“Can you pass me the chillis please?” my friend T says.
The Man picks up the chillis and passes them to her, grinning. He says, “They look like green knobs.”
I look at The Man. “Behave,” I tell him. He giggles naughtily.
I shake my head and look beseechingly at our friends. “It’s like going out with a teenager,” I say to them. They nod in agreement.
The Man, clearly enjoying this, trumps.
“NO, The Man!” I shout, trying not to laugh. “You’re a nightmare! You are sex tourettes fart man!”
Our friend B laughs. “That sounds like a good blog title,” he says.
Before I write said blog, I’m going to set the scene. The Man and I are travelling with T and B at the moment. They are the couple who introduced us in Buenos Aires last year. They are good friends and have known The Man a lot longer than I have, but even good friends have limits.
At the time of The Man’s knob gag, we are sitting in a pretty little square, eating birria chivo (goat steamed in its own juices – I know goats look like gnarly old bastards but give ‘em a good steam and they are melt-in-your-mouth tender*) and it’s all gorgeous. A little old stone fountain tinkles away behind us, the lovely old restaurant is serving us the most mouth-watering fayre from a brightly-tiled kitchen and there’s even a little mariachi band hanging out by the fountain, polishing their trumpets and tuning their fiddles. The food is amazing, the weather balmy – yes, Lucy Robinson is being eaten alive by mosquitos but nothing new there – and our environs are exactly what you would imagine if you closed your eyes and dreamed of a lovely old colonial town in Mexico.
So you can imagine my despair when sex tourettes fart man throws his tuppence worth in.
The Man, I think you’ll agree, has come out pretty well in my blogs. I know I used to be blazingly honest in my dating days (listen to me! “in my dating days?” what a knob!) but I always knew that if I started any serious sort of relationship I’d have to keep my mouth shut about it.
And so I have.
But. If my blogs are to be believed, The Man is some sort of long-suffering saint.
And he is not.
Readers, I think it is time you met The Man.
T is for trump. I was somewhat loathe to include this as I’m well aware of the amount of scatological humour that has permeated my blogs recently. But it would be quite impossible to omit this facet of The Man’s existence. The Man trumps for Great Britain. Were it an Olympic sport he would have been up there on that podium in Beijing – the Long Trump, the Ten Second Chuff, the Blow Off Vault… my god, he would have cleaned up. We’d be dripping in medals! I taught him recently that if he trumps, he has to own it – in other words he has to confess to the crime rather than expect to get away with it. What he doesn’t seem to have grasped, however, is that this does not mean that he needs to tell us every time he passes wind. He just needs to own up to if it is likely to be detected. But The Man hasn’t quite got to grips with this idea. Instead, he has interpreted it as a command to tell us every time he guffs. Which means that >80% of what he says is “I’ve just trumped.”
H is for history geek. It is a source of amazement to me that The Man does not wear tweeds and twirl a long grey moustache around his academic’s pencil. HE IS AN EXTREME HISTORY GEEK. Extreme, I tell you! Here are some examples of why. First, while his other ten year-old friends were smoking their first cigarette, The Man was ordering his poor Mum around the charity shops of Devon so that he could scour for history books. I do rather adore him for that, but still. Come on. Second, The Man bought a two-bedroom flat in London a few years ago and actually abolished one of the bedrooms – and the income that it could generate – so that he could fill it with history books. As the years passed, it became a general repository for objects from times anterior. Now, you can barely open the door because The Man’s museum has taken over the walls and floor. It is beginning to encroach on the rest of the house. Unmarked boxes lurk in the kitchen and under the bed. Piles of brown crinkled papers spill out into the hallway. I watch this advancement not without alarm. Third, when I introduced him to Marge back in February – via Skype – the first thing he did was to talk her through a WW2 helmet. After the skype session ended, Marge looked at me and shook her head. “Robinson,” she said. “I love him. He is perfect for you.”
E is for EXTREMELY MESSY. Do you think your boyfriend is messy? My friend, he is not a patch on The Man. Come and stay in his flat for a couple of days if you think you have it bad. Your jaw will drop as he walks around you shedding clothes, books and strange gadgets. They land on the floor and stay there until he finds a use for them again. If it’s three months until he needs it, so be it; the floor is where it will stay. Right now, for example my pillow on our bed is buckling under the weight of the following items, courtesy of The Man:
– snorkel mask
-camera bag (filthy)
-an array of inexplicable wires and gadgets
-a sort of man-sarong that smells like he just stole it from the bed of my dog, Grouse.
M is for mental age of a ten year old. If I take my eyes off The Man for a second, I turn back round to discover that he is wearing my pants on his head or that he has stolen my sunglasses or is wearing an inexplicable moustache. I wake up to discover knob drawings on my arm, or to find that The Man has somehow climbed on to the top of the wardrobe where he is hiding under a pile of jumpers, or that he is in the fridge. It is exhausting trying to keep up.
A is for anally retentive. “Can I have your camera memory card,” he asks me. “Er yeah, here you go. Why?” He looked puzzled. “So I can organise our photos, obviously.” I scratch my head in confusion. “Why do you need to do that?” The man looks scandalised. “Why? Why? Because… Are you serious? You can’t just upload your photos into a folder! It’d be chaos! I say nothing but look pointedly at his bedroom floor.
N is for narcolepsy. The man can and will fall asleep absolutely anywhere, without warning. The night we met he fell asleep four times while in the noisiest tango hall in the world, and the day he got back from his brave we hired a rowing boat in which he promptly passed out and left me to row silently around a lake until I got bored. Yesterday we went out on a boat where everyone got completely wasted on tequila. (It was like being on an 18-30s holiday. Very unlike any of our other travel experiences thus far. Weird.) I abstained, being old and boring. And, when we got back to the apartment we’re renting, the man sat on the (hard) floor, leaning against a (sharp) corner in the wall and rested his head against a (booming) speaker. There he slept soundly for thirty minutes, oblivious to the loud music and conversations around him. More impressively still, he had a computer balanced on his knee the entire time. He was born to sleep. Ensuring he remains awake is a business that requires constant surveillance.
The Man has been dreading this blog. I have given him basic editorial rights before I hit the ‘publish’ button but quite frankly I cannot imagine there is anything I have written with which he could possibly argue.
And so, Readers, you have met my adorable boyfriend, The Man. Welcome to my world.
* Sorry, vegetarian friends. You must loathe me.