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Posts tagged ‘mother in law’

It’s either me or The Stick


A couple of weeks ago, The Outlaws and I went on a little day-trip to Lake Waitaki. Mother and Stepfather-In-Law, Sister and Boyfriend-In-Law and three brown dogs crammed into the car.

The journey was memorable for two reasons.

The first was meeting The Warrior at a cafe in Kurau, where we stopped for lunch pies. The Warrior punctuates his conversation with intermittent headbutts. Last time I saw him, at Sister-In-Law’s 40th party, he was so inebriated he made serious play (not that someone has to be drunk to put the moves on me – although it undoubtedly helps). The conversation went something like this:-

Warrior: Hi you’re <INDETERMINATE> nice I’m <INDETERMINATE> Warrior but I prefer to be known as <INDETERMINATE>.

Me: Um, yeah, we’ve met.

Warrior: We . . . we have? Oh . . . yeah! You’re the <INDETERMINATE>. From . . . from last night. He-ey! I had <INDETERMINATE> lovely time-

Me: I’m very pleased for you, but I think you have me confused with someone else.

Warrior: You’re . . . not . . . <INDETERMINATE>? From last night?

Me: Er. No. We met at Hampden Pub. New Year’s Eve.

Warrior: Not . . . last night?

Me: No. Oh hey, I’m going to go and talk to my husband.

Warrior: What? YOU HAVE A HUSBAND? I didn’t . . . you never said . . .

Me: Bye now.

In the cafe, I pretended not to notice him: no easy feat in a space the size of your average parking space.

The second reason was that Jed broadcasted nuclear farts the entire journey. By the time we arrived at the lake, my pooch and I were not the most popular members of the family.

I am still blown away (to clarify, I’ve moved on from farting) by how Jed looks at me as if I am the most awesome being in his little universe. I flatter myself this is due to more than just my status as a sophisticated bone delivery system.

My puppy is pretty loyal (although said loyalty is admittedly concentrated by a baggie full of chicken liver). But when it comes down to the wire: a desperate choice beween me and a mouldy old termite-infested stick?

Yeah, it’s the stick.

Every time.


Jed fetching Stick.



Jed’s audience, speechless with admiration at his stick-retrieval abilities.



Ok: where is it?



Two brown dogs: Jed and sister Lottie

Reusable dental flossing device

An incident recently reminded me of the first time I met my In-Laws, about seven-eight years ago.

I was understandably nervous. I really REALLY wanted Husband’s family to like me. Correction: I wanted to leave them in no doubt as to why Husband was completely besotted with me, and even experience a little of that lovin feelin themselves, although preferably platonically and largely internally.

Husband granted me maximum exposure to his family. We stayed overnight with his grandparents, Thursa and Eric, on the way to Te Anau; then spent three weeks with Agent of Death and Her Goatiness. I wasn’t sure I achieved full lovin feelin (see above), but I thought I passed. Maybe I tried a bit too hard. No harm in that.

A month after we returned to Dubai, Husband called me from work.

“There’s a parcel here for you,” he said. “Looks like it’s from my mother.”

“For me?” I said. “Oh no, I don’t think so. It must be for you.”

“No, it’s got your name on it.”

I was overwhelmed. WOW! I thought. I must have made a GREAT impression! She must really like me! Although: sending gifts to your son’s girlfriend? Hmm, was that a bit desperate and possibly hinting of codependency? I’d have to watch out for her.

At the same time, I was intrigued. When Husband arrived home, I charged him as he walked in the door and seized the package. It was small and yielded when I squeezed it. It could have been wrapped more elegantly, but I wouldn’t hold it against the woman. A gift is a gift.

I shredded off the tape and paper. It was a pair of knickers. I was confounded. I mean, they were nice knickers – Calvin Klein knickers – good choice – but still. It struck me as a rather eccentric present. And they were rather skimpy – all lacy and see-through. What was the woman trying to say?

Then I realized, they looked familiar. Were they – hang on – oh no! My god, NO! They were MINE!

According to the informative note accompanying the underwear, I left the knickers under the bed at Thursa and Eric’s house. I had visions of Thursa holding them up, going: “But where’s this string supposed to go? There . . . there’s no bottom bit. Eric, I declare this underwear to be the work of satan.”

Thursa sent them to Agent of Death and Her Goatiness, but the package arrived after we left. This time, my over-active imagination has Agent of Death roaring: “Goat Mistress, the light shines right through these. In my opinion, I don’t know why she’d bother wearing knickers at all!”

These days, I am exceedingly careful where I air my underwear

One of my finest moments

A friend of The Real Outlaws’ offered to take us out on Lake Te Anau in his boat this morning. The plan was to moor at the other side of the lake and take a trek up river to do some fishing.

I was not heartened by the blokes – packing their waders – advising me that I should expect to get my boots wet. In my opinion, there are very few sports that merit the sacrifice of toasty feet, and I’m just not that keen an angler yet. So I was pretty dubious. And the morning would have given a polar bear acute hypothermia. I was packed in six layers, daintily garnished with a scarf, hat and gloves – but the cold was still nibbling my bone marrow.

On my fourth cast, I got my lure caught under a rock.

Bafflingly, the men seemed to seize upon any opportunity to leap into sub-zero waters, as illustrated by a fishing trip two days ago where Andrew got wet up to his ARMPITS. (The theory appears to be that the greater the suffering, the better the experience – a bit like Catholicism, although perhaps more sensible). Anyway, discarding shoes and socks, I made a futile attempt to retrieve my lure, giving up when the water lapped playfully at my groin.

It was half an hour before I could feel my toes again – and only a painful tingle now and then at that.

The Goat Mistress and I left the real men to their crotch-dampening experiences, and made our arid way up river through The Bush. I was suffering a confidence crisis, having lost one lure and snagged my replacement several times. In fact, I had not had any luck during our fishing trips in Te Anau – I’d got to the stage where I didn’t even know whether I’d recognise a fish chomping away on the end of my line. Agent of Death liked to say I was their “Jonah” (as in: “You’re our bladdy Jonah, you are”).

Obviously, I came back strongly, accusing him of pawning me off with a substandard fishing reel (it squeaked) and crappy mono-chromatic lures. But internally, I was seriously questioning my whole angling career.

And then along came Trevor.

We were kicking our way through a particularly overgrown section of Bush, when The Goat Mistress said, “Oh, there might be a good fishing pool here,” and inexplicably set off punching her way through a great mass of impenetrable foliage.

“Oh shite not again,” I thought, but figured I’d better humour my Mother-In-Law.

“Look, that might be a good bet,” said The Goat Mistress, teetering on the brink of a short bank above a nondescript pool.

“Try in there,” she said, settling herself comfortably on the bank.

Well, I hadn’t got a lot else on at the time, so I resignedly unhooked my lure and made a couple of half-hearted casts into the pool. Agent of Death says if you’re going to catch a fish it will be within the first six casts. I was on the sixth and more concerned with how to suggest to The Goat Mistress that we find a big rock to sit on and contemplate lunch, when there was a tension on the line and, “Oh bugger,” I thought with a sinking feeling, “I’ve caught the bloody lure in the tree.”

I didn’t fancy wading in to unhook the damn thing – but wait! Was that a tug I felt?

“I think… I think I might have caught something,” I said to The Goat Mistress incredulously. “No… yes… no… yes, yes it might be… it might be… a FISH!”

I was trying to reel in the line and having some problems; the rod was jerking all over the show.

“Where is it?” The Goat Mistress shouted.

And then next thing, this WHALE broke the surface of the water. “Look!” I screamed, and tried to point, but the reel went berserk, so I figured I’d better keep a grip on it.

“Help! Help!” shrieked The Goat Mistress, presumably trying to attract the attention of The Real Men, of whom there was no sign. They were probably balancing on a rock somewhere in the deepest, fastest-flowing section of river.

“What do I do?” I bawled at poor Goat Mistress, whose only advice at that point was: “Keep the tup down! Keep the tup down!”

After further urgent exchanges, The Goat Mistress and I agreed that the best course of action would be to wear Trevor out.

“Give him his head when he struggles, and reel him in when he’s tired,” muttered The Goat Mistress, staring intently with narrowed eyes at the last place Trevor had been spotted.

Well, it was a long hard battle and I had no idea what I was doing. The hook must have been embedded fairly deep in poor Trevor’s mouth, because I gave him every opportunity to wriggle away to snap at minnows another day.

Eventually, after several minutes cursing and hauling, Trevor was within spitting distance of the bank and Goat Mistress’s patience snapped. Disregarding all consideration of dry feet, she splashed into the water, punched Trevor on the nose, grabbed him by the tail and hauled him up on the bank, where she kicked him – really fairly viciously – in the head.

The woman has a lot of latent aggression.

The hook was indeed wedged far down Trevor’s throat. Now, I’ve always baulked at the thought of extracting a lure from a fish’s mouth, but I exceeded all expectations (mine) by using a hunting knife to pick the hook out of Trevor’s gob.

Next thing, with remarkably good timing – for us – the Real Men appeared on the horizon, complete with soggy crotches and buckets of no fish.

“Hold it up by the gills!” hissed The Goat Mistress – which I did, ignoring the blood and general ick factor – “Not over the water!” As if Trevor hadn’t been busy negotiating the turbulent waters of the Pearly Gates for the last five minutes.

“Look what we got!” we sang, and I waved Trevor at The Real Men. Trevor, the great big hairy-arse brown trout, 5lbs of him (according to Agent of Death’s official weighing scales).

The Real Men looked soggily sullen.

Later, I was obliged to gut Trevor, which was a traumatic affair. My lying, cheating, no-good, low-down husband of mine said: “Don’t worry, Agent of Death’ll do most of it.” So we went out to the back of the truck, where Agent of Death stood fingering his hunting knife.

Freddy Kreuger could take lessons in horror from this man.

“Right,” said Agent of Death, when he’d pressed the knife into my trembling hand. “First, hold him upside down. UPSIDE DOWN. Yep, like that. Now, stick the point of the knife in his pie-‘ole.”

“Er, excuse me,” I said uncertainly. “His pie-‘ole?”

“The shitter,” said Agent of Death succinctly. He pointed.

“You’re kidding, aren’t you?” I asked, trying to keep the gag-reflex under control.

Agent of Death just sniggered, evilly.

“Oh, Trevor!” I lamented soundlessly.

And so I gutted poor Trevor, Agent of Death insisting on inspecting his stomach contents – “Ooh look! What’s this? He’s been a hungry boy.”

From the state of his kidneys I’d say Trevor might’ve had a bit of a drink problem, although otherwise, he was apparently in good condition. Light pink flesh – allegedly indicating a healthy diet of crustaceans.

Despite a shower and nail-inspection, I still have most of Trevor’s entrails under my finger-nails

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