Let sleep­ing mat­tresses lie

The Northern Advocate - - Opinion - Kevin Page Kevin Page

Hard to be­lieve Christ­mas was al­ready three weeks ago, isn’t it? We had a quiet one. Kids de­scended on us from all parts of the coun­try and we ate and drank too much and opened a whole load of Se­cret Santa gifts.

If you asked me right now, I couldn’t tell you what we each got. I’m think­ing I got a T-shirt which says My Wife Is A Hot Nurse but can’t swear to it. Come to think of it, I must have got that. There’s one in my closet and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get sloshed and go out and pinch it.

So, any­way, the point is . . . as nice as it was, the mem­ory of last Christ­mas is fad­ing fast.

All ex­cept the ex­is­tence of sev­eral mat­tresses in our house that is. And that is the point of this, my first piece for 2019.

So if you’re sit­ting com­fort­ably I’ll be­gin. Reg­u­lar read­ers of my scrib­blings will re­call how, over the past few years, we have been steadily down­siz­ing.

We would like to ex­plore a life on the road in our bus but for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons it’s not some­thing we can just do. So, we are tak­ing the time to di­vest our­selves of bits of fur­ni­ture. In­clud­ing beds and mat­tresses.

Boomerang Child and her bloke, Builder Boy, are about half a year into first-home own­er­ship and we gave them a whole load of fur­ni­ture, in­clud­ing a bed and mat­tress.

That left us with one spare mat­tress should any­one come to visit.

A mate rang in a panic prior to Christ­mas fol­low­ing the un­ex­pected ar­rival of some guests, ask­ing if we had a spare mat­tress. We did. So he came and got it.

That left us with no mat­tresses but no worries ei­ther. For a brief mo­ment.

Now ini­tially it looked like Mrs P and I would be hav­ing a quiet Christ­mas but then things changed and the en­tire tribe, with part­ners, de­cided to come home for the big day plus a cou­ple ei­ther side.

I couldn’t very well go and ask my mate for the mat­tress I had just loaned him back so I did the ringaround thing and con­tacted The Boys, that fine group of gen­tle­men ev­ery male has who can help with any­thing from labour to re­la­tion­ship ad­vice.

Even­tu­ally the Scot­tish Plumber came to the res­cue.

Yes. He had one. But it was a king size and a brute to move. I’d have to get a trailer and he’d have to help me lift it. With no other op­tions avail­able we did just that.

Two things.

First, the Scot­tish Plumber is not prone to un­der­state­ment. It was a brute to move. And by the time we had shifted it we were ex­hausted, sweaty . . . and thirsty.

Se­condly, the Scot­tish Plumber likes a drink. Sev­eral in fact. So af­ter our ex­er­tions I felt obliged to as­sist him in his de­sire to re­hy­drate so, to cut a long story short, I did.

Need­less to say, the next day, when I lo­cated a sec­ond mat­tress all I wanted to do was lay down and die on it. It took a ma­jor ef­fort of con­cen­tra­tion to get it in place but once done all was well in the king­dom.

Mrs P and I de­cided not to tell the kids about the mat­tress drama. We didn’t want them feel­ing bad.

I would have liked to have had some help re­turn­ing the mat­tresses af­ter Christ­mas but Mrs P came along for the ride to keep me com­pany. And pre­sum­ably to make sure the Scot­tish Plumber didn’t trick me into al­co­hol con­sump­tion again, the evil man.

Any­way, I huffed and puffed and re­turned the two mat­tresses and the trailer and then we drove home talk­ing about our plans for the bed­rooms now we had no beds and mat­tresses clog­ging things up.

My heart sank as I drove up the drive­way and saw a mat­tress propped up against the front door un­der the cov­ered porch. On it was a note from the kids. They had been out shop­ping and bought a new bed and didn’t need the mat­tress any more. We could have it back.

Two guesses who had to man­han­dle it in­side. 1 If a per­son has dys­pha­sia, what

does he/she have dif­fi­culty do­ing? 2 What na­tion­al­ity was rac­ing driver

Mario An­dretti?

3 Ac­cord­ing to leg­end, the Scot­tish hero Robert the Bruce learnt the prin­ci­ple of per­se­ver­ance from watch­ing what crea­ture?

4 Port-au-Prince is the cap­i­tal city of


5 Pep­tic is the ad­jec­tive that refers

to which body func­tion? Q: What bow can't be tied? A: A rain­bow! 1559: Eng­land's Queen El­iz­a­beth I was crowned in West­min­ster Abbey. 1892: The orig­i­nal rules of bas­ket­ball, de­vised by James Nai­smith, were pub­lished for the first time in Spring­field, Mas­sachusetts, where the game orig­i­nated.

1919: In Bos­ton, a tank con­tain­ing an es­ti­mated 2.3 mil­lion gal­lons of mo­lasses burst, send­ing the dark syrup cours­ing through the city's North End, killing 21 peo­ple.

1973: Pres­i­dent Richard M. Nixon an­nounced the sus­pen­sion of all U.S. of­fen­sive ac­tion in North Viet­nam, cit­ing progress in peace ne­go­ti­a­tions.

1989: NATO, the War­saw Pact and 12 other Euro­pean coun­tries adopted a hu­man rights and se­cu­rity agree­ment in Vi­enna, Aus­tria.

1993: A his­toric dis­ar­ma­ment cer­e­mony ended in Paris with the last of 125 coun­tries sign­ing a treaty ban­ning chem­i­cal weapons.

● Ac­tress


O'Brien is 81.

● Ac­tor-direc­tor

Mario Van

Pee­bles is 62.

● Rock mu­si­cian Adam

Jones (Tool) is


● Ac­tor James Nes­bitt is 54.

● Singer Lisa Lisa (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam) is 52.

● Ac­tor Chad Lowe is 51.

● Ac­tress Regina King is 48.

● Rap­per/reg­gae­ton artist Pit­bull is


● Elec­tronic dance mu­si­cian Skrillex is 31. 1 Swal­low­ing 2 Amer­i­can 3 Spi­der 4 Haiti 5 Di­ges­tion. The North­ern Ad­vo­cate is sub­ject to the New Zealand Me­dia Coun­cil. Com­plaints to be first di­rected to ed­i­[email protected] north­er­nad­vo­cate.co.nz. If un­sat­is­fied, the com­plaint may be re­ferred to the Me­dia Coun­cil, PO Box 10-879, The Ter­race, Welling­ton 6143, or [email protected]­di­a­coun­cil.org.nz. More de­tails and an on­line com­plaints form avail­able at www.me­di­a­coun­cil.org.nz

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