The Boyfriend has some family out here in Australia - an aunt and uncle-in-law who moved here years ago when they first got married. They are the ultimate success story and somewhat of an inspiration to The Boyfriend and I - the young Irish couple who made it, so to speak. Upon hearing of our arrival, the aunt invited us out to theirs for a barbecue where The Boyfriend was to meet with cousins he had heretofore never met and catch up with extended relatives. The Boyfriend, might I add, has a big heart and a painfully endearing ability to see the good in all individuals he comes across. And it was this very quality that resulted in my being stuck in the back of Dallas with Sour Puss, matching her dour expression with an impressive effort myself, due to Fat Shite's overwhelming presence in the passenger seat - MY seat - immediately in front of me.
The long, awkward journey was punctuated with heartless attempts at conversation from The Boyfriend, many a grunt from Fat Shite - who had insisted on relegation to the front of the car because of his bad knee - and endless scowls and fist-clenching from Yours Truly. We made a minor stop at a 7/11, to fuel up and stretch the legs. I bought a bottle of water, only to be flatly informed by Sour Puss that drinking water from plastic bottles resulted in cancer. Rich advice coming from the girl who lay out in the garden to burn herself red and raw because she couldn't be bothered to wait to tan and fit in with the bronzed Aussies.
The Boyfriend returned with snacks, for which I was eternally grateful. Fat Shite questioned our purchases, insisting it was stupid to eat now as The Boyfriend's aunt would be providing us with a generous spread. Of course, he couldn't comprehend that that was exactly why we were eating before arriving, lest we make pigs of ourselves. Unfortunately, this was a consideration Fat Shite failed to take in to account.
We arrived at The Boyfriend's aunts, were welcomed warmly and retreated quietly to a corner at Fat Shite's request - the knee, remember. He quickly accepted any beers offered, and only relaxed when the food was brought out. The Boyfriend and I looked on, appalled, as Fat Shite hobbled over to the roast meat, piling his plate high with everything, tackling the younger cousins like he was on a rugby field for the potatoes, shouldering his way past to grab a few extra chicken skewers.
The Boyfriend and I grew silent as we watched him clean the plate of its contents, refusing to swallow as he regaled the table with tales of his success as a football coach. I don't know how he managed to eat at all, considering how full of bullshit he was. Once he'd had his fill, he looked to The Boyfriend and asked every ten minutes, to the second, when we were heading back home. He didn't even deign to thank the members of the Boyfriend's family whose pantry had likely been emptied on his account.
The drive home was in uncomfortable silence - I was positioned smugly in the passenger seat. The Boyfriend looked angrier than I'd ever seen him. This was worse than toenail clippings, or a withheld debt; this surpassed the refusals to buy household essentials or boasts about salary- this made the stolen chicken pale in comparison. This was a display of bad manners witnessed by The Boyfriend's family - he seethed at the downright rudeness of it all. Fat Shite moaned once about his knee, and The Boyfriend immediately sped up to bounce through a pot hole. I was ready to give these housemates of mine hell - I was already plotting to hide the toothpaste and shampoo, chuckling to myself at the thoughts of Sour Puss going without one of her twice-daily showers.
Then the unthinkable happened. The war was cancelled, the preparations fruitless.
Fat Shite and Sour Puss had left our lives forever within the fortnight.
Bit of an anti-climax, eh?