The sun is setting. The sky darkened with the promise of night. The autumn chill is just nipping the end of your nose. Two children are just coming down from the adrenaline high of their day.
The phone rings.
Husband: “I have a flat tyre.”
Me: “That’s horrible.”
Husband: “I have a flat tyre!”
Me: “Um, okay. What do you want me to do?”
Me thinking: “Isn’t this a weird reversal of gender roles?”
Husband: “Nothing. I’ll call you back.”
I shake my head and go off to make a cup of tea. The water boils and…
The phone rings.
Husband: “I don’t have a spanner.”
Me: “Is there a spanner in my car?”
Husband: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Where are you?”
Husband: “Just get a #$%^ spanner!”
Me: “Not a problemo, but where do I bring it?”
Husband: “You know that school?”
Husband: “It’s about 2 kilometres from <names oldest son’s school>.
Husband infuriated at my ignorance, “Oh for God’s sake, you go down Louis Botha and turn off and it is there.”
Me: “Could you give me a little more to go on?”
Husband: “St Davids.”
I Google and call back.
Me: “King David’s in Linksfield or St David’s in Illovo?”
Husband: “I said Linksfield! Do you know where you are going?”
Me supremely confident: “Yes. I’ve Googled it.”
Young Padawan refuses to join on the expedition to rescue his father, brother and assorted other small boys. Miss Diva elects to join me. These negotiations take some time.
Husband: “Where are you?”
Me cheerfully lying: “In the car.”
Husband: “Go to a garage and get a tube of that stuff you spray in the tyre.”
Three petrol stations and no tube of spray stuff, I continue on at breckneck speed to King Davids in Linksfield.
Only, there is no small red car at King Davids in Linksfield. I call.
Husband: “Where the hell are you?”
Me: “King Davids in Linksfield.”
Husband: “Why the hell are you there?”
Me, confused: “This is where you said I must go?”
Husband: “No I didn’t, I said that school that is 2 kilometres away from <names oldest son’s school>. You never listen to me. I can’t deal with this.”
He hangs up.
I commiserate with Miss Diva over the general incomprehensibleness of men in general and men in our family in particular.
Husband phones back: “Sacred Heart. I am at Sacred Heart.”
Wrong religion. Wrong school. Wrong neighbourhood.
Me, deep calming breath: “Where is that?”
Husband: “You go over the hill, take a right at the traffic circle and follow the road.”
Me: “Which hill?”
Eventually, ascertaining the hill in question we took the second exit off the traffic circle and drove down a hill into a dead end.
Me: “Could you possibly tell me the name of the road you are in?”
Fine. Miss Diva by now had decided the best course of action was to feign sleep.
I drove up and down a number of small unlit roads until entirely by chance I saw a small red car on the side of the road inhabited by three ten year olds happily bouncing up and down.
As I emerged from the car, a conglomerate of security guards emerged simultaneously from the darkness carrying wheel spanners. I could have cheerfully screamed.
Husband: “Not to worry, you can go. I’ll have this changed in a jiffy. But hang on before you go can you call the other boy’s parents and let them know.”
Sure. Not a problem.
Except that you sent one to St David’s in Illovo on the other side of the city and the other to King David’s in Linksfield where he has unsuccessfully being trying to find you for the better part of an hour.
Yup. I’d love to make those calls.
Miss Diva and I turned around and headed for home.
As we pull into the driveway, Miss Diva opens her eyes and says, “Did we find Daddy?”
My reply: “Humph.”
PS: I need to mention that the last time I had car trouble the conversation went like this…
Me: “I have broken down. Can you come and rescue me?”
Husband: “Can’t you call someone from work?”