Archive | January, 2012

A Is For ‘Arguments’

31 Jan

Everywhere I look, bloggers are alphabetizing their themes: A to Z of The Country I Live In; A to Z of Kittens; A to Z of Food; A to Ad Infinitum.  It’s not a bad idea, particularly if, like me, you don’t have any ideas. 

Therefore, in the spirit of if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, here is the first in an occasional, 26-part series (suggestions for Z welcomed with open arms and eternal gratitude; if none are forthcoming, this may be the first 25-letter alphabet since theta eta pi): The A to Z of The Laughing Housewife.  I propose to tell you random things about me and my life.  Pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last two and a half years, in fact. 

A Is For Arguments

The Hub and I argue a lot.  When we first married, it was all we did (well, not all we did; we were just married).  I’m not afraid to admit that he irritates me like no other human being on earth.  The feeling is mutual. 

I once marvelled at a friend of mine who assured me she and her husband never argued.  She was a vicar, so I had to believe her, but that sent her way up the list to Number 2 most irritating human being on earth.  I am easily irritated.  We all are.

I’m pretty sure I write about our arguments regularly, so I closed my eyes and chose a year from my archives and here’s a sample:


I have had a strange day: the Hub and I did not squabble once. We squabble a lot; we think of it as our pressure valve: if we don’t let out a little steam there will be a huge explosion and the Hub will get scalded.

I would say it is learned behaviour but my in-laws were not at all quarrelsome. Dad Hub was the mildest-tempered man I ever knew; though I did once see him slightly annoyed. Mum Hub was fiery by nature but hated falling out because she loved everyone too much, and Dad Hub more than most. The Hub has her nature but not her restraint, and he is unfortunate enough to have married the biggest nark in the business. The Hub rubs me up the wrong way – except for today, when he gave me a back rub and I almost dozed off in his lap. Make back rubs, not war, will be my motto from now on. 

Perhaps it is learned behaviour on my part: I take after my Dad, who was narky by nature. My parents rowed a lot; it wasn’t unusual for them to not speak for a fortnight or more. When they did speak it was usually to row. I have never understood all those American movies and tv programmes where the adult child falls apart when their parents announce they are divorcing: when our parents said they were separating, we three children shouted ‘hurrah’ and did an impromptu jig around their personal baggage. 

They were happier apart and friends at the end; Mum helped look after Dad in his last weeks and was with him when he died. 

A Sunday roast consisting of roast beef, roast...

Image via Wikipedia


I remember one particular row that went on for months. Every Sunday we had a traditional roast dinner and my Dad – who loved his food and his roast dinners in particular, so he might have just been spoiling for a fight – complained that he was sick of roasts every Sunday and why couldn’t we have something else? Mum never said a word but took his plate away and scraped it into the bin, and cooked him bacon and egg there and then. Next Sunday we had a roast dinner, as usual…except for Dad, who was served bacon and egg, without a word from Mum. And the next; and the next; and the next Sunday after that…for six solid months, until Dad finally caved first and asked in his best little boy voice if he could please have a roast like the rest of us this Sunday? Without a word from Mum, he got one. 

Dad never complained about his meals again. 



I told you shopping was a bad idea: the Hub and I spent our afternoon in Stockport squabbling. We squabbled in his bank – why could we not draw out the money in the warm inside, where muggers were less likely to steal it from my shivering fingers? (Me) Why did I not top up my phone through the ATM while we were there? (Him)  What is this irrational mistrust I have of technology? (Him) (Pity he didn’t ask me that ten minutes ago, just after I lost the first and much funnier draft of this post) My bank – why did he have to wait so long in the queue for me while I went to three shops in an effort to find one with a working machine to top me up by a fiver when I could have done it at his bank? (Him) The post office – I suddenly realised that he had not wrapped Tory Boy’s book like I asked him to before we left the house and he claimed that he hadn’t known I wanted it so urgently because I had never said so and I countered with the adult response that it was about time he learned to read my mind then; raspberry.  By the time we reached the pound shop we were at glaring point and in the street outside, with our sotto voce argument now screechy-screechy, we decided to kiss and make up before we exchanged blows with the bargain toothpaste we were carrying. After twenty-eight years together, we are pretty good at conflict resolution; especially because 1) I know I’m right – like the old joke has it, a husband’s place is always in the wrong; and 2) I wasn’t sure my toothpaste would get in the first blow.

Joke 313

31 Jan

If Men Ruled the World…

Any fake phone number a girl gave you would automatically forward your call to her real number.

Nodding and looking at your watch would be deemed an acceptable response to “I love you.”

Hallmark would make “Sorry, what was your name again?” cards.

When your girlfriend really needed to talk to you during the game, she’d appear in a little box in the corner of the screen during a time-out.

Breaking up would be a lot easier. A smack to the bum and a “Nice hustle, you’ll get ’em next time” would pretty much do it.

Birth control would come in ale or lager.

Each year, your raise would be pegged to the fortunes of the football team of your choice.

The funniest guy in the office would get to be CEO.

“Sorry I’m late, but I got really drunk last night” would be an acceptable excuse for tardiness.

Tanks would be easier to rent.

Garbage would take itself out.

Instead of beer belly, you’d get “beer biceps.”

Instead of an expensive engagement ring, you could present your wife-to-be with a giant foam hand that said, “You’re #1!”

Valentine’s Day would be moved to February 29th so it would only occur in leap years.

“Cops” would be broadcast live, and you could phone in advice to the pursuing cops.

The only show opposite “Monday Night Football” would be “Monday Night Football From A Different Camera Angle.”



Tilly Bud Is Impressed

30 Jan


Dancing on Ice

Image via Wikipedia


It’s hard to believe we’re only in week 4 of Dancing On Ice.  Check this out (the girl in black and the guy in silver are the amateurs):

Sorry it doesn’t appear here; I still can’t show You Tube videos and the WordPress techies don’t know why, without visiting me at my home and disassembling my computer.

Joke 312

30 Jan

Jacob put his hand up in class.

“Yes, Jacob, what is it?” asked the teacher.

“I don’t want to worry you, Miss, but my Dad said if I don’t get better marks, someone is going to get a hiding.”

There Are Stats, Tilly Bud Stats, And Google-Inflated Stats

29 Jan

I never thought there’d come a time when I would be annoyed to have four thousand hits in one day.  That day was yesterday. 

Snowflake. Small microscope kept outdoors. Sna...

Image via Wikipedia


A large snowflake was measured on 28 January, 1887; I mentioned it in a post in 2010; Google Doodle celebrated the anniversary of that snowflake yesterday.  

4,225 people came to my blog in search of a Google Doodle snowflake.  4,225 people went away disappointed, without even so much as one – one, mind you, out of 4,225 – ‘Like’ or comment for my large snowflake post.

I’m annoyed.  My stats are all out of sync now.  Google Doodle better watch it; I’m in the mood to take on a conglomerate.

And what kind of multi-billion pound business celebrates the anniversaries of snowflakes anyway?  I’m so irritated, I’m not even going to provide a link to Google, Google Doodle, or any snowflakes.  That’ll teach ’em.



Hacked Off of Stockport.

Joke 311

29 Jan

I went to the butcher’s the other day and I bet him fifty quid that he couldn’t reach the meat off the top shelf.

He said, ‘No thanks; the steaks are too high.’


I Am A Snow Flake

28 Jan

Is it snowing in the blogosphere?

Snow in Veria

Image via Wikipedia

It is only 10:44 in the morning and I’ve had 884 hits on an old post, Some Snow Facts.  Over six hundred people found it because they want to know the size of the world’s largest snowflake. 

For the record, it was 15 inches in diameter/38cm wide and 20cm thick.  It was observed in Montana, USA in 1887 and described by witnesses as “larger than a milk pan”. 

What a useless description – how many people use milk pans these days?  If one that size fell today, would we describe it as “half the size of a microwave – a big microwave, that is; about 2/3 of a small microwave, probably, unless you want me to go by the size of the inside, measuring around the glass front.  Does it matter what colour the microwave is?  I got it from IKEA: does that help?”


As my stats for today are almost at 2000, I Googled ‘World’s Largest Snowflake’.  Guess what?  Google Doodle are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the world’s largest recorded snowflake.

Thanks for mucking up my stats, Google.  Time to give you the cold shoulder.  Consider me an ice maiden.  Who looks like a snowman.

For more Six Word Saturdays, go here.

Joke 310

28 Jan

A man was driving a pickup truck down a country road, when suddenly he was broadsided by a trailer truck. Some time went by, and the case went to court. The defense attorney said to the plaintiff, “How can you be suing my client now when you told a trooper after the accident that you felt fine?”

The man replied, “Well sir, it was like this. We was drivin’ down the road, mindin’ our own business, when a big trailer truck came out of nowhere and creamed us. When I came to, I was in the ditch, and a trooper was pullin’ up with his car. He looked at the hogs, and they was ‘most dead, so he shot ’em. Then he looked at my dog, and he was hurt real bad, so he shot him. Then he came over to me and he said, ‘How you feeling?’ I said, ‘I never felt better in my life.’ “

Hair Of The Dog

27 Jan

My last word on the subject of hair, I swear.

Hair today; none tomorrow.

Joke 309

27 Jan

Two men walk into a building.

You’d think at least one of them would have seen it.


My Final Word On Hair

26 Jan

I had not been swimming in ten years, and when I took it up again I thought I had better bathe and shave in preparation.  I was lying in the bath thinking I looked like Julia Roberts at the première of Notting Hill…  Let me clarify: I was lying in the bath thinking my armpits looked like Julia Roberts’ at the première of Notting Hill, and I was thinking about the photos in the newspaper.  Do you suppose she was lying in the bath that morning thinking, ‘I must remember to wax my bits…oh, what’s the point?  I’ll probably be upstaged by that Liz Hurley in some dress held together with sticky tape anyway; the only way I’ll be in the tabloids tomorrow is if I don’t wax my bits…hang on a minute…’ 

The moral of the story is: if you want your picture in the paper, don’t shave your armpits.

Or so I thought, but it’s been weeks now and I haven’t had a sniff. Not even from The Sunday People, and if they call I’m telling them I’d rather apply hot wax to my skin and pull it off with sticky paper. 

I thought this up in the bath but I have a dreadful memory, which is why I write everything down.  As I was in the bath I couldn’t write it down.  I use memory aids in the form of daft pictures in my head, which is why I imagined Julia Roberts using my wrinkle cream in our bathroom. It then occurred to me that this was completely ridiculous: as if Julia Roberts would be using my wrinkle cream! The only way I have it in is if some kind friend buys it as a birthday treat to remind me of how old I’m getting, and there’s no way I’m sharing it with Julia Roberts or anyone. Next time she sleeps over she can bring her own. 

You may think I’m a little crazy but you must realise that because of television we all feel we know famous people and can thus have imaginary conversations with them. They feel like our best friends, don’t they?

Sadly, this is not the case, as I discovered the day Julia applied for the Restraining Order and swore to the judge that the first time she ever met me was the day I politely offered to wax her bits.


Joke 308

26 Jan

There was an opening in the CIA for an assassin. These highly classified positions are extremely difficult to fill, requiring an extensive background check, training, and testing before candidates are even considered for the position. After reviewing several applicants and completing all the checks and training, the field was narrowed to the three most promising candidates. The day came for the final test which would determine which of the equally qualified candidates, would get the job.

The final candidates were two men and one woman. The agents administering the test took the first candidate, a man, down a corridor to a closed door and handed him a gun saying, “We must be completely assured that you will complete your assignments and follow instructions regardless of the circumstances. Inside this room you will find your wife, seated in a chair. Take this gun and kill her.” The man, shocked, said, “You can’t be serious! I could never kill my wife.” The CIA agent said, “Well, then, you’re obviously not the man for the job. Take your wife and go home.”

They brought the next candidate in, the other man, and repeated the instructions. This man took the gun, walked into the room and closed the door. However, after five minutes of silence, the door opened and the man handed the CIA agent the gun, saying, “I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t kill my wife. I tried to pull the trigger but I just couldn’t do it.” The CIA man said, “Well, then, you’re obviously not the man for the job. Take your wife and go home.”

Then they brought the woman down the corridor to the closed door, handed her a gun, and said, “We must be completely assured that you will complete your assignments and follow instructions regardless of the circumstances. Inside this room you will find your husband, seated in a chair. Take this gun and kill him.” The woman took the gun, walked into the room, and before the door closed all the way, the CIA agents heard the gun start firing. One shot after another, for thirteen shots, the noise continued. Then all hell broke loose. For the next several minutes, the men heard screaming, cursing, furniture crashing and banging on the walls; then suddenly, silence. The door opened slowly and there stood the woman. She wiped the sweat from her brow and said, “You guys didn’t tell me the gun was loaded with blanks! I had to beat him to death with the chair!”

More Hair

25 Jan

There were so many comments about hair yesterday, I thought I’d reblog an old post on that very subject.  I wrote it way back in 2009 so I doubt if any of you have read it.

I don’t like shopping; I never have, even when we had plenty of money. I am intimidated by bored and rude sales assistants – but at least they are better than hairdressers. Hairdressers are scarier than dentists; scarier than walking Stockport streets at night; scarier even than a doctor’s cold hands at a five-yearly check-up. They hold the key to my appearance in their hands, and I am powerless to stop them having their wicked way with me.

I once had a hair cut. I asked the hairdresser to bob my hair to the top of my shoulders, and give me a fringe. As she was combing my hair she remarked on my natural kink, saying that she had one and it was useless trying to fight it. She decided to give me some layers to make it manageable, and then she began cutting, and cutting, and cutting; a snip-snip here; a snip-snip there; here a snip, there a snip, everywhere a snip-snip….

I was in the chair for at least an hour but by the time I realised how short my hair was going to be, it was too late to protest. I wasn’t wearing my glasses and her friendly chat had lulled me into a state of torpor.  She bobbed me to the top of my neck, not my shoulders, so I had what’s known in the hairdressing trade as ‘short hair’.

The hairdresser later confessed to my Mum that she just couldn’t stop cutting, and I was sitting so quiet and accepting that she kept talking and cutting and cutting and talking and cutting in panic.

Tory Boy decided to grow his hair long when he was fifteen. I had to accept his decision but it drove me nuts, particularly as he is the only person I know who can wash his hair without cleaning it and dry his hair so that it remains wet.  Aren’t adverts misleading? As a child I thought only brunettes got dandruff because there were no blondes in the Head and Shoulders ad. I was astonished when Tory Boy got dandruff: my then scruffy blonde baby never rinsed his hair properly, of course.

Then there was the unexpected side-effect of his unplugging the hairdryer without switching it off. Every time I came to use it, it would explode into action as soon as I plugged it in, leaving me several heart attacks closer to a hospital. I tried telling him politely, and followed it up with a threatening email when that didn’t work; eventually I was forced to hide in the kitchen, jumping out on him whilst simultaneously turning on the hairdryer as he walked past, so he could have the hospital bed next to mine.  It didn’t work; he looked at me as if I was stupid and, when using the dryer, began exaggeratedly showing me he had switched it off, and then secretly switching it back on again to catch me out. My only choice was to ban him from hairdryer contact altogether and wake him an hour early so that his hair had time to dry naturally before school. Lack of sleep on my part meant that strategy lasted one day.

Hair plays a big part in my life. I wear a full body apron, no sleeves, and a tubee over my head when I cook, à la Yentl, because the favourite saying in our house during a meal isn’t, ‘That was delicious, Mum,’ or even, ‘Well, at least you tried,’ but, ‘I got the hair.’ My hair finds its way everywhere: the usual places like plug holes and bed, but also into all food (even when it’s stored in the fridge) and behind the toilet. I don’t know how it gets there; it’s not like I ever go behind the toilet to clean.

Even Christmas Dinner can be hair-perturbed: one year, things went better than usual in spite of my mild hysteria, first over cooking, then on putting my chair and all my weight on TB’s foot (screaming adolescents are not good for my nerves, no matter how much pain they claim to be in).  My hat would not fit on my head over my tied-back hair, and I pulled out my clip in a hissy fit, threw it on the floor and tried again to adjust my hat, which snapped back over my right ear, leaving it ringing, me sulking, and my family laughing.  That was the year the boys gave me thoughtful gifts: TB bought me a month’s supply of Maltesers and Spud bought me a Christmas apron, a collapsible washing bag, and a pair of nose hair clippers.

I truly believe that the hardest part of being a parent is letting my children go, which is rather ridiculous, given that I spend all my time preparing them for independence, for a time when they won’t need me. Having said that, there are mornings when I am more than happy to let some of my children go…like the morning when TB berated me for being cruel, wicked and unfair, for not only did I make him polish his shoes and apply his acne cream, I didn’t pass him the lemonade bottle last night when it was me who wanted him to tighten the top after pouring him a drink while he was drying his hair, thus making him late for school fourteen hours later and forcing him to rush.

I admit it: I am a dreadful mother; I thought so as I watched him through the window, strolling to the bus stop while fiddling with his mp3 player, hair doing a passable imitation of Jimi Hendrix in a wind tunnel, clearly determined not to miss that bus he was so late for. It was not the first time my teenage son had stressed me out: he once managed to turn a civil invitation to the cinema into an argument that left me rescinding the invitation and stabbing an innocent chicken sandwich. This is the child that I took shopping with me when he was nineteen: determined to one day rule the world (watch out teachers, you’re heading for a colony in Antarctica), he spent the time choosing alcohol supplies, riding the trolley, and out-Barry Scotting Barry Scott with his Cillit Bang advert impression.

A final word on hair things: the Hub once made pom-poms with our niece, helped her with her cross stitching, made bracelets, and beaded her hair, much to Spud’s disgust at such girlie activities in the man who claims to be his father.  He can cook, he can sew, he sings soprano to my alto…the boys claim he is the most feminine macho man they know.  Twenty-one years of teaching our sons male-female equality and they still think cooking is women’s work.  I don’t know why: never in their lives have I served them anything edible.

A last word on the Hub: when we were courting in our teens, I sat with my cropped head and watched his mother plait his pony tail, muttering all the while, ‘I expected to do this for me daughters but not for me son!’ No wonder he never objected when the gerbils groomed his moustache. And don’t start feeling sorry for him because I’m giving away his secrets: he likes to be kept on his toes by me, believing contrariety is the spice of wife.


Joke 307

25 Jan

Why did the capacitor kiss the diode?

He just couldn’t resistor.


Twilight: I Hope Bella Remembered To Shave

24 Jan




Cover of "Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edit...

Cover of Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)


Contemplating my blunt Bic yesterday, and whether it was worth getting out of the shower for a fresh razor (I still have 273 left of the thousand my Dad left when he died back in 2000) or to stay half hairy until my next ablutions, it occurred to me that if Bella didn’t shave the night before she was changed into a vampire – and there is, unaccountably, no record in the book that she did – then she was going to be stuck with fluffy armpits for eternity.  For a female vampire, that would suck.

In Twilight‘s world, vampires are frozen in time, with the same likes, dislikes, looks (the same, but amplified to remove the dross and highlight the gorgeous) and hair.  I know this for a fact, because I have watched the first Twilight film 117 times since Christmas, and Edward Cullen (the delicious Robert Pattinson) has hairy arms and chest in every scene where he shows his hairy arms and chest.

Obsession has its usefulness – Bella got Edward in the end; Edward got Bella in the end, and I got to notice Robert Pattinson’s hair.  His other hair; the one that inspired Jedward:


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