Yesterday morning before I had even ingested an amount of tea sufficient to restore some sort of consciousness (it’s life, Jim, but not as we know it) OH informed me that there is now a ‘choral app.’ Not having any context to put this in I resorted to an irritable ‘what?’
‘A choral app,’ he said – repetition, in the mind of Mark, being equivalent to explanation. He treats my queries rather in the manner of a Victorian colonialist who, when not understood by the natives, merely repeats himself more slowly and loudly. I have long since learned that silence is the only response; sure enough, after only ten minutes of this he explained that an organ app is an app which tells you where your nearest choral evensong is.
‘It’s like Grindr,’ he explained.
‘Organ Grindr!’ I quipped.
Such puns are a staple of our daily conversation: I venture to assert that without them our married life would – ahem! – grind to a halt. Another grind-related pun which surfaced quite early on in our joint existence arose out of the ubiquity of coffee-grounds. OH and I are like Jack Spratt and his wife (name unrecorded) in that I only drink tea and he only imbibes coffee. But whereas I dispose of my tea-leaves in a thoughtful and tidy manner (without reading them first) he merely gives the decanter a casual swill, leaving coffee grounds All Over The Place. This being our honeymoon period, it took me a while to complain but when I did he instantly quipped ‘grounds for divorce!’ and so a tradition began. Other standing jokes include such gems as ‘we were disgusted by the bus so we went by tandem’ (de gustibus non disputandem est) and many more which unfortunately I can’t remember (and neither can OH) because they arise out of the moment and are forgotten until the next moment. When I asked if he could think of any, he suggested I should have written them down in a notebook.
‘I did!’ I said. ‘I just don’t know where the notebooks are.’ And there’s the rub: generally speaking I write things down to forget them, not to remember them. The whole point of writing is to get things out of your mind; words and ideas that would otherwise lodge there like awkward house-guests, never leaving and starting arguments with all the other guests.
So now you know the secret of writing.