Into each life, the poet said, some rain must fall. Sometimes it’s a raging cyclone, and other times it’s a light drizzle. He didn’t specify the quantity, but the poet’s precipitation theory was right on the money.
And today, dear reader, I must tell you about a light little shower that has been going on in my life for the past week or so. It causes, in the grand scheme of things, only a minor annoyance – but to me, it truly matters.
But to help you understand the problem, I must take you back many, many years – back, in fact, to the days when I was in college. These were the days when the prospect of staying up until three in the morning was not a horrific one, but rather a everyday occurrence. And one of the things that we got to do by staying up until three in the morning was to watch Champions League football.
These matches would either be screened at my home, or the home of one of my closest friends. And therein, dear reader, lay a dilemma. The mother of said closest friend was, and remains, a wizard of the dark arts when it comes to making a biryani. You could take your pick of the seven billion of us on this planet to go up against her when it comes to combining meat and rice, and my money would be on the alchemist I’ve known for years. Take it from someone who takes these things very seriously indeed – that biryani recipe has been stolen from heaven’s kitchens.
So where, you might ask, lies the dilemma?
What, dear reader, does one do after demolishing a biryani? Lies sprawled in repose on the nearest piece of obliging furniture, what else. Preferably with one leg draped over the back of the sofa, because that is how the creator intended it. Ah, but the lady with the magical biryani also insisted on draping the back of the sofa (and this is the precipitation in all its evil munificence) with a piece of cloth.
Here’s your word for the day: antimacassar. I know, I know – you’ve never heard of it: it’s the technical term for that piece of cloth. And I would be exceedingly glad to be a member of your community, but it is the antimacassar that prevented me from draping my leg over the back of the sofa.
And what use, I ask you, a biryani, if your leg can’t drape the sofa?
Over the years, I had grown to forget the antimacassar, and retained only fond memories of the biryani, and there things stood for a very long time. Until about a month ago, dear reader, when I observed to my horror, a piece of cloth lying smugly on our centre table.
There it lay, pristine white, inlaid with irritating designs, exactly where I expected my feet to go after a particularly gratifying chicken curry and rice. And in close proximity lay the waiting-to-be-incandescent face of the Missus, inviting me to so much as think of putting my feet up on that darn piece of cloth.
And so I watch my TV these evenings, ladies and gentlemen, at a forty five degree angle, with my feet reluctantly on the floor, rather than the appropriate ninety. And it is every bit unsatisfying as you might think it to be – nay, more.
Raindrops, as the poet said… they keep falling on my head.
He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
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