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It’s times like this that make me wonder if there is something amiss with my family. The Mom’s tale of organising a bed delivery is well within the realms of our communal reality, but I fear it is well outside what anyone else would deem as normal.

This sort of thing always seems to happen to us. And I have no idea why. Are we wired differently than your Average Joe? Or are we just so desperate to have a funny adventure that we’ll try our damnedest to screw things up?

If we were a Normal Family, what would The Mom have done when presented with this delivery? Would a Normal Person have told the deliveryman to just take the old frame away and install the new one as planned? Perhaps. I feel that most other people, after having made something in a plan, would just as soon stick to it. I understand that The Mom saw a chance to save a bit of money and this is of course a good and reasonable thing to do. But what I don’t understand is how these sorts of things always manage to descend – quickly, with our lot – into the realms of a half-baked plot in a semi-watchable slapstick comedy. It’s getting to the point now where I wouldn’t even be shocked if The Mom told me Bill Murray decided to show up because he’d heard about what a hash we make of pretty much anything.

And of course, as children, we learned how to navigate the world from The Mom, which gives you a unique perspective on things to say the least. So now, in my office, when a courier arrives with a package and no name, I find myself channeling The Mom. Instead of doing what I assume would be the sensible, normal thing, like, say, asking him to ring his office to find out the name of the person who has ordered the thing, I get embroiled in a rather elaborate game of Ten Questions that tends to make me look not unlike Peter Falk in Columbo. And ends with me leading the courier round the office, calling out the name of his company and asking, rather loudly, if anyone’s expecting anything. More often than not, several people are expecting something but since it would be wrong and obviously weird to open a package not addressed to yourself, we simply test the weight, look at the sender’s name and so on and so forth until either the rightful person is found or the courier just gives up and leaves the package with me.

When behaving in this manner, in London, I’m often met with a look of confusion. That I get excited when things take a turn makes me stand out in a way that makes the average Brit slightly nervous. If I get a bit turned around, I happily stop people in the street to ask where I am and how I got here and how I might best proceed to my ultimate destination. This is generally not done in London, except by tourists. Thankfully, I sound like a tourist, so I suppose it’s almost okay. This trick I learned from The Mom who has never met a map she wanted to use. Which makes travel turn quickly, you guessed it, into an utter farce. You set out looking for lunch and wind up getting a random tour of a city and an in-depth look into a local’s life, whether you wanted it or not.

Thus, it does not in the least surprise me that this whole mattress debacle even happened. Had it all gone smoothly, I would’ve been quite shocked. In fact, I think The Mom may feel that she’s managed to get her money’s worth, not only because the mattress is good and arrived and she’s getting something like a decent night’s sleep, but also because she’d got yet another funny story to tell.

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