My wife would think I was making a joke. She never laughs at my jokes. She 'smiles' at about half of them, the obvious ones, but because I hardly find them funny at all as soon as I've made them there's no smirk or twinkle from which to tell whether I've made the other half or not. When I asked her to marry me and she agreed, I was so surprised I asked her why. I'd had the bulk of her clothing off her more than once by then (or 'we'd' and 'our' and delete the second 'her', this to remove any impression that over the years I've lost the initiative) and our gasping and grunting and doom-filled moaning had revealed no basic or physical discord leaving me in little doubt that the ultimate union would soon be reached, albeit disharmonious to all ears but our own. (Nowadays Webb would barely hear a thing unless he had an ear right up under our mattress.) So she had one reason I could be fairly confident of. But what she replied was: 'You're a very nice man. You have a dry sense of humour.'
The nicest of men, panting and flushed himself, scrabbling his way beneath straps and elastic, making soft surfaces damp with his foraging lips, having to breathe through his nose a variety of smells by no means all of which he prefers to his own, no man then should have his humour to the fore. 'Something has to stay dry,' I replied or mumbled, my ear by now in the region of her navel, then again, 'Soon I'll be in it nearly up to my waist.' There was no responding tremble of laughter in her stomach not that she could possibly have heard me. I was glad she hadn't because, goodness knows, it was a solemn moment for me too and I didn't want her to find out yet that my sense of humour didn't rise to any old occasion, whatever the rest of me did. So if I said, 'Let's swap with the Hambles or Webbs,' she'd say, 'What a funny idea. Why?' And I'd reply, 'Houses I mean. To bring them closer together. So they don't have to try to see through us.' Or on those lines.
It's All Right Now. Copyright 2005 by Charles Chadwick. HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
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