On vacating the premises of Carphone Warehouse after a year's work experience, the staff presented son number one with a larger than life cardboard cut-out of himself. Walking in with it tucked under his arm on Thursday evening, I had taken a myopic look through my varifocals, and muttered under my breath something about him bringing some drunk friend back home again. Closer inspection revealed it was only two dimensional, so I mentally stopped stripping the spare bed and sticking a bucket by the side of it, and worrying whether we had enough bacon for the morning.
But oh the fun we've had with this over the last twenty four hours.
The first wheeze was when the husband lifted it very slowly above our neighbours' fence as they were having a quiet glass of something after a hard day in the best café in town (R&R in Abingdon). It looked like son number one had turned into some Peeping Tom now he was unemployed, and I was concerned that they might thrown something at the interloper. But it survived, and the husband took rather too much pleasure 'walking' it up and down their fence giggling.
Son number one then left himself outside the patio doors. Every time I came into the kitchen, I started to say, 'What are you doing standing outside?' eventually getting so hacked off with it, that I employed the husband to move it indoors. It then spent the rest of the evening in the hall looking out of the front door window frightening off anyone who happened to walk past.
But it was yesterday morning that the fun really kicked off. I am always first one up in our house, and heading into the downstairs loo, I was faced with Mr Cardboard as I opened the door. My language, as you can imagine, was rich and varied, and blaming the husband for all this, irrationally it would appear, I stuck it inside his office, neatly positioning it as close to the door as I possibly could before closing it.
Half an hour later, his reaction was similar to mine, but louder. I was beside myself with laughter, and wondered why I didn't react this way when it happened to me in the downstairs loo. Of course, being a woman of advanced years, laughing uncontrollably first thing in the morning is not the best idea which might explain my alternative reaction of turning the air blue. So now the husband, bent on revenge of the worst kind, took Mr Cardboard upstairs, and placed it against son number one's bedroom door, tilting him slightly in the hope that when the door was opened, it would fall on son number one. Sneaky man.
Neither of us were there to see the outcome of the husband's cunning plan, but needless to say, I am slightly worried as to where Mr Cardboard is going to appear next. As I write, he is at the top of the stairs, lurking in the shadows, making me jump every time I head up to my bedroom.
I've actually taken to talking to it now. I'm thinking of making it some paper outfits which I can slip on it to change his look every now and again. (Do you remember those paper dolls in comics when we were small?) I am thinking dinner suit, Superman, football kit and skiwear . Although I may save the badly matching transvestite outfit for when I've really had enough of him.
Mind you, if he isn't put somewhere soon where he's not going to make me jump, I am going to put him in the cardboard cut-out equivalent of the naughty step.