“It’s a Cliff Richard record!!!” I cry gleefully.
As we moved into the Cottage eight or nine years ago, it seems about time to unpack all our cardboard boxes. I am opening the last box, which is the LTLP’s. I wave my discovery around in the air.
“That’s not mine,” she replies.
“What do you mean ‘that’s not mine,'” I retort. “Of course it is yours. It’s not mine.”
“But it’s not mine!” she insists.
I brandish the sleeve, which features Cliff Richard holding a posed pose with a white Fender Stratocaster. “It is in your box. These are all your things. Admit it. This is yours.”
Thrice she denies the Cliff Richard record.
“Are these not,” I demand, “all your old textbooks? ‘An Introduction to Animal Parisitology?’ ‘Chemistry in Action?’ ‘A Colour Atlas of AIDS?'”
“Of course they’re mine. But it’s not my record. It must be yours.”
I scoff at the unlikeliness of this. I may have my faults, but I wouldn’t own a Cliff Richard record and yet deny it. I have a bit more dignity than that, I consider, slipping into the LTLP’s bra and pants in order to put ‘Michael Winner’s Dining Stars’ on the television.
“It is probably from when you were a student,” I muse.
“It is not my fucking record! It is your record! It must be!”
I pause. She does appear to be sincere. If she is telling the truth then this is a real mystery. The same sort of thing happened to us years ago, when we were living in a newly-rented house. We tried a TDK video tape that neither of us recognised, to see if it was okay to record over. It showed the news for a minute or so, before cutting to a German transsexual fellating a man on a motorbike, followed by a collection of lewd scenes in a butcher’s shop, followed by the second half of a speech by Dr David Owen about the deteriorating situation in the Balkans. There were some subsequent awkward conversations, as we both tried to establish our ignorance of the tape’s origins.
But the Cliff Richard thing is even more of a mystery. I let the matter rest temporarily. If she wants to own Cliff Richard records then she should not be ashamed, as ‘Wired for Sound’ and ‘It’s So Funny That We Don’t Talk Any More’ were perfectly good songs and contained some profound sentiments.
She should not deny her habit though, as that is the behaviour of an addict.