My batty suggestion to help Mrs H

PUBLISHED: 16:01 03 March 2018

Maybe Neil should follow the fruit bat... and hang upside-down.

Maybe Neil should follow the fruit bat... and hang upside-down.

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In his latest dispatch from Fortress H, Neil Haverson wonders whether he has found the solution to not getting in the way of Mrs H.

The woman walked into the room unaware her jilted lover was hiding behind the door with a gun. Quietly he pushed the door closed and stepped into the room.

I was on the edge of my seat.

She saw him and froze. He raised his gun and aimed at her. Would he pull the trigger?

“I like her top,” came a voice from beside me on the sofa.

Well, that killed the moment.

Mrs H can be a terrible distraction when watching TV. Apart from such comments as: “That dress really doesn’t suit her,” she shouts advice at the set.

For instance, the baddies have jumped in their wheels and are making good their getaway. The cops are firing at them, how can they stop the villains? Mrs H has the answer.

“Shoot the tyres, shoot the tyres!” she bawls at the telly. Then, as if I wrote the script, she turns to me and demands: “Why don’t they shoot the tyres out?”

We record most programmes we like and watch them later. This means we can fast-forward through the ads. Nevertheless we still get a break.

“When we’ve watched this bit, just pause it will you? The washing machine should have finished and I want to put some more in.”

A commercial break lasts, what, around a couple of minutes? A Mrs H intermission can take anything up to half an hour. She finds other things that can’t possibly wait till morning. Sometimes I get a progress report. It’s a bit like the times a cinema manager used to appear to apologise when the film broke.

She thrusts her head round the door: “Sorry but I had to wipe the kitchen floor, it was all sticky. Don’t know what you’d dropped on it! I’m just going to the loo, then I’ll be with you.”

When she finally returns: “Now what was happening? Oh hang on, must just get some hand cream.”

And then there’s the Mrs H spoiler. After about 20 minutes she’ll announce who dunnit.

Mrs H’s antenna is altogether more sensitive than mine. Apparently I’m not tuned in. She has long castigated me over the times I vanish when we are shopping. We’ll emerge from a shop and I’m 20 yards up the street totally oblivious to the fact that she has stopped to look at something on the way out.

“You have no awareness where I am,” she complains. “I usually walk beside you so how can you not know I’m not there? Or do you prefer me to walk a few paces behind you?”

If we’re in a department store, it’s been known for me to leap on the escalator and reach the point of no return before I realise she’s not with me. Should I go back up to find her? If I do, by the time I’m halfway up she’s on her way down. Glaring at each other we continue our sedate journeys in opposite directions.

And of course, by the time I’ve gone up and travelled back down again she’s spotted a bargain and disappeared among the rails of clothes.

The advent of the mobile has been a great help. I’ve had many a text reeling me in when I’ve wandered off.

Occasionally I have plucked up courage and rung her – and often get a hissed reply: “I’m in the ladies!”

I’m at my most frustrating in the kitchen. I’m forever getting in her way. If I head for the sink you can bet your life it’s the very moment Mrs H wants to fill the kettle.

“You just don’t pick up the signals,” she complains.

I don’t know if this is a male thing or whether I’m one of the unfortunates not endowed with a bat-like sonar system. Perhaps I should hang upside down from the ceiling. At least I wouldn’t get in her way.

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