In the Dahldrums, or, A little whine with your cheese?

I was compared to a Boazer the other day. It was an unjust comparison. My distinguished scholar husband, who has been propping me up these first few agonizing weeks of my job, was the culprit. (I mean “agonizing” in the best possible sense of the word, of course.  Like, “Isn’t this chocolate cake agonizing? I love it!”) He makes my lunches and scrapes the ice off the minivan every morning, and THEN he goes that extra mile and sits in it for 10 minutes with the engine running until it’s warm. I distractedly mumble my thanks, and he smiles and goes back to bed for another hour and a half. Until nine-thirty. Nine-thirty in the MORNING. I mean, it’s sweet and all, the car warming, but it IS being rewarded by a long lie-in. I figured we were square.

Then yesterday on our walk, completely out of the blue, he casually compared himself to Roald Dahl. Dahl, as a first year student in a boys’ school, was made to sit on the icy outhouse seat to warm it for an older boy, or Boazer. I excerpt from his autobiographical Boy:

“This particular day was icy-cold, and I went out through the snow into the outhouse and entered number one lavatory, which I knew was reserved for Boazers only. I wiped the frost off the seat with my handkerchief, then I lowered my trousers and sat down. I was there a full fifteen minutes in the freezing cold before Wilberforce arrived on the scene.

I got off the lavatory seat and pulled up my trousers. Wilberforce lowered his own trousers and sat down. ‘Very good,’ he said. ‘very good indeed.’ He was like a winetaster sampling an old claret. ‘I shall put you on my list,’ he added.”


That Guy seemed especially taken with the winetasting simile, and he yammered on for a while, entirely losing his original point. I usually exploit this meandering tendency of his to my maximum benefit, often avoiding awkward questions like, “Hasn’t it been 3 weeks since you last vacuumed?” or “Don’t you think you should thin out your 12 boxes of childhood memorabilia?” or “Were you planning to eat ALL of those donuts?” But this time, it had lead him away from his soul-stinging words, and I had to stomp quite hard on his left foot to regain his attention.

“What?” he exclaimed, hurt. “Don’t you agree? Winetasting is a high and noble art. Subtle, complex, vibrant. Did you know…”

And then, God love him, away he went.


~ by themeansister on February 24, 2009.

6 Responses to “In the Dahldrums, or, A little whine with your cheese?”

  1. I find wine-tasting and loo-warming differ in one respect, namely that the older wines are generally considered better, whereas the older loos are, on average, harder to heat, being less technologically advanced and without sophisticated heating methods. Because the bum is not sophisticated enough.

  2. I don’t know whose bum you’re referring to, but all the bums I know are HIGHLY sophisticated. Also tech-savvy and synergistically ergonomic.

    But, seriously now, ARE older loos harder to heat? Suppose they were made of wood, in contrast to our contemporary synthetic materials. I would think they’d retain the heat better. I’ve sat on plenty a chilly seat myself in these modern times. I’d probably have to do a rigorous study: bring on the commodes!

  3. Now I know what to get you for Christmas.

  4. You’re too kind.

  5. Ah, E—. Always in need of a good foot-stomping from you. Give him a swift hard punch in the ribs for me.

  6. I gave him a big, sloppy kiss on the cheek from you instead. Hope that’s all right.

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