In a Word . . . Hoard

 

Yes, it is true. There are moments when I let myself down. The pain, the pain, the pain! For instance, at the outset of restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year I was stuffing my place with enough supplies to survive a nuclear winter when I made a pretty shocking discovery.

I had run out of space, which is hardly surprising as I have been storing possible necessities since Brexit 1. Then there was Brexit 2, 3, and 4 etc, with yet another pending.

I ended up wondering whether I might squeeze some toilet rolls into the fridge, when my past life flashed before me. At the bottom of the fridge were four cans of Heineken with a sell-by date of October 2018, almost two years ago.

In shock, I dropped the toilet rolls and allowed a lamentation escape from deep inside my gut. How could it have happened?

Since when the kitchen sink has been drinking.

Then there was the sneeze. I had been out for a walk before joining a supermarket queue which stretched ahead to Sunday, and back as far as Christmas, when it happened.

I did not inhale. I did not have sex with that woman. It did worse. I sneezed. The entire queue shivered, behind me and before me. A guy ahead shouted at me, in a polite accent, “Are you serious!”

I apologised. He continued. I felt centuries of imagined ancestral persecution rise within me and shouted at him, “It was an accident! It was not intended. Now f**k off!” Or something on those lines. But I did feel stupid.

Then there is that experience I’ve suffered all my adult life which has caused me such continuous discomfort and public embarrassment. Yet, despite trying, nothing I do can stop it.

Yes, folks, with unerring inaccuracy I clip the lobe of my left ear with the razor practically every morning unless I am deliberately conscious of avoiding doing so. And I bleed and bleed, using up many toilet rolls in the process of trying to stop it.

Despite which I bleed all the way to work, continuing there until eventually it stops through exhaustion.

Maybe now you understand why I need to stuff my fridge with toilet rolls, just in case.

Hoard, from Old English hord, “an accumulation of something for future use”.

inaword@irishtimes.com

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