Yes man

One of Carolyn's more endearing habits is that, every couple of months or so, quite out of the blue, she'll come up with some totally bonkers scheme which she doesn't think is bonkers at all. In fact, she'll invariably describe it as a good idea, then appear genuinely disappointed when I decline her invitation to get involved.

"Why don't you take up bell-ringing?" she asked me earlier this year.
"What? You're kidding, right? What am I talking about? Of course you're not."
"I think you'd like it."
"Carolyn, I'm an atheist. Why on earth would I want to go bell-ringing?"
"I don't know. I just thought it was a good idea, that's all. You should think about going."
…and so on.

A couple of years back, Carolyn suggested I dress up as Father Christmas and entertain at children's parties—and at her children's party in particular. I declined.

But, when I rejected her latest scheme last month—it was so bonkers, I can't even remember what it was—I began to feel guilty: Carolyn is very good at the hurt-and-disappointed look. So I decided there and then that, whatever her next bonkers scheme might be, I would agree to it immediately.

Which is why, in a couple of weeks' time, Carolyn and I are going to a tap dancing lesson 'with a touch of Salsa' thrown in for good measure.

Carolyn has very supple joints, and I have natural rhythm. We could be the next Ginger Rogers and Freddie Starr.

I'm just so relieved she didn't suggest I become a goth.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


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