Jul 28, 2011

Tandem#3, July 27th.

For her third tandem ride Jinksy offers two portraits to get us peddling words . . . 

The sitters are very different, but they are represented in similar attitudes, and that got me thinking . . . which do we like the best?

The Ties That Bind Us, or  You Can Never Win.

   As an birthday gift, two neckties, somewhat differently striped, left much to be desired.  But at least she had remembered. She was already downstairs, rattling cutlery as she set the breakfast table. The sound did not exclude a certain annoyance with domesticity in general and himself in particular, never mind the date. Tread warily, he thought. He considered the ties, both in glittering shades of lavender, luminous almost, ill suited to any of his suits, or shirts, as she probably knew. But real silk. Dayglo silk, what next! Decisions!  Truth to tell, neither tie did much for him, but this was a truth that dare not speak its name; not over breakfast anyway. He chose  a neutral suit, dark grey, single breasted over a pink shirt.
   Which tie to choose? One could toss a coin. One could do ip-dip-dash or one-potato, two potato. Being poetically inventive, at least in his own opinion, he opted for this method, laid the ties side by side on the bed as yet unmade, and began -
   "Ip-dip-die. Birthday tie. Lying on the bedspread, doing in my poor head. Ip. Dip. DIE!" He tied a full windsor knot, the lavender bulking up well between his collar points. Grey suit. Pink shirt. And shiny lavender tie. Yes, yes. Quite impressive. The mirror reflected this impression. He twisted this way and that.  "And God," he said, "saw that it was good!" With a cupped hand, he eased his genitals into place.
   He went downstairs into the smell of frying bacon, and there was his wife in housecoat and bedsocks and unkempt hair. And no hint of Happy Birthday in her back view as she manouvered things in the frying pan.
   "I don't suppose you straightened the duvet?" she said.
   "Ah . . " He poured meusli from the pack, added milk.
   "But I do suppose you left the packaging and wrapping paper strewn around?"
  "Ah . . "  It occurred to him that he had also left a tie strewn on the unstraightened bed.
   He sat down, looked sideways at the folded "Telegraph", looked diagonally at his wife, facing him now, holding the frying pan straight out in front of her and looking at him, with, he thought, an air of menace.
   "What?" he said.
  "Oh you do look smart! Ready for an interesting day with interesting clients while I pick up your leavings?  And hoover. And wash. And shop?"
   She laid the frying pan to rest. She advanced to the table. She picked up his bowl of milk and meusli. She upended it over his head. He spluttered through the waterfall, through the outrage.
   "What's that for?  On my birthday!"
   Her voice was a steel blade.  "It is for many things spread over many birthdays. For many silent breakfasts while you read the paper. For many years of fresh-frozen kisses as you leave for your interesting clients in your interesting office."
   He dabbed with a sheet of kitchen roll.  Now he would have to change.
  "But mainly," she said, "it is because you don't like the other tie I gave you."


  1. What a snapshot of life like-wot-it-is-lived - in somebody's world, I guess...
    Now, jinksy's advice would have been to wear both ties- one as a tie, and one for a headband. But stick with the birthday suit... LOL

  2. I can't decide if she is wary or annoyed; whether he is tolerant (as in most men lead lives of quiet desperation) or murderous.

    She dumped the cereal over your head ??? :-)

  3. You just can't please some people. Why are these two still together??

  4. Dear Dr.: Great dialogue, wonderful denouement and tactile detail. Yes, reading the paper is a big turn off, as is being ignored; totally a much worse crime. Put the two together times over the many years of matrimony and you have a big mess of Meusli!

  5. Un-poetic justice. Love the last line!


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