, I’m serious, I want the boat,’?

Chris: You know what? I think so and I think he’s actually getting the children on side too.

JV: Ah yeah.

Chris: Because these children...the toys have been attached to said boat at some point in time with the children on top of them so they could all gang up on me. 
JV:  That's interesting thank you Chris. Lots of responses coming through on the text service here. Cam’s suggesting ‘I think he owns it already.’ Interesting. He’s already bought the boat...Hmm. Carl says ‘at the risk of breaking the man code, the pre-approval purchase is common practice. Like the bloke I know whose wife said after 2 weeks, “why has the four wheel drive been coming home with you a lot recently?”’ (laughs) He's bought it Chris!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Used To Be The Cat

JV: What do you live with Glen?

Glen: It’s my wife. She talks to our cat which is...okay a lot of people talk to their animals, but on the rare occasions in our happy household that there’s a bit of anger perhaps directed at me or one of the children, it could be mid-sentence copping a serve and the cat will walk in and the mood just changes and it’s (puts on happy tone) ‘how are you going today?’ Very happy.

JV: (laughs)

Glen: It’s like the cat can do no wrong and I often wonder what I need to do.

JV: To be more like the cat?

Glen: To be more like the cat, yeah.

JV: Well maybe you should eat out of a bowl on the floor or something?

Glen: Perhaps. And just sleep all day and come in when I want to be fed.

JV: Start doing a bit more of that. Y’know roll over. ‘Rub my tummy.’

Glen: Yeah and then I get a bit crook and get taken off to the vet.

JV: So she talks to the cat. Does she have conversations with the cat?

Glen: Like a human.

JV: Like it’s a human.

Glen: Yep. Yep, basically. I’m only making this call because I know she’s not listening. As I say, myself or one of the kids could have done something wrong...

JV: ‘Glen I asked you to do that earlier why haven’t you done it?’

Glen: Yeah exactly, and then the cat walks in and it's all ‘Oh hello big boy, here you are, what have you been doing today? How’s it been sleeping for 18 of the last 24 hours?’

JV: You’re jealous of the cat.

Glen: Probably, yeah. But...maybe I used to be the cat.

JV: Oh?

Glen: Well yeah held in as high esteem as the cat.

JV: Gee that’s interesting.

Glen: It doesn’t bring any money into the house and it doesn’t do anything around the house as best I can see. Just eats and sleep.

JV: And gets the most favoured treatment.

Glen: Yeah.

JV: Are you in the dog house often so that she has to talk to the cat like that?

Glen: Well yeah I’ve got a habit of saying the wrong thing a fair bit but 19 plus years and we’re still going. You’ve just got to do your best James. Sometimes that’s good enough and sometimes it’s not.

JV: How long’s the cat been around?

Glen: He’s 10.

JV: Could be a few more years of the cat.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Doggy Bag

JV: What do you live with Francis?

Francis: I live with the most annoying husband who, whenever we go for dinner, we’ve got to come home with something that has meat in it – a little bit wrapped up in a serviette – for an overweight jack russel.

JV: (laughs)

Francis: It could be a burger. It could be a bit of ham out of your sandwich or a little bit of chicken off my dinner. The jack russel waits at the laundry door.

JV: So it’s literally a doggy bag

Francis: A doggy bag for a dog, but it has to go into my handbag.

JV: And it’s every single time you go out?

Francis: Every time. It’s embarrassing.

JV: So, you’re at friends’ for dinner...

Francis: Yes?

JV: What will he do?

Francis: ‘Oh can I just take a little bit home for Lou-Lou?’

JV: (laughs)

Francis: And we’ve got to the stage where we carry little zip lock bags.

JV: Oh you’ve got little zip lock bags ready to go? Wow.

Francis: And the kids say ‘Dad, don’t do that’ but no, Lou-lou’s got to have it.

JV: Lou-Lou’s got to have a little bit...and so, you’re saying Lou-Lou knows when you’ve gone out that there’ll be a little meaty treat?

Francis: Definitely! She’s waiting at the laundry door. And it can’t be a big bit. It’s got to be a little bit and he breaks it all up for her.

JV: Oh, that’s lovely really isn’t it?

Francis: Oh she’s a great big, fat, spoilt, jack russel.

JV: A fat jack russel. So it’s like a little barrel?

Francis: It is a barrel. It’s got the tiniest little head and a big round body.

JV: Yeah...I get the feeling you don’t like Lou-Lou that much Francis.

Francis: I love Lou-lou. She doesn’t need all these itty bitty bits all the time.

JV: So is it these itty bitty bits, these post dinner treats that have stacked the weight on Lou-lou?

Francis: Definitely. She will be in bed – my husband’s bed – he will go up to the kitchen and have his breakfast, and he’ll come down with ‘oh just a few’ and he’ll have a handful of meaty bites.

JV: Handful of meaty bites just for Lou-Lou.

Francis: Just for Lou-lou.

JV: Does he realise he’s killing her with kindness?

Francis: I keep telling him that. He took it into the vet because it had lumps on its legs...

JV: Mm.

Francis:...and he came out and said ‘oh there’s nothing wrong, apparently when they put on weight they put these lumps on their legs.’

JV: Right, yeah that’s an interesting way of putting it, isn’t it? Rather than, for example, ‘she’s got to lose some weight.’

Francis: Yes.

JV: Can I point out we’re talking about a dog here, if you’re just joining in.

Francis: Lou- Lou Leigh.

JV: Lou-lou the over-pampered jack russel.

Francis: Yes.

JV: What about fine dining? If you’re out at a lovely restaurant for your anniversary?

Francis: Oh yeah, it’ll be wrapped up in a serviette and in my handbag.

JV: Mm. So he’ll say to the waiter ‘excuse me can you just put this...and there it’s awkward because it’s probably not enough to suggest that you’re taking it home as take away, it’s just a little bit.

Francis: Well I get worried that they think we’re taking it home to test it and see if it’s alright.

JV: Yes.

Francis: So it gets secreted in my handbag. 

JV: So would he just pick it up off the plate?

Francis: He’ll take it off the plate

JV: Nice.

Francis: He’ll get his salad sandwich and he’s always got to have a bit of ham in it. It might be the tiniest piece but he’s got to bring it home for Lou-lou.

JV: Ah dear, well look it’s not such a bad one I suppose. It seems like Lou-lou is really the worse off here.

Francis: She’s just absolutely spoilt.

JV: Yeah, Francis thanks for that. Nice to talk to you and I you feel better Francis?

Francis: I certainly do. I’ll tell him I’ve been talking to you about it.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Onsie Phenomenon

JV: What do you live with Melissa?

Melissa: James, my husband came home earlier this week with a gift for me and it was a onsie.

JV: Wow.

Melissa: And I have to blame 702 for this actually because we both heard somebody talking about it on either your program or the Glover program earlier in the week. I, at the time, thought ‘oh how horrible.’ He must have thought ‘that’s a great thing for my wife because she’s always cold. He came home with it on Tuesday or Wednesday night and I was horrified James. It’s white and fluffy.

JV: What does it look like?

Melissa: James, I can’t describe it without laughing. It’s got a hood with little ears on it and a zipper that has little pom-pom things attached and it’s white and fluffy.

JV: And is it decorated in any way, like has it got rabbits on it or...?

Melissa: Oh it’s meant to look like a rabbit I think, with the ears on top of the hood.

JV: Oh it’s got rabbit ears on top of the hood?

Melissa: Yes!

JV: Wow.

Melissa: I’m horrified.

JV: Yeah.

Melissa: But my husband seems a bit insulted that I’m not thrilled at the effort that he went to.

JV: Gee, that’s difficult. So, is it one of those difficult ones where he feels as though...he’s hurt because here he’s thought about you and he’s got you something that he thinks will be really great, and then you’re looking at him going ‘how did you ever think that I would be someone who would like a onesie?’

Melissa: That’s exactly right. I mean there are standards, even at home.

JV: Mm. How long have you been together?

Melissa: Oh, we’ve been married almost 17 years.

JV: Going on to 20 years and suddenly the whole thing is in question really. You’re going ‘you obviously don’t know me at all.’

Melissa: Well, it has crossed my mind.

JV: Wow.

Melissa: We’ve had lots of discussion and more than a few laughs about this thing but I just...I don’t understand how that could be found to be an acceptable dress.

JV: Have you put it on?

Melissa: I had to.

JV: You had to put it on and you didn’t suddenly go ‘oh, I’m so cosy’? Like, I think last night was chilly wasn’t it? Did you try it last night when it was really chilly?

Melissa: The night before was chilly enough. And James, I don’t meant to be snobbish here, but it’s completely synthetic.

JV: Right.

Melissa: It’s not warm at all. It generates static electricity when you walk around.

JV: A cashmere onesie might have been more acceptable?

Melissa: He’s talking about that as an alternative and I’ve just tried to say y’know... He says ‘I’ll get you a posh onsie,’ and I said ‘that’s an oxymoron.’

JV: I don’t know if you can get the tailored Italian merino onsie quite yet.

Melissa: The Italians would never make this.
JV: Hello Kerri?
Kerri: Yes James?
JV: What did your husband buy you?
Kerri: He bought me a onsie and laid it out on the bed. It was a cub, like a lion cub.
JV: Your husband bought you a lion cub onsie? You came home and there was this lion cub suit?
Kerri: I was saying how chilly it was and how I get cold and there it was. Fleece, the same as the other poor lady had to endure. I can’t begin to tell you where it ends up.
JV: Please do.
Kerri: You turn and twist and it goes in places it shouldn’t go.
JV: (laughs)
Kerri: And it’s hideous. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t. It’s hideous.
JV: It’s hideous this a sort it like a kinky thing?
Kerri: No, it’s a bit past that.
JV: But what’s with the husband’s buying the animal onsies for the Mrs?
Kerri: I think they think they’re being kind and just listening to you for once, but I wish he’d listen to me every time he criticises the Bold and the Beautiful.
JV: So, you said ‘I’m a bit cold,’ he buys you a lion cub onesie...are you in the same position as Melissa? ‘Really, you thought I was the kind of person who’d like a lion cub onsie?’
Kerri: I was speechless. I was speechless. I just looked at this thing. He said ‘if you don’t like it, you can cut the head off.’ I was nearly going to cut his off James.
JV: (laughs)
Kerri: I’ve got to go. I’ve got to pick up the kids. Nice to hear your program. Bye.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

To The Guest Room Please

*This episode of This Is What I Live With was presented by Dominic Knight.

Chris: Hi Dom, I’ve come to rescue everyone from Michael Buble.

DK: You are too kind. What is it that you live with at your place?

Chris: Well I was astonished when I first met my husband and we started going out. I’d never visited my sisters-in-law - he’s got three sisters - and we trekked up to visit and for him to introduce me, and he promptly went into another room and fell asleep. Apparently this is his habit. He goes to visit people and then he asks for a bed and falls asleep.

DK: So actually in a bed?

Chris: Oh yeah.

DK: Just in the hope that they have a spare room? Does he use their room if they don’t have a spare room?

Chris: Yeah and he did a similar thing when he first went to visit my parents a few months later. He promptly went upstairs and went to sleep.

DK: So at what stage in proceedings does this occur Chris? Is this like half an hour into the meal? Is it before dessert is served? How does it work?

Chris: Oh no, he doesn’t attend the meal.

DK: Oh really?

Chris: No, he just goes to sleep. He’s done his duty by being the chauffeur and then he just falls asleep.

DK: So it’s just a sleeping visit and that’s it? Does he do this on holidays as well? ‘Hello Thailand, where’s the bed?’

Chris: Yeah that’s right. Also, if the cricket’s on, it’s the cricket and the bed.

DK: I knew I loved this segment Chris. So...does he then sleep until it’s time to drive home again?

Chris: Usually the pattern is that about 20 minutes before departure he’ll surface and make a few sarcastic comments and then we go.

DK: How extraordinary. So, the first time this happened, what was going through your head? Were you wondering exactly how long he was going to sleep for?

Chris: Well I was completely flummoxed but then his sisters said ‘oh he does that all the time, that’s just John, don’t worry about it.’

DK: He’s just the sleep guy.

Chris: Yeah!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Spare the Sponges

JV: What do you live with John?

John: Well my lovely wife has a sponge...I don’t want to call it a fetish but...when she goes to the grocery store she brings back a dozen or more sponges each time. You know the thin ones that are in the pack? There’s a green, a red, a yellow and a blue.

JV: Mm.

John: So she’ll bring bunches of those home and store them underneath the sink. That’s fine, but she has a different purpose she wants me to use each one for and she has a chart above the sink to tell me which items I’m allowed to clean up with which sponge. She’s laminated it.

JV: Wow. There’s a laminated chart referring to ‘red sponge = kitchen bench.’

John: Well, yeah. Red sponge = benches and tables.

JV: That does seem extreme to me.

John: Kitchen floors is blue.

JV: Yeah.

John: Hands and face is yellow.

JV: Gee. How long do these sponges last? Are they changed every week?

John: Well, I’ll use them two, three, maybe eight times and she’ll do the opposite. She’ll see there’s a bit of discolouration, throw it out, and there’s a brand new one. Especially with the green, which is bathroom surfaces. They don’t last long at all.

JV: And have you tried to talk about the overuse of sponge? The pressure on the sponge population of the world?

John: Well that’s it! I think we’re using more than our share, in this age of share it round, because you can’t donate them y’know? No one will take the ones you’ve used.

JV: I think we’re just talking landfill. Do they degrade quickly? I don’t know.

John: That’s a good point. And what are you actually throwing in landfill with them? What’s caught up in all that sponge that I would normally have just rinsed out?

JV: How much trouble do you get into when you use wrong sponge on wrong surface?

John: (laughs) A short, sharp look. It’s a stern one.

JV: Oh, I hate that look.

John: And maybe an uh-uh-uh-uh!

JV: Oh you get the uh-uh-uh!

John: It’ll stop you in your tracks and then you’ll slowly put that one down. Step away from the yellow sponge and grab the red one.

JV: Wow. John, are there children subjected to this regime?

John: Well, yes, but they get a little bit of leeway. As they get older they’re going to be under the same regime as I am and I don’t see why not, if I have to do it.

JV: Exactly. It’ll be one of the first things that they learn. I’m hoping at show and tell they’ll take the full range of sponges in.

John: And a copy of the chart! Which I’m about to post on your Facebook.
JV: If you would. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Smothering the Salad

JV: Francis, what do you live with?

Francis: My partner over-dresses the salad.

JV: Over-dresses the salad?

Francis: Yes. He has a big pot of salad dressing that his mother made him and he overdresses the salad with it. So much so, that there’s about a quarter of a cup of salad dressing on the bottom of the bowl every night.

JV: That does sound too much, doesn’t it?

Francis: It is too much! I don’t know what to do about it.

JV: Do we need to unpack the issue that the mother is making the salad dressing and bringing it over?

Francis: Well I think it was because he was complaining that I wasn’t making a lot of salad dressing. But I knew if I made a lot, it’d all go on there so I just make a tablespoon at a time.

JV: Right. Does he put a lot on the salad and then consume a lot?

Francis: Yes.

JV: Does he try to get as much dressing as he can?

Francis: Yes, he does.

JV: Right, so he likes dressing.

Francis: He loves dressing. He loves it.

JV: What kind of salad dressing is it?

Francis: It’s a balsamic vinegar. Just olive oil with some balsamic, salt and pepper, and garlic.

JV: Could there be a two bowl solution here?

Francis: We’ll we’ve implemented a system where I have to take my leaves out first, put a little bit on, and then he drowns the rest of it. Whereas, I think it could maybe be the reverse.

JV: Well what about plate dressing instead of bowl dressing?

Francis: There’s too much dressing.

JV: But I mean what about dressing the salad when it’s on the plate rather than when it’s in the bowl.

Francis: I don’t know, we haven’t actually tried that method.

JV: You could try that. Serve yourself leaves and then dress to taste.

Francis: That sounds like an easy solution. I don’t know why we haven’t thought of that one.

JV: See I love this. I may be bringing some peace to your household Francis.

Francis: You could well be. It makes me hope for the dead of winter when there’s no salad so something needs to change.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Warmth Wanted

JV: Hello there Paul, what do you live with?

Paul: Good afternoon James. My wife is very cold blooded. She’s got cold hands, a cold nose, cold feet, and when she hops into bed I’m the complete opposite. I’ve got warm feet, warm hands, and she’s always wanting to nick my warmth. It’s a case of...well I’ll share it a little bit but I don’t want to get freezing cold by her taking all my warmth.

JV: Wow. So she can actually suck the warmth out of you?

Paul: Just about...and I worked hard to get that warmth y’know?

JV: I would have thought the warmth would be constantly replenished. You know, that you’d be a warmth generator.

Paul: Yeah well I feel like I’ve got to do that at times just to balance her coldness. I’ll often put the electric blanket on, just on her side of the bed, to try and warm up that side but that’s still not enough. She’s still wanting my warmth.

JV: Right so it’s the extremities, it’s circulation and these freezing cold hands...they creep around you?

Paul: Yeah they creep around me and it’s like a block of ice coming onto you. Like, her feet are coming out of ugg boots so they’re coming out of a warm boot but she’s just got poor circulation.

JV: Have you tried the onesie?

Paul: What’s a onesie?

JV: It’s basically baby clothes, like when a baby’s just in the one thing with feet all enclosed.

Paul: Yeah?

JV: You can get them in adult sizes now.

Paul: Ah! I might investigate that. I’m happy to investigate anything.

JV: Well the onesie could be the trick there. Otherwise, is it not affectionate?

Paul: Oh it’s affectionate. We cuddle and everything in bed but I usually wait until she’s a little bit warmed up because it’s not all that exciting when you’re touching a block of ice.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We've got you pegged

JV: Natalie, what do you live with?

Natalie:  I live with a husband who hangs the clothes out for me, which is lovely, but he must colour co-ordinate the peg with the item of clothing he is hanging up.

JV: Yes...

Natalie: So much so that when Aldi put out some pegs that were pink and green, he was very excited about that.

*audience laughs*

JV: What had been his solution before if he had to put up pink or green clothes?

Natalie: He’d get close, he’d put up red pegs, green would have blue pegs.

JV: This isn’t uncommon Natalie. The various hanging out clothes habits are the colour coordinating pegs to clothes; there are those who have to put the sheets on the outside, working back to underwear in the middle if they have the hills hoist type line; there are those who can only use the one colour peg, all the pegs have to be red for example. So there are a few who have these issues.

Natalie: He tells me I shouldn't iron clothes... that I spend too much time ironing clothes, but I wonder how much time is spent choosing the right colour peg?

JV: Oh right, yeah... I don’t know, I like to imagine he has like a tool kit that he hangs with the pegs already sorted ready to go.

Natalie: No, he has to search for the peg. Finding the right colour peg takes time.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Parrot Sketch

JV: What do you live with Linda?
Linda: Well, I live with one of the two partners that I started with.
JV: Sorry say that again?
Linda: I live with one of the two partners that I started with.
JV: One of the two partners that I started with...Gee, I’m intrigued.
Linda: Yeah.
JV: On you go...
Linda: One of them was male...I mean human...and the other is a male parrot.
JV: So you began with a male human and a male parrot?
Linda: yes, and the sort of fed off one another. In the beginning, the male human came with a childish habit of eating corn flakes in the same bowl, with the same spoon, at the same rapid speed, with the same loud crunching and that was just something he had to eat whenever he was hungry.
JV: So that was like all day eating corn flakes? Whenever he was hungry?
Linda: Well usually when I wasn’t there to make food, but I went away and left the parrot and the male together and when I came back the parrot had some new repertoire in his vocabulary.
JV: What sort of things was he saying?
Linda: Well it wasn’t what he was saying. It was a crunch...crunch...crunch.
JV: The sound of crunching corn flakes? So you had your male human on one side with an actual bowl of corn flakes and then a parrot doing an impression of a bowl of corn flakes?
Linda:  Yeah and I thought ‘how did Schmee learn to crunch corn flakes?’ And I looked and him and said ‘you would bring Schmee next to you every time you had corn flakes wouldn’t you?’ and he said ‘yes.’
JV: Yeah.
Linda: That was how it got passed on.
JV: I see.
Linda: That was just one of many.
JV: Um...Can I ask which one remains with you to this day? Parrot or male?
Linda: The parrot is far more faithful.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Psycho Shower Scene

This episode of This Is What I Live With took place in front of a live audience at the Sydney Writers' Festival.
JV: Yes, over here, what's your name?
Sandra: I'm Sandra.
JV: Hello Sandra.
Sandra: I may be divorced by the end of this.
JV: Right.
Sandra: My dear husband does what I refer to as ‘the slap dance’ in the shower.
JV: The slap dance? Okay, what is the shower slap dance?
Sandra: Well it’s a bit like Morris dancing in a cubicle I guess.
*audience laughs*
JV: Oh, so he’s in the shower slapping his thighs.
Sandra: In the shower humming *slaps her thighs in demonstration*
JV: Well that sounds like a very happy moment.
Sandra: Mmhmm.
JV: Why do you find it irritating?
Sandra: Well, we’re trying to economise on the water we use in the shower...
JV: Right.
Sandra: ...and a 20 minute dance doesn’t help.
JV: No. So it’s 20 minutes worth of dancing. Is it also loud and intrusive?
Sandra: I can hear it from anywhere in the house.
JV: Anywhere in the house? A daily occurrence?
Sandra: Oh yeah!
JV: Every shower has the slap dance?
Sandra: Every shower!
JV: Well look, oddly enough dear husband is here with us. Hello dear husband!
*audience applauds*
JV: Hello, what’s your name?
Fred: Fred.
JV: Hello Fred.
Fred: How dare she! A man’s time in the shower is a personal private moment.
JV: That’s what I would’ve thought.
Fred: It’s where we contemplate the big ideas of the day and work out how we’re going to proceed with tomorrow.
JV: Mm and the slap dance helps with that?
Fred: There’s no dancing. I’m a latent drummer. The only skin I’ve got is on my thighs.
JV: Right...okay.
Fred: So I tap them out and I tap my little tunes and so forth.
JV: That sounds lovely.
Fred: Yes.
JV: So, in your mind, what are you doing? She’s seeing it as sort of a soggy Morris dance. What are you doing?
Fred: I’m getting myself in a good mood to face her again.
*audience erupts*
JV: Musically you’re a latent drummer so what sort of thing...are you doing a Morris dance there or what?
Fred: Well I’m just doing a... *slaps his legs* ...That sort of thing.
JV: Bit of a rhythm. Bit of a groove.
Fred: I didn’t plan to share this with you all here this afternoon.
JV: No, but we’re very glad that you did. Is it 20 minutes?
Fred: No...No...Just until the hot water runs out.
JV: Yeah, well that’s alright. Now, were you aware that Sandra wasn’t happy with the soggy Morris dance?
Fred: Oh she tells me about it frequently but how can she hear me from downstairs in the kitchen? She’s supposed to be cooking the dinner.
JV: Yeah exactly. Why isn’t she concentrating on what she’s doing instead of worrying about what you’re up to? Sandra, now that you’ve heard that Fred does this in order to fill his day with joy, it’s one of the few pleasures left to him, and in order that he can face you again, do you want him to stop?
*audience laughs*
JV: Right, you do want him to stop? You’d like him to stop doing it?
Sandra: Well I would actually, yeah, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
JV: Fred, you’re aware now that Sandra finds this enormously irritating. Can you stop?
Fred: Well it puts a bit of difference between us and we’re at arm’s length for a little while but we make up rather specially.
JV: Oh! Well, we might leave you at that point. I don’t know that we need to follow the making up but Fred and Sandra thank you so much. Thank you for sharing that in absolutely riveting detail.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sleeping With Tony Jones

Rebecca: The one that’s really getting me lately is…when my partner goes to bed he hangs the iPad above the bed head and puts on The Drum or Tony Jones or Lateline or Q&A, lies down, puts his ear plugs in, and then goes to sleep. He puts it on at such a level that he can hear it through his earplugs and I’m lying next to him trying to read a book with the iPad blasting at me.
 JV: Ah.
Rebecca: If I go to turn it down he notices. So, I have to wait until he fully starts snoring until I can start even contemplating going to sleep.
JV: Oh that’s annoying isn’t it.
Rebecca: It’s… And often if I do fall asleep I start dreaming of Tony Jones or Steve Kinnane or Julia Baird. It’s too much!
JV: That’s a delightful team to have wandering about your dreams I would have thought.
Rebecca: Yeah, but through the earplugs? It’s like, don’t wear earplugs if you want to hear it, but he’s like ‘if I fall asleep I like to have earplugs in.’
JV: Oh, so you’d almost rather it was present in the room. Just the speaker, not the ear phones?
Rebecca: Well no, when I say earplugs I mean earplugs to block out noise not headphones. So he listens to it really loudly coming out of the speaker.
JV: Oh! He’s got earplugs in?
Rebecca: Earplugs!
JV: Oh, I thought you just meant headphones.
Rebecca: No, no. Earplugs.
JV: He’s got earplugs to block noise out…
Rebecca: But puts noise on really loudly to get through it!
JV: (Laughs)
Rebecca: It’s driving me insane.
JV: Oh that’s just wrong.
Rebecca: In so many ways.
JV: Look, I haven’t made this judgement about many Rebecca but with this one I’ll just say that’s not put-up-with-able at all.
Rebecca: I…I….Look, you don’t want to cause conflict. I’m not having conflict in bed.
JV: No, but I mean…so, they’re those foam earplugs?
Rebecca: Foam earplugs. We’re both addicted to them. I can understand that. Since living in renovations, that’s what happens.
JV: Yes, yes.
Rebecca: And he snores so obviously that’s okay for me, but I don’t have to listen to current affairs.
(Phone rings in background)
JV: That’s your husband ringing now.
Rebecca: It is. It is.
JV: ‘How dare you. Get off the radio.’
Rebecca: He’s at work I don’t think he’s listening to the radio.
JV: So, earplugs are in, he’s got the iPad blasting.
Rebecca: Blasting!
JV: That would be so annoying.
Rebecca: It is.
JV: Can’t he put…if he’s got earplugs in…he could get headphones that got over the earplugs.
Rebecca: I’ve tried that and he says they’re uncomfortable.
JV: Oh, I’m sorry.
Rebecca: I even said ‘look you can get speakers that go in your pillow,’ but he said he wouldn’t be able to hear it through his earplugs.
JV: Wow. How long has he been doing this?
Rebecca: Oh, look…since the iPad came into the bedroom. He didn’t do it with the radio because there wasn’t as much on the radio but he’ll save up Tony Jones. Every night for a week, will try and watch Q&A, or listen to Q&A and he’ll fall asleep within seven minutes.
JV: I see, so he’s got a bit more the next night.
Rebecca: Yeah.
JV: And the next day you’re walking around saying ‘I’ll take that as a comment.’ ‘Come on we’ve got a bit to get through here so I’ll have to move on.’ Gee that is an intriguing one isn’t it? I’m just so intrigued by listening to stuff through earplugs. It’s just so contrary.
Rebecca: Yes, but that’s the man I live with.
JV: Yeah. Live with and love Rebecca?
Rebecca: Of course.
JV: Mm. I know, if you didn’t love them…
Rebecca: I wouldn’t put up with it.
JV: You would have brained him with that iPad by now right?
Rebecca: Yes. Definitely.