I’m a little confused, because someone has tied a pair of pants to my car’s wing mirror and left.
I’ve only just heard this information myself, so let’s let that sink in.
“So you just went outside,” I say to my wife, who discovered them, “and there they were?”
“Yes!” she says, shocked, and only too happy to take part in my Sherlock-style interrogation. “On the wing mirror.”
“It’s been windy lately,” I reason. “Maybe they blew off a nearby washing line. That used to happen a lot in The Beano.”
“No no, these were purposefully-placed,” she says, importantly, before unnecessarily adding: “They were placed there on purpose.”
Oh, God. I hope this isn’t a message of some kind. From hitmen. Or a gangland marker. Because that would be all I need.
The thing is, we’ve only just had the car replaced after the old one was stolen in the dead of night. And now someone’s dressing up our new one.
“Maybe they think it’s a sexy car,” I try. “Maybe it’s a Tom Jones thing.”
“Or maybe they think it’s too sexy,” says my wife. “Maybe they think it needs to cover up. It’s setting a dangerous example to the other cars.”
I stare at my wife. Is she unstable?
“They’re women’s pants,” I say, trying to get her to take this seriously. “Talk me through this kind of thing from a woman’s perspective.”
“What do you mean?” she says.
“You’re a woman, of sorts,” I say. “Imagine you’re walking down a quiet residential street. What would make you immediately deposit your pants on a stranger’s wing mirror?”
My wife acts as if it’s the first time she’s thought about this. It’s a good act.
“Like, why choose the wing mirror?” I say, developing my thoughts. “Why not the bonnet? Why not try to thread them through a window, or put them to use as a rudimentary muffler?”
She shrugs as I point at her.
“What are your people trying to say with this kind of thing?”
“I’m not sure this is necessarily representative of all women,” she says. “It’s not like a ‘thing’ we do.”
I point at the evidence outside.
It appears it very much is.
“Are you sure they’re not yours?” I say.
I have not seen these pants before today, but if it turns out my wife did this, it would seem there is a lot I do not know about her.
“Pretty sure they’re not mine, yeah,” she says, and she’s convincing.
“You didn’t just get tangled up as you got out of the car or something?”
“Tangled up on the wing mirror?” she says. “How do you think I exit a vehicle?”
“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” I say. “It’s honesty that matters most in a relationship.”
But I’m going to give her this. On reflection, it may have been one of Earth’s three billion other women.
But what are the odds?!
The next thing to do will be to make sure they don’t belong to someone she’s run over, but that can wait, because we have bigger problems.
“Who’s going to get these pants off our car?” I say.
“It sounds like a man’s job,” she says.
“That’s a very backward and outdated view,” I say. “I’m disgusted at you. Also, they’re women’s pants. I’d feel more comfortable with you handling a strange woman’s pants, even if they are the type of woman who gets undressed as they walk down the street.”
“One of us has to do it,” she says, as we stare at the car out the window. “It’s not a great look.”
“I think as you found them, this is very much your story to complete.”
“Yes, though marriage is a shared bond founded on shared experiences.”
“Women fought for many years to rightfully claim their equality.”
“It is secretly great when men show they can take control.”
“Being a man is being confident enough not to have to take control.”
“A true man –”
“Please get those pants off our car.”
“Fine,” she says, and she grabs a plastic bag and heads outside.
I watch from the window as she fashions a plastic glove and approaches the pants. Once there, she is swift. But then she realises she has acted without proper thought.
“Where do I put them?!” she yells, holding a stranger’s pants.
Oh God. She’s going to bring them into the house.
“NO!” I scream.
She drops the pants on to the pavement and begins to run away.
“I left the pants on the pavement!” she shouts, slamming the door.
“I told you!” I say, shaking my head. “This must just be a thing women do!”
Imagine ShortList reader Rebecca McIntyre’s face when her brother excitedly told her he’d found a big box abandoned on a train.
And then imagine her face as he told her what was in it. That’s exactly the same face I’m making right now.
Ed Purkis was wandering about his local area the other day when he spotted a remarkably specific service.
2 Hour Cleaning By French. Well, at last. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve required vague cleaning services of precisely two hours in duration but stopped short of booking it because the people involved were not French. Thanks, Ed!