Updated: Apr 26, 2020
Now “The Tiger King” (Netflix) has finished, I was temporarily at a loss as to how to fill my evenings. Pip and I had discussed Joe Exotic at length, admiring his taste in fringed leather jackets, blue eye liner and unfeasibly thin lips. The programme was deeply addictive, drawing you into the web of lies and intrigue woven by three key players in the Big Cat triumvirat; Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and Doc Antle all of whom should probably have been banned from owning a goldfish, never mind tigers.
It’s fascinating how other cultures operate and America is possibly the most fascinating for us Brits. Whilst we appear to speak the same language and have many things in common, the closest we get to Doc Antle is our recently deceased Marquess of Bath (he succumbed to COVID-19 at the age of 87), his menagerie at Longleat and his collection of ’wifelets.’. And yet.....we are miles and miles apart. Allegedly feeding your husband to tigers, marrying several men at the same time whilst running a tiger cub racket is beyond our very British notion of ‘proper.’ That’s probably why Pip and I along with the population of the UK have sat glued to this series asking themselves ‘what the fuck?’ over and over again.
The late Marquess of Bath
Doc Antle and a tiger/lion creature of his own making (note pony tail)
I am delighted to report that Ever Patient Husband does not have a pony tail and never has had. I must be thankful for small mercies, a middle aged man with a pony tail, in my humble opinion is a seriously bad look. It smacks of trying to rekindle a misspent youth a little bit too hard. I could, at this point, waffle on about middle aged bikers who wear silly amounts of leather clothing with “Harley” written across it, but that would offend Pip who’s Boyfriend Thing tends to like that sort of thing.
There’s no accounting for taste. At least I’m getting more action in the bedroom department than Pip as The Boyfriend Thing is locked down at the other end of the country to her and Ever Patient Husband is back in the marital bed after my seven day’s of isolation. My Eldest Daughter reads this, so that’s probably too much information already.
Moving swiftly on....
The thought of middle aged male activities brought me to thinking about golf and momentarily about Monty Don from Gardener’s World (BBC), but that’s a whole other chapter. EPH is a huge fan of golf and Gardener’s World as it happens and under normal circumstances, can be found each Saturday afternoon playing one of Scotland’s many golf courses with his blokey friends.
An utterly pointless game that as far as I can tell, involves men talking shite for four hours whilst they walk and attempt to hit a small white ball into a tiny hole. Whilst Pip and I simply walk and talk shite, we don’t see the need for the small white ball or the tiny hole to enjoy ourselves.
One of the upsides of lockdown is the ability to walk unhindered across golf courses. I live in Scotland so there are four golf courses within walking distance from our house. One happens to be a bit posh. It is Edinburgh after all.
We walk Eddie each evening across the posh golf course. Eddie loves nothing more than digging up bits of grass, peeing on the greens and generally running amok across the sacred grounds of the course. I, of course, revel in his rebelliousness and admire his ability to not give a fuck.
Each week, the people who run this particular golf course have got more and more passive aggressive in their signage. During week one of lockdown, we were greeted with a make shift barrier at the entrance to the car park, meaningless to us who walk from the house to the course for our evening constitutional, but sufficient to put off people who had to drive a short distance to get there.
Local residents simply walk at the side of this barrier and skip merrily into the hollowed ground of the car park, complete with it’s signs for “Reserved for Captain” and “Reserved for Vice Captain” - utter wankerish behaviour if ever I saw it. What century do we live in where such signs are needed? Surely the Captain can walk as far as the members across the car park, they do play golf after all which involves quite a lot of walking.
I obviously encourage Eddie to pee as much as possible in these car parking spaces.
At the start of the second week of lockdown, a sign appeared on trees, posts and at regular intervals across the course which vaguely threatened to be applying some really nasty chemicals to the greens so that dogs were in mortal danger if they dared to scamper haphazardly onto it. A poor attempt to put us off, which happily failed as the devil may care public wandered unhindered across the greens with dogs running around freely. The British public know a passive aggressive sign when they see it and duly ignore it. No dogs were on leads and none were dead.
Next came the bunkers. As we all know, children need spaces to play and during these difficult times, need those spaces more than ever, so when yet another sign appeared in the bunkers reading “please keep off the bunkers, children have been seen playing in them like and families have been observed having picnics”, my tolerance level finally snapped. God forbid that families should enjoy a wide open space on a sunny day during the most stressful period of time society has seen since the Second World War. And as for children playing in a pit full of sand that looks remarkably like a sand pit - I hear the Captain cry ‘bring back flogging and send them up a chimney!’
As a peri-menopausal woman, my tolerance levels fluctuate between short and step away before I knife you (couldn’t get to the health food shop before lockdown to get my special vitamin tablets to fill me with extra vitamin B to prevent such outbursts!) so this particular sign induced quite a long and loud rant to which EPH patiently listened without comment.
Only a tosser who felt his grass was more important than human relationships would carefully place a sign in what is essentially a sand pit for grown men to avoid putting their little white balls into declaring it off-limits during a period of time where running around and playing in sand by actual children is important, if not essential. Sand, as we are all aware, is a substance that can be moved, raked, smoothed, or even ruffled and remains sand like in it’s qualities. Standing on it, walking through it, playing with it or heaven forefend rummaging in it, does not change it as a substance. It remains sand like no matter what you do it. You can even pee in it and it remains sandy. I was wondering whether the Captain had a pony tail and a make-shift cage in his garden full of tiger cubs.
I have never been prouder of EPH when he used his Gandalf Walking Stick (he likes a long stick for our walks - perhaps another blog in that particular behaviour) to draw a picture of a penis and two testicles in the bunker. Up yours posh golf club. We will run around in your bunkers, because there are some things that are much, much more important than preserving your precious bunkers in aspic and freedom to have fun happens to be one of them right now.
I have totally forgiven his Important Projects and have even been able to set aside his helpful comments in the garden as I heroically weed every flower bed we own whilst he points out bits I’ve missed and makes me aware of how to shake the soil from each clump of weed I remove. He did threaten to set Monty Don on me to admonish me for poor weeding technique and at that point my mind wandered off yet again to Lady Chatterly, Mellors and ‘the scene’ in the garden, which was after all the subject of a court case for indecency at the time - what would they make of Love Island I wonder?
EPH wandered off slightly crest fallen when he realised his threat to manage me more closely in the garden backfired as I suggested he start calling me “M‘Lady” and I could refer to him as Mellors and describe his as one of my outdoor staff.
The penis in the bunker incident shall remain a seminal moment in our marriage, but don’t tell him that.