Deborah Ross: Move away from the thermostat sdfghsdfgh

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The Independent Online

I would like to offer a guide to that annual, winter-long event, The Central Heating Fight, which is already being enacted in those homes across the country where one half of a couple feels the cold and the other does not. This guide, devised in conjunction with a sensible person who does not associate the use of central heating with any kind of moral or physical defectiveness, offers this advice:

* If your partner recommends you "do some star jumps" and then "put on another jumper to keep warm" you can: 1) punch him to the back of the head; 2) punch him to the front of the head; 3) punch him to the side of the head. All three are perfectly permissible, as well as understandable, and to summarize: if you see a bit of head, punch it.

* Should your partner, in the first instance, look at you disbelievingly when you say you are cold, you may come back with: "Yes, I'm making it up because I have nothing else to do today. Later, I'm planning on saying I'm tired when I'm not at all, and will be putting on washing that doesn't need washing. Heck, it all passes the time." Should such sarcasm go over his head, punch him in it a bit more.

* Inevitably, whenever you turn the heating on or up he will, when your back is turned, turn it off or down, so there may be no alternative but to camp out next to the thermostat while armed with an axe and a fighting dog of your choice.

* If he returns after being out all day and you've had the heating on full blast and he starts opening doors and windows while doing a lot of exaggerated fanning and saying things like "it's tropical in here" and you've run out of bits of his head to punch, you can now start working down the body.

* Should he "cheat" by leaving the heating on and up, but then goes about slyly turning off individual radiators – you will know this has happened when you keep asking yourself: why am I still so cold, when the heating is on and up? – this is when the punching has to stop and tampering with car brakes and the employment of undetectable poisons come into their own. Or even detectable poisons on the grounds prison has to be warmer.