Derek Brown of Halifax has spent the last two weeks being deliberately obtuse and difficult to his wife of 15 years in the hope that she will make him sleep on the sofa downstairs – allowing him to watch England play Australia in the Ashes.
‘Last time the Ashes were in Australia, I stayed up to watch the games, but Sandra complained that the noise of the TV kept her awake. In the end I had to agree to come to bed at a reasonable hour, meaning I missed watching the Aussies get skittled out,’ he said. “So this time I thought the best approach would be to annoy her so much that I’d be sent to the sofa, meaning I can watch it without her constantly asking ‘when are you coming to bed?’’
Planning began early but when a two week relaxation of his personal hygiene , forsaking deodorant and mouthwash wasn’t enough to consign him to several weeks of sleeping in the living room, he upped the ante, occasionally sniping at her fashion decisions and dietary choices to provoke reactions.
Finally, after a comment that a new haircut made her look like “A bird had started nesting up there”, Derek was delighted to be ordered downstairs, to “the Broad bed” as he calls it, to spend his evenings with Radio 4 and Sky.
Speaking after watching the first day’s play, Mr. Brown said, ‘I still thought the noise I might make would keep her up and maybe cause a reconciliation. However, over the last couple of days Sandra’s been going out around nine and not getting back until dead late. After she gets in, she’s in the shower for ages, before going straight to bed. It means I get to watch the analysis at tea without the subtitles, which is always a bonus. Hopefully she’ll keep this up right the way through to the fifth test.’