My wife is a Putoffologist, she likes to putt off leaving the house whenever we are going out. Today she will have to do between 6 and 11 things before we leave for the cinema.

‘Are you ready yet?’ I offer in a gentle but firm voice, as I jangle my car keys knowing that saying anything more is to invite certain pain.

‘I have just got to do one thing before I leave the house’ she says, so I follow her and watch as she moves a cushion from the armchair to the sofa. A cushion! I ask you! I have been waiting for ages and then we are delayed even more because a cushion is not in the right place.

She faffs with another few items; the tea towel needs to be straight on the cooker handle, a plant has to be facing the other way round on the window sill and, this is the biggy, the TV needs changing over to another channel before it is turned off.
It is all part of what you might call the journey to the journey.

Then as I look at my watch as if to mime ‘what time do you call this?’ she responds with ‘I hardly call 2 minutes late, late!’
Well I have looked in the dictionary and it offers this as a meaning for the word ‘Late’: ‘occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time’
It doesn’t say: ‘occurring, coming, or being 2 minutes after the usual or proper time’
For good measure my wife drops her contact lens when trying to fit them near the mirror in the kitchen. After searching every nook and cranny I eventually spot it stuck to her cheek. You always look down on these occasions.

We get in the car and my wife turns into a DJ at the request of our offspring, none of whom can agree on which music is suitable for such a short trip. With a look of desperation she presses all the buttons she can find on the car CD player. We now have random tracks interrupted by traffic reports even though we are only travelling 6 miles. She has the same propensity to press buttons when using the computer. If it doesn’t respond at the first click of the mouse she continues to press until she sounds like a Spanish dancer playing maracas.
I Jokingly flick the interior light on and off and ask the girls if that feels more like a disco now. As usually they are less than amused. I am comforted by that fact that it is actually law that Dad’s jokes should not be funny. It is the same legislation that insists on parents being embarrassing when they go to any event with their teenaged children.

We arrive, on time, at our destination with all the female members of the party arguing over who most needs the toilet. ‘See! I told you we weren’t late’ says my bride in victory. I try to argue that it is only the skill of the driver that has made us punctual but no one is listening.
They have departed leaving windows down, doors open and bags left on seats. A few minutes later I join them in the foyer desperately trying to stash the drink and sweets into my pockets like a smuggler at airport security.

Then begins the discussion on which film we are going to watch. I try to steer the conversation away from sugar and toward anything with guns, cars and a story but I know that even before I open my mouth I am defeated.

We join the other cinema goers and, once we have changed seats for the third time, I begin the steady task of collecting popcorn on my T-shirt. I have the advantage of a nicely shaped stomach that produces a convenient ledge when I am seated.

All that is left is for me to meet my own personal challenge and eat all my chocolates and sweets in the first couple of minutes. ‘I can’t believe how fast you have eaten your food!’ exclaims my wife.
‘I hardly call two minutes, fast!’ I say as I settle down for a well deserved snooze.

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