As you know, I like a good rant from time to time.
When lockdown started it was EE. About 594 companies e-mailed to tell me how much they cared, but it was EE that sent me over the edge.
“Look at this. They’re putting the prices up. Using some special measure of inflation known only to them. And in order to ‘provide the best service’ they won’t answer my calls.”
My wife muttered something under her breath. It sounded like, ‘Can’t say I blame them.’ But obviously it couldn’t have been…
Eight weeks later and I’m off again. So what tipped me over the precipice this time?
“There’s not much to read in the paper,” my beloved said, putting down her iPad and picking up her gin.
“Pah! You can say that again. Every bloody article is the same. ‘How to work from home.’ ‘Mistakes to avoid when you’re working from home.’ ‘How to make a work from home space.’
A rant is like a stone rolling down a hill. There’s a split second when it can be stopped. But then it gathers momentum. All you can do is get out of the way…
Unfortunately for my wife she missed that split second. In the time it takes to sip your gin…
“I means seriously. Mistakes to make when you’re working from home. Forgetting to turn your internet on. People get paid to write this? Make sure your desk is large enough – well, once you’ve cleared away your children’s accumulated crap. Make sure your chair is comfy. No, mate, I thought I might be more productive on this foot square desk sitting on an iron chair suspended over an open fire. What about this – ”
“I’m trying to do some work,” Beverley said.
Saving the NHS? It was too late. The stone was rolling…
“ – This idiot? ‘How to make some work from home space.’ Well don’t have any children, pal, ’cos even when they’re gone every desk in the house is still covered in – ”
The pen hit me neatly and squarely in the middle of my forehead.
I blinked. “Are you trying to tell me something?”
“Yes,” my wife said. “Go away.” Or words to that effect…
I was back five minutes later. She’d stopped one stone. But it had clipped another on the way down…
“Look at this! Madness. Complete madness. ‘Best products for working from home.’ Ergonomic office chair. More than a thousand quid! My chair cost £54. Best laptop. MacBook Pro: thick end of three grand. Best Bluetooth speaker. Four hundred quid. Best weekly planner. Thirty-five quid. It’s a posh notebook for God’s sake. What’s the problem? Don’t they have Poundland in Notting Hill?”
My wife had run out of missiles. She was defenceless. A captive audience.
“Look! Look at this one. ‘Best work from home fitness equipment.’ Just in case you’ve got any cash left. Rowing machine. Another six hundred quid. Boxing gloves. Sixty quid.”
“Don’t tempt me…”
“What? Yoga mat. A hundred quid. Lie on the floor, you idiot. Oh…”
I’d spotted something else. Something which might… Well, you know.
“I could pay sixty-five quid for a pair of yoga pants,” I murmured seductively. “Not that we’d get much work done if I was strolling around in yoga pants…”
“You?” Beverley spluttered. “In yoga pants? With your stomach hanging over the top?”
She slid off her chair and onto the floor.
So much for the ‘A&E admissions slump’ during lockdown.
That’s well and truly over.
You can stop doing the crossword now, doctor. They’ve just brought a woman in. Paramedic says it’s the worst case he’s ever seen. Acute hysterics…