Charmed Life

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Who has had the most charmed life: she who has never cleaned a loo brush, or she who has never experienced coitus interruptus? This is the dilemma that faces me and my weekend guests. Guest A would have it that I have lived in an unreal world because I have never cleaned said brush, whilst myself and Guest B want to know how Guest A has got through the past 12 or so years without even one withdrawal.

A conversation can deteriorate badly, and we have hardly finished my salmon fishcakes, in creamy sorrel sauce, when we get on to this. It starts with Guests A and B saying how wonderful it must be to live without a man - you know, no loud farting, no belching, no deafening shouts at the TV on Saturday, no left-up loo seats, and no, well, "tracks" left in the loo. A says, "I mean, don't they know how to use a loo brush, for God's sake?"

For some reason or other, A and B get down to nitty-gritty and start comparing how they clean their nasty little brushes. I listen, appalled, as I top up their glasses. A douses hers with bleach, then holds it under the flush; B just swirls it about after use. B's method would appear to be less effective, as she goes on to question whether she should cut off the bristles that have "bits" stuck in. You make them Ivy Restaurant recipe fishcakes, sit them on your Arne Jacobsen (esque) chairs, and do you get sophisticated and cultured conversation?

I am forced to explain why I have so freakishly never cleaned a loo brush. This is not so hard as you might think. In ex-matrimonial home was the woman who "did" once a week, and I suppose that along with everything else, she "did" the loo brush. Before that, in student and post-student flats, we either never ever cleaned it, or maybe even never had one - I don't remember.

"Satisfied?" I ask A and B. They are, in fact, both rather self-satisfied, as they point out that now, sans cleaner, I'm going to have to "Do" It Myself. OK - the way I see it, I have two options: buy very expensive Phillipe Stark job and care for it appropriately, or buy pounds 2.99 plastic horror and throw it away when it needs "doing".

I think it is after A saying how awful it must be to live without a man: nobody to move heavy things, drill in wall plugs, deal with creepy-crawleys, zip up your little black dress, that we move on to coitus interruptus. This is suddenly a rather more tasteful topic for dinner conversation. B listens intently as A and I give her a quick lesson on What Happens, until it looks like she is being put off her apple strudel. Well, we all learnt something over dinner ...

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