My little sister, our housemate and myself have moved in together. Like all good households, there are several covert and deadly wars running quietly below the happy surface of our home.
1. The kettle war
We bought our kettle because it was silver, and we had decided that the very best way to make our kitchen look like one of those show-room kitchens was to have silver appliances.
We had no other criteria, so the kettle we have is pretty crap. It looks nice, and I believe we have fooled at least one (drunken) person into complimenting us on our kitchen, but it’s one of those ones where unless you shove the little thing right up, it continually tries to turn itself back on. ‘See,’ I explained patiently to our housemate. ‘Can you hear that sound? That dry hissing sound? That’s because you haven’t flicked the little thing up fully, and the kettle is trying desperately to turn itself on.’ ‘I can’t hear anything,’ My flatmate told me confusedly. Which is odd, because yesterday she asked me fairly abruptly to stop rapping in my room.
2. The shoe war
‘We each have 2 feet,’ I said to my sister carefully. ‘You spend too much time alone,’ She replied, looking for her stethoscope. ‘And for each foot, there is a shoe,’ I continued. ‘Is this the kind of stuff you’re writing nowadays?’ She asked worriedly. ‘And so, if one of us leaves their shoes in the hall,’ I went on. ‘Feasibly, there will be 6 shoes in the hall. Which is then less a hall, and more a shoe locker.’
‘You can’t call it a shoe locker, there’s a store in America already called that,’ My little sister said absent-mindedly. ‘This isn’t a game of semantics,’ I shouted crossly. ‘Stop leaving your shoes in the hall.’ My little sister looked up at me finally. ‘Is that the end to your poem? It’s rather abrupt, don’t you think?’ I stormed off in a huff, tripping over one of her flip-flops as I stomped into the kitchen.
3. The clothes-drier war
We have 3 clothes drying racks. They all look reasonably similar, but I happen to know exactly which one is mine. ‘There are many others like it, but this one is mine,’ I muttered as I took it out of the clothes-drier cupboard. I carefully hung my wet clothes over the drier and popped off to work.
I came back to find my clothes lounging on the floor, and my clothes-drier in my little sister’s room. ‘Ah,’ She said when asked. ‘I needed it.’ ‘Whereas I was admiring it as an architectural phenomena?’ I replied. (Actually, I have spent some time marvelling at how it folds down so small then rises up so tall. It’s bafflingly excellent). There are 3 of us in the flat, and 3 separate clothes drying racks. Unfortunately, laundry in our flat is done on a flash-mob model, where weeks of no laundry whatsoever are suddenly followed by all 3 of us doing as much laundry as possible.
‘Give me back my clothes-drier,’ I insisted, attempting to wrestle my sister’s clothes off its sturdy frame. Unfortunately, at this point my clothes-drier decided to demonstrate the aforementioned folding ability, and collapsed on my foot. I think underneath my little sister’s hysterical laughter was the tone of deep remorse and defeat.