A few weeks back my dearest friend Steve – who’s just got out from a spell inside – came to stay at our place. That afternoon we sat down for lunch. Once seated, and over the initial, heady excitement of seeing each other, he pulled a bottle of squeezey brown sauce from his back pocket, placed it horizontally on the table (with the cap open and pointing towards me) and proceeded to squirt sauce – with a force and speed that took me by surprise – all over me.
It went everywhere. On my trousers, shirt and shoes…all over the table, our seats and the floor. It even found its way into my mouth and over my face and hair. Splatters had penetrated the basket of clean washing that was on the table behind me, a full two metres away from the sauce source. “Whoa! That was crazy!” I laughed, a little taken aback, but for the most part simply pleased that we were in each others company. I then set about cleaning up the mess (because having splashes of brown sauce everywhere isn’t particularly pleasant or hygenic).
The next day we sat down together in the living room and low and behold, out of nowhere, he did it again. Whammy! I’m covered in brown sauce! “Whoa! That was crazy!” I laughed, a little less whole-heartedly than the day before, before setting about my cleaning duties.
2 or 3 times a day, over the next week or so, Steve proceeded to coat me in sauce. It was starting to get me down to be honest. He never squirted sauce at my girlfriend when they sat down together. Only me.
I needed a defence, so one afternoon I decided to construct a barrier, using inkjet-paper boxes and gaffer tape, that I could place in front of me whenever I felt that a sauce explosion was on the cards. This helped no end, successfully deflecting any hot brown jets and, more importantly, enabling me to relax when Steve, his brown sauce and I were in the same room together.
After about 3 weeks, without a word of explanation, Steve ceased his campaign of sauce-fuelled terrorism.
I doubt I’ll ever look back fondly on those days of sticky brown fear (and I consider it only fair that I mention what happened to anyone thinking of having their Steve to stay) but I’m sure, in time, Steve and I will share a joke about those crazy few weeks. In fact maybe, at some point in the distant future, I’ll be the one playing it fast and loose with the brown sauce.
(Written June 2011 – 5 weeks after our daughter was born)