It started at the bottom of the garden. Our four year old (at the time), our sweet little boy would casually drop his pants and piss into a bush whilst on his travels.
We laughed. We explained that he can’t do that everywhere and that it’s not a great idea to be doing it in the garden either.
For a while he had his own little spot. We didn’t allow him do it, but it was kind of cute so we weren’t exactly angry at him (still not of course). We’d call his name mid stream, his stream would wiggle and stop, then he’d pull up his pants and run away without looking.
He’s now five and still at it, although in fairness most of the time he does it right. I guess he just likes to try out new places.
Last week, he informed Mrs. Rumm he was off to the bathroom. She watched as he left the room, then followed at a discreet distance, noting the mischievious tone in his voice…
The bathroom door is next to the backdoor of the house. Instead of turning right to go into the bathroom, he turned left, stood on the step at the back door and pissed to the outside air.
Yesterday, he came in from outside and went upstairs. I was downstairs and shouted up to him to go wash his hands.
“I will,” he called back nonchalantly.
It’s not that I don’t trust him, but I know when he answers for the sake of answering even though he hasn’t heard a word I just said.
So I went up a couple of steps and was able to peek through the bannister into the upstairs toilet.
Young Master Rumm had walked to the side of the sink and was now climbing onto the bath. Now he reached across and put his knees onto the wooden frame around the sink. Now he dropped his pants and like a little Cupid fountain, kneeling, began to piss into the sink as though it’s the most natural thing in the world.
Conscious of the mid-stream splaying wiggle he has whenever confronted in the garden, I said his name softly. As if nothing had happened, he came to a halt, pulled up his trousers, climbed down, then continued his stream at the toilet bowl.
“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that’s basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.” -Donald Rumsfeld, 2002.
I believe Rummy missed one: The unknown knowns. .
In fact, I believe most popular movies/ books/ anything else misses this too. It is a highly underrated knowledge. .
The unknown knowns are those things you know, but aren’t aware you know. They could be things you take for granted or something right under your nose that you never knew you knew about -for example you might “know” something to be true, but never actually think about it (and so not know you know) until perhaps someone else mentions it.
“She’s pregnant!” …only after you hear it do you realise that you somehow “knew” all along. .
Similarly, the best comedy is often to be had from these unknown knowns -everyday life events we already know about, but weren’t aware we knew or did. When they are held up in front of our eyes, perhaps through a skewed lens, we have to laugh because we recognise what we already knew, but somehow didn’t know we knew.
Why do I say this is missed by most books and movies nowadays?
Well, in my opinion the best “works of art” are almost indescribable, yet speak sometimes in a personal nature directly to the reader/ viewer. It’s not something that can be described in the blurb in the back of the book, so it’s not easily marketable, so it’s unappreciated.
Or under-appreciated at least.
Maybe the book/ movie hasn’t even broached a topic, but yet puts a certain thought in your head or leaves you with a mood that is familiar and yet new. These are the greatest.
I’ve often turned the last page of a book I really enjoyed and half an hour later could barely remember any of it. To me, that makes the book almost a complete waste of time.
On the other hand, the best books can often be harder to get into -they need some work by us readers, to place ourselves in the right frame of mind to appreciate “the full show”. But as the last page is turned, we are left floating for a long time afterward. Maybe with much to think about or just to appreciate the mood.
The unknown knowns can also lead one to that “ah yes of course!” moment, as when you suddenly realise “AAHHH So *THIS* is where it’s all going! -I didn’t know that, but now that I know I know it, I knew it all along!”
The unknown knowns are the best of all knowns and unknowns because they take the least effort with the greatest reward (or at least the groundwork has already been done, maybe subconsciously).
NOW… The next time you find a forgotten tenner in your back-pocket you will hold it aloft and declare with joy: “The unknown known!” 🙂
Jim Emerson has a good discussion on Rumsfeld’s points here.
In this series I posit some unconventional/ will-never-be-tried solutions to problems of our times.
Most people pay for always-on internet access at home, but when “on the go” it is not always easy to access the internet without incurring silly charges. OK, you can buy more internet access as part of your mobile phone package deal, but chances are even that is silly money -and anyway, you only want to check your emails/ have a quick browse to check the price on a TV online before you purchase locally (or not).
Why should you pay more than once for “always on” internet access?
THE PROBLEM: Mobile internet access is too expensive, but if I want it “on the go” -even in short bursts- I gotta pay even though I already pay for home broadband.
THE SOLUTION: Allow outside access to your wi-fi.
OK, like yourself (if you have a passing knowledge of such things), I see obvious reasons not to do such a thing: security and bandwidth. Let’s deal with these individually:
“Someone might pass by my window, detect my wi-fi, log on and compromise my entire network -delete files and take my identity!”
Worst case scenario, this is true -a valid fear.
However, there are ways and means to allow people to access the internet without allowing access to your internal network -it’s just nobody (that I know of) has built such an option into router firmware because …well… “who would want freeloading strangers hogging their bandwidth?”
Many ISPs have a bandwidth cap. Others do not. Most people use a tiny percentage of their bandwidth potential. If the water is running freely anyway isn’t it a little selfish to not allow a thirsty passerby take a drink?
Again, there are ways and means to monitor bandwidth usage and to disconnect greedy freeloaders. This could all be automated so it’s not like you’d even have to know -again you just need the right firmware for your router …firmware that hasn’t been written yet, possibly.
This firmware could allow a certain bandwidth ‘leakage’ per day and for any single user to use, say no more than 1% of that leakage.
Of course this won’t be adopted because: …Actually I think this one would/ will be adopted once people get their heads around it and router firmware developers start building in these options.
(Alright, I freely admit there may be just such a massive movement already in operation -I haven’t done any homework on it, but I’m just saying it would be a ‘neat idea’… Also I freely admit to having no technical knowledge of such matters… it’s possible two routers would be required for security -even still, some of us would do it I’m sure -enough to set the trend!)
So why open your wi-fi?
Stick it to the man. You don’t like double-paying. You already pay for more than you use anyway. Why pay “the man” just because you want it in another format too? It’s like buying a CD and having to pay again for an MP3.
Make what you don’t use available to others and they might do likewise. Soon everyone can access their emails/ do a quick browse/ Tweet/ etc. everywhere -including you.
Even if it’s a long time before you find others doing it, I know all of us dream of being Robin Hood -that’s why it’s such an everlasting story. Now you too can be Robin Hood without even leaving your home!
So, maybe you can’t do it right now, but if enough people have a wish to do something like this, then someone somewhere will make it happen (I know Google intend to make such a thing a reality anyway, so all of this could be unnecessary in time -that would make me very happy believe me).
Brushing teeth is like polishing shoes. If you don’t use polish at all your shoes always look fine -a little scuffed over time, perhaps. Never “sparkly” of course. But fine.
As soon as you start using shoe polish you had best never quit because the day you do your shoes crumple up and fall apart.
A friend of mine has never brushed his teeth. Well maybe a few times when there was a toothbrush-drive on at school. You might believe he has brown choppers and a mouthful of halitosis, but no.
He’s 40 years old, has no fillings and I don’t recall him ever losing a tooth (I would know about these things).
A few years back he went to the dentist for a checkup. After the inspection the dentist said there was nothing for him to do in there and asked what his secret was.
“Drink Coke and never brush your teeth!” he told him.
I almost regret doing what I was told all those years, but I guess it’s too late for me to stop now -they’d probably fall apart.
I lived with another friend for a few months after college. A gang of us shared an apartment in fact. Anyway, when this friend unpacked his toothbrush I held it up and laughed -it was completely splayed-out.
“We could use that to scrub the pots,” I joked.
“Yeah we could,” he said, seriously.
“And what would you use for your teeth?” I asked.
He nodded to what I held in my hand and said “that”.
He wasn’t joking.
Still on the toothbrush front… I use ‘manual’ myself, but a couple of years agoI bought my wife an EXCELLENT present for Christmas… a Phillips Sonicare Toothbrush!
I had spent days scouring the internet (they were hard to find OK, but someone had told me they were the ultimate toothbrush so I persisted) and finally I located one in time to be delivered before the 25th of December.
To say it was the most disappointing present she ever received from me (including when I bought her a toilet brush+holder and a wok for our first wedding anniversary) is an understatement. She was disgusted.
I too was devestated because I thought it was such a great gift. …The gratitude of some people!
This toothbrush is upstairs somewhere as I type… hardly used, though slowly yellowing in the bathroom last time I noticed (I try not to). I could probably sell it cheap if anyone was interested?
Actually, that reminds me of another toothbrush tale… The same toothbrush in fact…
I don’t know if they sell them anymore, or if the shape has changed, but at the time the Sonicare was a fairly sizeable electric, plastic item (around 6-8″ or so in length).
…It was on the kitchen table, amid a pile of other “clutter” one day. The brush part was not attached.
My mother called round and we were talking in the kitchen. She picked up the (half) toothbrush, in mid-sentence, but didn’t refer to it in any way as she talked about something else. She examined it for a couple of seconds, then more or less threw it down and quickly turned away as if she had a fright.
She only briefly lost track of what she was talking about, before continuing.
I couldn’t very well cry out “it’s a toothbrush – not a vibrator!” She was already talking about other things. It’s probably best she didn’t switch it on though.
…And that reminds me of another tale…
I know someone who hid a porno dvd in a Riverdance dvd case. Nobody would ever think to look at Riverdance, right? …Then one day his mother-in-law called round and borrowed a disc while he wasn’t there… yes you guessed it -she was in a mood for some sweaty thrusts and dexterous writhing that night, culminating in a heavy banging climax.
To those of you sniggering that it was me -of course it wasn’t. What would I be doing with a Riverdance DVD!?
I’ll tell you something: I don’t like McDonalds. Never have.
It’s not that I’d advocate bombing the place or even campaigning against it. It’s just I feel it stands for a lot of things I dislike: the de-personalisation of serving & eating food, Corporate infiltration in the everyday lives of people, false and insincere advertising, homogenisation/ making everything the same all over the world according to the big book of the double arches, bland buildings inside & out, bland decor, bland & barely-edible lowest-common denominator “food” short on sustenance and taste/big on stamping home the message (over and over) that McDonalds is fun fun FUN. If you’re not in, you’re not in. The Catch-em-while-they’re-young marketing reminds me of nothing but the Hitler Youth. Well that’s not entirely true -it also reminds me of another company I hate with a vengeance for much the same reasons, but I won’t rant on about Disney right now. That’s nothing to do with this tale.
I’m not here to force my opinions (for that is all they are) on you, but to tell you of something funny:
Mrs. Rumm burst her appendix two weeks ago. Hilarious I know, but that’s not the funny part, honest.
Mrs. Rumm had her appendix removed and I had to take care of her and the two kids for two whole weeks (not finished yet) virtually 24hrs a day. They’re a demanding lot.
So, although I also hate bland & brainless movies for children as much as I hate feeding them sub-standard food, you must forgive me if I breathed a sigh of relief when Mrs. Rumm volunteered to take them to Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang during the week.
Alright, I had to drive them there -and I had to do the shopping while they were at it, but I still exhaled more in those two hours than a reversed hoover (is it a myth that some can be set to blow/ not suck? I’ve never seen one -I want one now!).
Honestly, living with them these past two weeks (and running) is like having a family of Vietnamese boat people move into your home and follow you about as you try to steal a quiet moment in the bathroom.
As lovely and rewarding as that may be, it’s just a bit difficult to adapt to in short order.
Anyway, we arranged to meet afterwards for some food in the food-court.
When I got there, the kids already had theirs on a tray and Mrs. Rumm was trying to lift ours from the counter at Eddie Rockets.
I took the tray and we sat.
We set out the food and immediately I was struck by the measly portions the kids had. Near-white, limp chips and half a dozen plastic-looking flattened chicken-droppings were buried in their containers under a packet of sugary-looking raisins and a large plastic assembly dinosaur.
“Sheesh, Eddie Rockets has gone downhill” I thought as I munched into an enormous & quite tasty chicken breast burger (I’m not a complete tree-hugger y’know).
It was only halfway through the meal when I commented on the substandard and truly unacceptable ‘food’ the kids had. “How come they make one type of chips for adults and another type for the kids?” I asked, puzzled.
Of course, that shows you how observant I really am: Mrs. Rumm had bought the kids’ grub first in McDonalds, then ours. Only then did I notice the balloon-on-sticks they both had with a big bloated Ronald McDonald waving and sneering at me.
“Nyeh nyeh,” he sneered. “You can run, but you cannot hide your children -they’re all mine!”
I swear I haven’t felt so disgusted and cheated in years. Quite recently we had finally saved enough to have our driveway ‘done’. Unfortunately we were done more than the drive. It’s not a complete disaster (but will be in a short time), but nothing was right with it. The whole thing will have to be dug up and redone at some stage I’m still convinced. Four grand down the drain. If we had a decent drain.
But the point is, I felt worse sitting across from my two corporate-embossed, indoctrinated, brainwashed offspring in that instant than I did when I first saw the state of the drive.
Red-faced, I grabbed the dinosaurs and tried to stuff them into my pockets. They were too big. I promised the kids they weren’t having them. The older one knew enough not to complain, but the boy put up a fight.
Did I over-react? I still don’t think so. If only more parents actually stopped to think and actually looked at what is being passed-off as food in this place (and others) we wouldn’t be captives to such a corporate world. Not that corporations are intrinsically evil you understand, but we need to be more discerning because it is in every corporation’s interest to look after its own bottom-line. If more people found their slop unacceptable then the corporation (whichever corporation is in question) would quickly raise their standards.
So, the only one I blame in this really is you -whoever you are.
I blame the people who pay money to corporations that provide an inadequate service or product.
So, really what I felt at this point was self-loathing. *I* am the type of person who sanctions this kind of abusive, thoughtless, careless, plastic material substitute for any sort of genuine love or happiness.
Do you really care for your loved ones? Then show it by buying this!
Happy Meal me hole.
Right. I promised something funny. I digress. Mea culpa…
I tossed the plastic toys in the bin as I dumped the wrappers, but you’ll have to forgive me for not popping their balloons. We left the food-court, me somewhat in front.
I felt like a cowardly silent conscientious objector parent in Nazi Germany, forced to grin and bear it as his kids waved the nazi flag. I couldn’t bare to be near them.
The next morning, the balloons were burst and lay on the floor, still clinging to the end of their plastic sticks. Of course, the children immediately blamed me for it. And they were right to.
It’s not how it looks. Honest. Let me explain.
…You see, that (following) day was April 1st. My older child had been eagerly asking for the past two months “what are you going to do on April 1st, daddy?”
I had no idea. But after they went to bed on March 31st and I thought of those banners to all I hate silently shouting their triumphalist message of domination over my dearly-beloved I immediately knew what I had to do…
I bid farewell to Mrs. Rumm (careful not to tell her my plan) and drove to the nearest shop still open at that hour. I needed a red balloon and a pink one. The multi-coloured packet had no pinks, so I had to buy a packet of pink ones as well. I also spotted “LED Balloons” -they light up you know. Had to have those too.
In the car park outside the shop, a middle-aged lady had parked next to my car and remained in her seat as I climbed into mine. We eyed each other carefully. She didn’t want to leave her 5 year old jalopy in case I robbed it. I didn’t want to blow up two balloons and pop them with her sitting there looking at me. It was a curious standoff.
I feigned busyness. Of course I could have waited to blow them up at home, but Mrs. Rumm would have come to examine the cause of the two bangs. It’s true I could have stopped the car on the way, but pulling over to the side of the road to blow up and pop two balloons could potentially grow its own legs in this already-too-long tale.
So, without looking, but still feeling a pair of granny eyeballs boring a hole in the side of my head, I set about blowing up the first balloon. The red one.
I finished and she still sat there. I blew up the pink one. It was my intention to pop them there and then, but felt I might have Jessica Fletcher tapping at my window in no time, unable to contain her curiosity, so instead I started the engine and pulled away. Just then she left her car and proceeded into the shop. Undoubtedly she was on her own April 1st mission. Far be it for me to question the girl.
So I was on my way home with two unpopped balloons. If I waited until I pulled up outside Mrs. Rumm might hear them from the bedroom window which overlooked the parking spot. Another dilemma! And you think you have it tough!
Stopped at a red light, I reached over without looking and clamped my hand over one balloon. It put up a somewhat short-lived pliant struggle, but soon succumbed to my greater strength and determination. A passerby snapped her head round as she crossed the road, but found nothing but a pair of cold impassive eyes staring back at her.
The light turned green and I was off. Remorseless now I burst the second without passion or incident as I drove.
I pulled up outside the house and there were some moments of tense fumbling in the dark as I attempted to recover all the bits from around & below the passenger seat. It was touch and go for a while there.
“Evidence” you know! It’s precisely this kind of sloppiness that Columbo capitalises on time and again.
Inside, I found the McD balloons on the floor in the front room precisely where they had been left. I wasted no time in unfastening each from its staff and attaching my ruptured replacements.
I left them right inside the door where the kids would be unable to miss them first thing in the morning. I went to bed that night in quite an excited state.
Twice I dreamt of the kids bursting into the bedroom, crying and waving their sticks with balloon pieces hanging forlornly from the tops. The second time when I woke it was just getting bright outside. Roughly 6:30AM by my reckoning. They usually arose before seven. No work or school today.
Right on time, or a little after, they awoke and went downstairs within minutes of each other sometime around seven.
I waited. Silence. The telly went on. Mrs. Rumm stirred but stayed, nursing her wounds.
How could they have missed them!?? Were my plans foiled by the indifference and fickle interest of children? As much as I wished it could be true, I must admit I wished it wasn’t. At the same time I thought the fact I had two dreams of the same scene meant it now couldn’t possibly come true. Experience has taught me to expect the unexpected. How would this scene change when it happened? If at all.?
An hour later I was starting to doze again when I heard angry footsteps on the stairs. The door burst open. It was the kids. They waved their little plastic sticks with sad looking burst balloon bits hanging from the tops. They were angry, shouting and half-crying. Just as I had dreamt twice. It was too perfect.
“Daddy! You burst our balloons!” they cried.
“Did you?” Mrs. Rumm gasped, believing it without needing a reply.
I reached for my phone camera next to the bed and took this photo:
“Why would you immediately blame me for your popped balloons?” I enquired.
“That is pure evil,” announced Mrs. Rumm, unconvinced.
Anxious that nothing be said that can’t be taken back I caved.
“Fool fool fool, the first of April!” I sang, pointing at everyone. There was a pregnant pause as they tried to work out where precisely the trick lay. Was bursting the balloons the joke?
“They’re under the stairs!” I explained.
“Ohhh!” laughed the four year old and ran to recover them.
“No! It’s a trick!” laughed the eight year old, calling him back. It’s a terrible thing to not know when to trust your father. Funny though. 🙂
Of course they were under the stairs. I’m not that bad. Pop a kid’s balloon? Moi!?
No, I had the kids do that themselves…
Downstairs, I told them I had an offer to make. I held aloft their two balloons in one hand and a pin in the other.
“I want you to pop your balloons,” I stated.
“No way!” they cried.
“…and in return I’ll give you one of these!” then I put down the pin and held up the uninflated LED balloons.
There was a silence as they assessed the offer. I pulled the cord on one balloon and the LED lit up. Before I even had time to blow it up my daughter grabbed the pin and popped her balloon. My son then took the pin and as he stuck it in, I told him “think of Ronald McDonald when you do that!”
A while back myself and Mrs. Rumm brought our two mothers to dinner in a nice, remote, quiet restaurant. It was a quite-stylish place, in an old-fashioned kind of way.
My mother doesn’t drink a lot, but that night she had a few glasses of wine.
Our waiter was a pleasant, pasty-faced, rubber-nosed ‘humble but snobbish’ type. He looked like Rowan Atkinson. Every time he came to our table my mother would start giggling quietly.
He became increasingly curious about her, pausing mid-sentence with a questioning rictus smile on his face, to hear if she had anything to say. She couldn’t say anything she was holding back so much laughter, just nodding to agree with whatever excuses/ distractions we were making.
Before we finished our meal, he returned and asked if everything was to our satisfaction. Again, my mother began giggling and this time it was obvious she was laughing at him. The rest of us were embarrassed.
I said “she’s not used to wine”.
He smiled and bowed his head and said “that’s quite alright I get that all the time.”
Then as he was reversing away, my dearest momma raised a finger in his direction and screamed “he’s like… MR. BEAN!” at the top of her wailing voice. We all broke out laughing even as I was dying from embarrassment.
The food was lovely, but I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
A few years back I was driving around, trying to encourage the baby to take a nap in the back of the car. Eventually I realised she had no intention of dozing so I admitted defeat and headed for home.
I took a turn off the main road, through what I assumed to be a cross-country shortcut. This straight road soon narrowed and split. I stuck to the wider (though not by much) route and came to an intersection with many signposts. Choosing a path pointing somewhat in the direction of home I continued.
More intersections followed, mostly now with no signposts. Soon I was tearing past crossroad after crossroad, forks and T-Junctions. Where there were signs they mostly contradicted each other. That didn’t bother me of course -I relied solely on my instinctive sense of direction. My internal compass points unfailingly to Home at all times.
Now I noticed none of these intersections had any Yield or Stop signs. Who was in the right when a narrow road intersected with a slightly narrower (or broader) road? Could the bigger narrow road be considered the ‘main’ road? Of course one should “yield right of way”, but here there were subtle size differences that suggested maybe one was THE MAIN road and another was where you need to stop. It was all somewhat confusing, but almost pleasantly so.
I turned a corner and came across a motorbike in the middle of yet another crossroads that had apparently just crashed into a JCB that was entering the junction. The biker was picking himself up and the JCB driver was already out of his cab. Immediately I noticed both were young -less than twenty, maybe eighteen.
The JCB driver was very distraught. He cried that he just came to the junction and the bike flew out of nowhere. The biker was limping but otherwise appeared ok. I asked if he was ok. He was. No bleeding or any other apparant cuts. We picked up the bike.
To my untrained eye the damage seemed “serious but superficial”, but both crash-participants gasped and cried when they saw it. Some plastic sections were smashed in and smashed out. There were a few large dents and scrapes. It couldn’t be driven right away, but the mechanics of it looked ok and it could be wheeled, so we decided to push it out of the centre of the corssroads, onto the embankment. Several parts stayed on the road as we did.
I hadn’t passed any other vehicles since leaving the main road, but just then another car arrived on the scene. The woman inside glanced and drove on, crunching bike parts under her wheels.
I asked the two guys if either of them needed to be brought someplace or if I could do anymore. The JCB driver said he had a mobile phone and he would ring somebody. The biker then looked at the other guy and recognised him “Gearóid isn’t it?”. The driver said yes.
I knew they weren’t going to come to blows or anything so I pointed out I had a baby in the car (who was stretching to see what was going on) and I had to go. They seemed calm and waved me off.
I continued my journey as I thought of the events that had ocurred. I had deliberately avoided asking exactly what had happened in case of dispute later on -I hadn’t seen anything happen anyway, so it’s not like I was a material witness.
More T-junctions and Y-junctions flitted past. Now I knew I was only guessing the way, but had complete confidence in my navigational prowess. GPS? Pah!
I looked behind. The baby was gazing happily out the window, musing on trees or bunny rabbits or whatever it is a two-year old muses on.
I turned a corner and came to a junction with several broken plastic parts in the middle of the road. A JCB stood directly in front of me. My head went dizzy as I realised where I was. I wanted to sink into the ground. The biker emerged from behind the JCB. At first I feigned concern “ye’re still alright are ye?”
He was in good spirits and told me they were fine and someone was on the way. I had to laugh then and pointed out I hadn’t a clue where I was going, but before the biker could reply the JCB driver stumbled past with his head in his open hands. “Oh God no” was all he was repeating over and over. Just then he paused and looked up as though realising for the first time there was a car nearby. In doing so, he caught the big stupid cheesy grin that was now frozen across my face. I didn’t think asking for directions was the right thing to do under the circumstances.
I straightened myself and became the voice of authority. “It’ll be alright” I assured him.
He paused as though snatching at a comfort and looked straight at me with pleading eyes. Clearly he needed more. “It could’ve been a lot worse” I told him.
His face dropped into his hands once more and he walked off.
“Don’t worry about it -It’ll be alright -its not that bad” I called after, more desperately as my hand found first gear and my foot eased down on the accelerator.
“Good luck” was my final authoritative gesture as I sped away, praying I wouldn’t end up back at that crossroads once again.
Growing up I had three brothers. Still do, but we don’t live together anymore. Well anyway, it was every man for himself in the underwear department. Yes we shared underwear. When it was clean at least. It was touch & go if you ever found any around.
Believe me I find that as awful now as you, but when it’s the norm you don’t see anything wrong with it.
Anyway, after I moved out (aged around 21) one of my younger brothers (aged around 16) moved in to my room. We were talking some weeks/ months later and he looked at me as though in pain.
“Did you have to take all the underwear with you?” he cried.
I assured him I took a couple of pairs of socks and underpants at most. He was always convinced I got up as early as a German tourist to hog the lot. No amount of persuading could ever convince him I had as much trouble as he did, only I didn’t cry as loud about it (maybe I wasn’t as bothered, I don’t remember to be honest.)
“I was convinced when you moved out I’d get a much greater share of the underpantses -like coming into an inheritance!” he said proudly. “But there’s still never any there! …My mam bought a load more, but there’s still never any to be found!” (We both knew he was more devious and underpants-conscious than either of the other two, so it was a mystery unsolved -to this day in fact).
He left me that evening with these heartfelt parting words: “I thought I’d find a secret underpants compartment in your room, or a stash down the back of the wardrobe or someplace. I never believed you never had any underpantses either!”
…Actually, I’m reminded of one particular incident where I came out of the shower and found the last spare washed underpants in a clothes-pile in the kitchen.
A half hour later, this same brother came out of the shower and began screaming that I robbed all the underpantses again. He could not be convinced otherwise.
“What am I supposed to do now!?” he cried and stomped around the house.
Eventually he shut up enough to listen to my suggestion… “Put on that one,” I said to him pointing into the dirty clothes basket at the one I removed earlier. “I only wore it one day!”
Of course he was disgusted -even we had our limits, but after a while he calmed down some more.