Monday, June 12, 2006

“There is always more spirit in attack than in defence.” Livy

Apropos of nothing, my wife complains that I have left the shower in a bit of a state. So I tell her that she should cut me a little slack. After all, I don’t complain about her peeing in it every morning.

Naturally, she hotly denies this outrageous charge (tho’ perhaps with the merest flicker of consternation and guilt?), but I am nothing daunted. All Hungarians pee in the shower, I say, stating it as scientific fact. There’s no shame in it, I add, patting her arm in consolatory fashion. It’s just the way God made you.

She is still spluttering her objections as I finish my coffee, pick up my laptop bag and slip out the door. She may well be telling the truth for all I know, but that’s hardly the point.

The best defence is a good offence.


Titus Livius, yesterday. As relevant today as he’s always been.

13 comments:

johnnyboy said...

Indeed, which is why every morning coming into work I give my boss a good bitchslap.

Desargues said...

It's a losing proposition, Ivan. Ain't gonna take you anywhere; women have had this insight a long, long while ago, and honed the art of offensive defense to perfection. Mrs Terrible may just have been stunned by your suicidal recklessness in taking on her--hence her outrage. But try this again with a woman, and you'll be crushed by her vicious counterattack. A more effective strategy is studied silence, or nonchalantly changing the subject. It drives many a woman up the wall. Livy could afford to speculate on the virtues of attack as the best defence; their women were safely locked up in the gyneceum, and Roman legions were conquering everything in sight. Let him try that today, in the era of gender equality.

Ivan the Terrible said...

A valid strategy, JB, with the added advantage that you never have to meet the same boss twice.

And Des, your point raises interesting questions re cause and effect. Would gyneceums put much-needed spine into Western civilization today? Sadly, I suspect not - we'd still have to let them out every now and then to clean the shower...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Isn't that a bit corrosive to your pipes, Ivan? I'm sure they're not meant to deal with all that acid. Marriages can survive a bit of acid, but I'm not sure about modern-plumbing.

PI said...

I think you are living rather dangerously Ivan and you may live to regret it.
(sotto voce - if there's any bleedin justice in the world!)
God forbid that you should clean up your manky detritus.
Happy Monday!

Ivan the Terrible said...

She's only Hungarian, Sam - she's not one of those corrosive horror-shows from the "Alien" movies. I mean to say, steady on now.

Pi - no worries - I do my share around the house. And if after ten years of marriage my wife still doesn't know where my sock draw is, I can hardly be accused of ruling her with a rod of iron, now can I?

johnnyboy said...

I commend your candor and courage, ITT. It's not all men who would confess to their ED problems publicly.

Ivan the Terrible said...

If "rod of iron" always referred to erections, JB, I badly need to revisit some of my old metaphors. But of course your association of the two might say more about you than it does about me... :)

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I know a Hungarian and will ask him forthwith about your wild claim that "...all Hungarians pee in the shower". What new madness is this? Have they always done it? And I maintain that your pipes must need some sort of extra long-life lining for that.

I think all your children are boys, right? So, not only is your wife cleaning your grimy evaporates but scrubbing the scummy tidemarks of your 4 sons too. And no doubt picking up everybody's smalls too.

In our house I believe in establishing a good work ethic early on in childhood. Therefore I have my children vaccuuming and doing light DIY on a regular basis. They're learning invaluable lessons about the sometimes painful effects of incorrectly wiring appliances and know they must always pick up their smalls. In this case, their very smalls. They're 4

Ivan the Terrible said...

Fortunately, #3 is a girl, Sam, so there'll soon be two sets of hands to make light work.

Oooh, I am so going to Hell for that one...

johnnyboy said...

You're going to hell only if your wife reads your blog - hell on earth. Otherwise your comment won't prevent you from getting into heaven; St. Peter's got the nuns doing all the dusting and toilet bowl scrubbing up there. Otherwise they'd go mad, being no longer able to infuse guilt and fear in anyone.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Don't know about you, JB, but nuns in the toilet isn't my idea of Heaven. And to be fair, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be theirs, either...

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