In a pleasant change from writing about my own petty quibbles and gripes, every now and again I like to take a look at the work of an unparalleled comedy genius, a leader in her field, a true visionary and also I’m very happy to say my wife, Sarah.
I can no longer really refer to her as L-Baz as she gave up the surname Leatherbarrow and took my name White upon agreeing to marry me. Much easier when booking a table at a restaurant but lacking any of the warm eccentric charm of her maiden name. It’s actually quite a weird feeling when your wife changes her name. Even though I was thrilled to have her take my name and become my wife, I think we were both a little sad to see Leatherbarrow go and so in keeping with the fact that this is number 2 in a series of these tribute pieces, I’ll be referring to her as L-Baz throughout, it seems fitting in the context.
It’s fair to say that my wife has to put up with an awful lot being married to me. There was the time I bought her a glass of Pimms that was too full. Naturally she reacted as anyone would upon being defiled in this manner and burst in to a bout of uncontrollable hysterics. I advised her that she should write down her feelings and save them up for when she eventually publishes her memoirs or writes an article for one of those women’s magazines entitled ‘My Pimms Hell – One Woman’s Struggle’. I also pointed out that there were places she could go if she no longer felt safe, women’s refuges I think they’re called where some big old friendly northern dinner lady type, no doubt called Pat would gather her up in her comforting bosom and reassure her that she was safe now.
‘Come on love, you come inside, you’re safe now.’
‘Sometimes when I close my eyes at night it’s like I’m back there and it’s happening all over again (sobbing and wailing).’
‘You let it all out love, we’ve all been there. That bastard can’t hurt you any more.’
Then there was the time she came home on a Friday and wanted us to get in bed at 7pm and watch Frozen. I agreed without hesitation but apparently I didn’t show quite the appropriate amount of enthusiasm. Yes it really is Shipman – Fritzl – Hitler – Rick White in the bad husband stakes.
Anyhoo, all that aside I have written before about how L-Baz’s completely unintentionally hilarious turn of phrase has enriched my life to the point where I actually did begin writing down stuff that she says. It really is quite a fascinating insight in to the way in which her mind works, I don’t know if it applies to all women. My advice to anyone would be to start keeping detailed records of everything your wife says, it’s funny and it will definitely help you to win more arguments.
One example of what I’m talking about is the way in which she’ll carry on a conversation we had six months ago as if that conversation were still taking place. I specifically remember in the middle of a car journey she just came out with;
‘Mum said they did a test and the paint was better.’
I like it when this happens because then I have to use my powers of deduction to work out what on earth she’s talking about which in many ways is more fun than a normal conversation.
‘Who is they in this scenario?’
‘And what kind of paint was it?’
‘Farrow & Ball.’
Got it! We were in the Farrow & Ball shop about six months ago and I was moaning about how it’s so ridiculously expensive and B&Q will just copy the colour for you for half the price. And I win! Actually I lose because I’ve been proved wrong by Sarah’s mum (comedy genius in her own right) and a magazine but still, fun.
There’s also the way in which she remembers details of events and retells them. I think it’s actually the way that she experiences things very differently to the way in which, let’s not call them sane people but ‘linear thinkers’ experience things. The things that Sarah remembers about an event may very well bear absolutely no relevance to what the event or the thing in question actually was supposed to be or what actually took place but just one thing that she noticed which will form the basis of her recollection. For example, when Sarah’s dad invited me to go and watch Newcastle United with him Sarah said;
‘You’ll like it Rick, all the dogs have shoes on.’
At the time I don’t think I even questioned this, merely made a mental note of it and filed it away under ‘Things I’ll probably have to repeat to a psychiatric nurse, police officer or judge one day.’ But lo and behold, when we arrived at the match I spotted a police dog with these little plastic boots on its feet to stop it from treading on glass.
I bet if you asked Sarah about that match it would go something like;
‘Remember that time you went to watch Newcastle with your dad?’
‘It was in February I think.’
‘Newcastle beat Real Madrid 13-12 on penalties?’
‘You took one of the penalties?’
‘There was a pitch invasion.’
‘And an explosion.’
‘You had to be airlifted out by helicopter?’
‘All the dogs had shoes on?’
‘Right why didn’t you just say that Rick, you fucking moron of course I remember dogs with shoes on day it was the best day ever.’
Fascinating stuff I’m sure you’ll all agree.
And so in tribute to my wonderful wife here are a few of her best quotes from recent months.
‘My only memory from childhood is when I had that pigeon on my head.’
Discussing the pros and cons of a vegan diet;
‘It’s not for me, I don’t even think you’re allowed to eat meat.’
‘Rick! That’s a cheaters move, you’re killing all my animals.’
‘I don’t want to watch Star Wars Rick I don’t like it.’
‘You’ve never seen it.’
‘What happens in it then?’
‘There’s a Jedi.’
‘And what’s a Jedi?’
‘A furry thing.’
‘You can watch the football when you’ve done the hoovering, nothing comes without hard work.
‘Not even watching the football on my own TV?’
‘Our TV, there’s no I in marriage. There’s only an R.’
Completely out of the blue;
‘I want a man who takes an interest in my front garden.’
Explaining the basic plot of Cats – The Musical
‘They’re quite weird, and I think they live in a drain.’
A very reasonable debate on kitchen cupboard space distribution and teamwork;
‘I’m the wife. And you’re a moron, so I get to decide what goes in the cupboard.’
‘You’re not allowed to hang your guitar on the wall Rick, you’re not Bryan Adams.’
And my absolute favourite, whilst watching David Blunkett on TV (and I knew this was coming);
‘His eyes look weird.’
‘He is blind.’
‘Well they should put a message up on the screen to warn people, he looks shifty.’
So there you go. Just a bit of the pure comedy gold which keeps me constantly entertained at home and helps to temper my daily rage. I think the funniest thing about L-Baz is that she literally has no filter and whatever nonsense she has in her mind just spills forth. I for one very much hope she never changes.