Some cheery person on Radio 2 the other day was asking what odd fears and phobias people have, and blimey do people have odd fears and phobias. Round shiny objects like peas or malteasers, the word salmon, soggy sandwiches, ach I can’t remember them all. They made my dislike of cardboard boxes seem entirely rational. Stacked high, boxes are fine. Spread all over the floor, full of heavy things and with their flaps open, they just sit there waiting to jump out and hit me on the toes and the shins. Bastards.
I’d like to think that there is some level of rationality to this. I resisted wearing shoes as a child to the point where I simply wouldn’t wear them from June to September. I would wear them in snow, but probably wasn’t that bothered about a light frost. (Your circulation compensates – my feet were always toasty warm and dry in comparison with the cold feet of those in damp shoes and socks). The soles of my feet were like leather, but I was aware that they were vulnerable. If I dropped anything I’d kick back the nearest foot to knee height, like a flapper doing the Charleston.
Anyhoo, I’m not a particularly fussy house-keeper. I only have three major domestic dislikes:
- Houses that don’t function properly – all light bulbs must work and I must be able to find things easily and have surfaces that are sufficiently clear to put things down on them.
- Floors that are so full of detritus that they cannot be walked on. Who knows what is lurking under that masking layer of deception?
- Cardboard boxes that want to stamp on my toes and kick me in the shins.
How lovely is my life right now?