I follow his truck up the drive, keen to tell him the exciting news about the chicken bark.
He disembarks from the cab and throws open the tailgate. Several badly-packed supermarket bags are revealed.
“What?” I begin. “Have you been…”
“Don’t say anything,” he warns, wearily lifting down the shopping.
I convey my message and slope back to the Cottage pensively. How was it that we all became so oppressed? If even Short Tony is being sent out to do menial household tasks then that is just about the end for mankind, and we may as well just be living in ‘The Worm that Turned’ by The Two Ronnies.
I hang out the washing to dry in the fierce heat of the Norfolk weather. I do not use the new pegs that I got for Christmas as there is a slight breeze and they are not overly sturdy. By the time I have put the rubbish out and placed some cups in the dishwasher I am exhausted, and only just have time for a couple of games of ‘Scramble’ on the Facebook before the antiques programme starts on the telly.
There must be a solution to drudgery like this. When I was a small boy it was generally accepted that by the time we reached the twenty-first century all households would have a robot that would do all the boring stuff for you whilst you went and leisured at the astropark with Jenny Agutter. But that has not happened yet. At the time when I actually WAS a small boy, my mum did all that stuff anyway. It is just my luck to be born in the wilderness zone gap between fully functioning housewives and robots.
A new lot of washing goes in the machine; I rearrange the shoe rack so that the shoes are in order of colour (lightest first). If I get the place nicely straight for the LTLP when she returns home then she will not mind finishing up by doing the washing up and wiping all the surfaces and clearing out the sink. Sometimes I suspect the lack of robot development is some sort of plot to keep people in their place. Either way, I am fed up with having to do more than my fair share.