7 Reasons That I’ve Been Baffled By Something That Isn’t A Doormat
“What do you think?” My wife enquired, prompting the man-klaxon to sound in my head. Alarmed by the…er…alarm, I took heed. The warning message of the man-klaxon was clear. It was telling me that under no circumstance should I say anything. Nor should I make any noise at all. It would also be prudent not to make any facial expression or move my hands, in case that could be interpreted as a gesture. Then she handed me this:
1. What Is It? “What the buggery-bollocks is this?!” I didn’t say, thanks to the man-klaxon. What is this thing? I’ve seen many things before, but nothing that resembles this. It’s large and square at one end and tapers to a point at the other, could it be a mouse?
2. Technology Was Baffled Too. Breaking one of the rules of the man-klaxon, I feigned interest by means of a slight facial expression and pulled out my phone to photograph it, hoping that this would demonstrate some enthusiasm for the wonky mouse. What I was actually doing was using Google Goggles, a handy app that, if you photograph anything in the world, will tell you what it is. It didn’t know. Google Goggles was boggled. Bugger.
3. What Does It Do? Having been failed by the internet, it dawned on me that I was on my own. Why do babies never wake up screaming when you want them to? I was going to have to work it out by myself. Having failed to ascertain what the thing was by trying to interpret its form, I attempted to identify its function. The most functional looking part of it was a button on the front. But the button wouldn’t unbutton. It was just sewn on with nothing to attach it to. Perhaps it was an eye. Was this some sort of weird fish? A sea monster? Why would my wife make a sea monster? I couldn’t recall her bemoaning our lack of a sea monster at any point recently, so it seemed unlikely that she’d just make one on the spur of the moment.
4. What Does It Mean? There was a strange symbol in the middle, so I decided to concentrate on that. It clearly wasn’t a swastika, which was good (though if it had been second world war-related I would have fared far better at identifying it), but what was it? It looked like a snowflake, but the other thing that you may notice about it is that it is green. There’s a wise old saying that warns people never to eat yellow snow. It goes something like this: “Never eat yellow snow”. Well surely green snow must be even more fearsome than yellow snow! How the hell do you get green snow? What’s in that?!
5. Wait! A snowflake! A green snowflake and the majority of the thing’s red. Red and Green! Red and green should never be seen! It’s a Christmas thing! The only time of year that anyone with eyes would conceivably use red and green at the same time. It’s a Christmas…er…um…pencil?
6. A New Approach. Trying to work out what this thing was wasn’t going well. After all, I’d been regarding the seasonal pointy thing for ten minutes and my lack of any sort of response to her question might – if left for many more minutes – have raised suspicion. I decided to try another approach to working out what it was. An approach that I usually reserve for dire emergencies. I decided to try talking. “What the buggery-bollocks is this?!” I asked.
7. It’s A What?! The response was surprising. After my wife had struck me several times with the (surprisingly hard) Christmas thing, she blurted out, “It’s a house!” She then turned the object ninety degrees to the right. And that’s what it is. It’s obvious, really. It’s one of those traditional tree decorations, a Christmas house. Because no Christmas is ever complete without a Christmas house on the tree. It’s clearly the house of a person that lives in a Cath Kidston designed traffic cone, but it’s a house nonetheless. A Christmas house. For the tree.
There’s only eleven weeks to go, so don’t forget to get your Christmas houses ready. I know I’ll be enjoying mine. In the shed, probably.*
*Note to self: Must build shed.