Unexpected red card leaves Vinny reeling in shock
Old habits prove costly as Angie calls a sudden halt to her husband’s gallop
Whistling The Cuckoo Waltz, for he was an ardent Laurel and Hardy fan, Vinny Fitzpatrick’s step was light as he arrived home in Mount Prospect Avenue on Sunday evening. As he had stopped off in Foley’s for two swift pints, he was a little tardy, which was nothing new, but Angie would understand. She always did.
As a peace offering, he’d popped into the Spar, where’d he bought a bunch of slightly withered flowers and a box of After Eight, which it was now, by some half an hour. Vinny carefully turned the key in the squeaky lock, nudged the door open and called out gently, “Hi love, it’s only me”.
Overhead, there was a scurry of feet which prompted a smile on his lugubrious features as it meant the twins were not asleep yet and he could pop up and wish them good night. But first, it was time to report in to his darling beloved.
Angie was in the kitchen, which was not unusual of a Sunday evening, but instead of keeping an eye on her cooking chores, she was sitting at the kitchen table, armed with a stern expression and a glass of water.
As soon as Vinny caught Angie’s eye, he felt a shiver run up his spine. There was trouble ahead, he was certain.
“Sit down, please,” commanded Angie, beckoning to the chair opposite. Vinny did as instructed, taking care to slide the flowers and choccies under the table out of view. He had a feeling they were no longer relevant. He was right.
What followed was a bolt from the blue for the middle-aged bus driver, a succession of bolts in fact, as Angie let rip. She began matter-of-factly, pointing out that he was late yet again, which was no surprise, as it was “a long time since I could depend on you to come home in time”.
Vinny was about to interject and apologise, when the next fusillade was launched, at a slightly higher pitch. “I’m fed up arranging cover in the shop to come home and prepare your dinner, only for you to swan in at all hours, thinking your shabby presents will make amends.”
After a pause, Angie hit top gear. “You know, I thought there was a glimmer of hope for us when you applied for redundancy but you managed to screw that up.
“Since then, you’ve carried on like the Vinny Fitzpatrick of old, drinking merrily away, with more time for your mates, and your precious passengers, than you have for your wife and children.
“Your betting is out of hand, and yet you dared to dip into your precious reserves in that biscuit tin of yours just so you could swan into Foley’s and brag about being a member of a bloody golf club!” she thundered.
As Vinny felt himself shake, Angie continued the barrage.
“Have you any idea how far €1,200 in cash could go in this house? How much breathing space it would give us in the crèche for Oisín and Aoife? No, you haven’t a clue. Instead, it has been burnt on the bonfire of Vinny’s vanities,” she wailed.
The onslaught continued as Angie pointed out how she hadn’t managed to play a single game of tennis all summer due to Vinny’s late hours and the increasing demands on her time.