Saturday, 29 September 2007

Domestic Blisters (No.2)

Before we bought our first home together, the closest The Australian got to DIY was replacing a lightbulb. Now he has a deluxe toolbox and can name all the different types of screws - all well and good, you might say, but deluxe toolboxes come with the following freebies:

The Builders' Heavy Sigh (in every size from Mildly Solemn to Gravely Tormented)
The B&Q Twitch (an inability to let a weekend go by without popping in for something useful he hasn't got yet)
Wall-Tapping

And it is this last one that has formed my second blister. Wall-tapping starts out fairly harmless - I used to think it was quite sweet when he'd follow a builder around the flat, tapping in the same places the builder had tapped and trying to be in the gang. But even after all the walls had been tapped, all the facts about said walls verified, and all the building work complete, the wall-tapping continued. Tap-tap-tap. And still continues to this day, even though we're moments from moving out - he doesn't care whose walls he taps these days, tap-tap-tap, it's a compulsion.

Tap-tap-tap. If you look closely there are tiny knuckle marks all over the place. When I challenge him about it he gets very defensive. "I do know what I'm doing!" he insists. Tap-tap-tap. "Do share," I urge. "I'm . . . checking for something." "For what?" "You're not interested, never you mind." "Tell me." "No." Tap-tap-tap. "Is it a secret? Are you sending Morse Code to all the other builders in the world?" He generally leaves the room at this point, and resumes the tapping in private.


I suppose it could have something to do with him growing up on Ramsey Street, where entire houses topple over if there's a slight breeze let alone a tap-tap-tap. He must be overawed by our ancient but sturdy brickwork. It's when he does it during one of our serious and thought-provoking discussions that I get most annoyed. It's the equivalent of randomly grabbing his crotch while I'm saying something important. Then the tap-tap-tapping speaks volumes: "Whatever you are saying should not be getting in the way of my serious man's work, little woman."


It's mental torture, is what it is.


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3 comments:

Keris said...

That's so funny. I didn't realise it was a "thing". Some friends of ours came round a couple of years ago and the man went up to the loo. When he came down he said, "All plasterboard walls upstairs then?" (they're not, just one of them) and even fairly recently I was wondering how he knew. Now I know. :)

Mum'sTheWord said...

Tapping other people's walls?? The humanity!

sasch said...

God this made me laugh... only sorry I am reading it 3 months later.