It seems unlikely that we will come to an agreement.

“We are not,” she states with an admittedly factual basis, “living in the nineteen-seventies.”

This is true, I have to concede. However I have never bought a carpet before. And I cannot seem to rid my mind of the desire that I had when I was about seven years old to have a thick, thick, shaggy carpet – one which you have to hack your way through like Livingstone (Dr) in the jungle.

“What about these?” she demands, gesticulating at some bits of carpet that look exactly like the previous bits of carpet she showed me. Apparently the carpets that are fashionable at the moment are thin and tastefully beige, looking and feeling like by-products from the factory that makes Tesco ‘Value’ sackcloth – ‘suitable for all your Puritan needs’.

“They’re just so… well that is to say… they’re all right but.” I try to articulate my argument convincingly. “They’re not something that would be really cosy to roll around on the floor on.” I make a mental note to get on the PC when we get home to update the Wikipedia entry for the word ‘lame’.

“You are XX years old!!!” she storms. (NB she did not say ‘XX’, she said the number of my age, which I do not reveal for confidentiality reasons, plus it is irrelevant to this story and would just distract you from the point of it by sending you off onto a tangent). “You don’t play with trains any more. It is not the nineteen-seventies. We are NOT having anything like that.”

We look at some more beige, harsh, scratchy looking carpets. I decide to tackle her on her own ground and attempt a more adult argument.

“I am only thinking of your knees,” I offer.

She gives me a withering look.

“Can I help you at all?” asks a slimy assistant.

We wave away the slimy assistant and move on to the next aisle of thin beige scratchiness.

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