The latest trick that The Old Man is playing on me - is one of growing deaf. This is a periodic habit. His perfect Virgoan earholes and their twisting byways are wonderfully tuned for his woofers, tweeters, and hi-fi-ness but the day to day maunderings of the Greydoll gradually lose their power to penetrate His Majesty's hearing.
It is true that The Old Man has always been a martyr to wax. And one nurse says "Yes, time to do something about that." But the latest says that all is OK in there.
I panic. I see myself doomed to a life of poking him in the back to make him turn around and look at me when I'm speaking. And none of this is helped by his infuriating propensity for ..... talking. I mean, I enter the room to tell him something and he is already speaking - with his eyes still glued to the telly or his newspaper. Leaving me gasping and flapping like a stranded fish.
Please, please, don't do this to me. Don't leave me with a deaf chatterbox. Please find and extricate some bungage from those earholes. Please let him hear me once more. Blood pressure, warfarin, heart dodginess, general occasional frailty. OK. OK. I've accepted that. Nursey stands to attention. But please don't bless me with deafness on The Old Man's part.
I see it now. Greydoll quietly expiring in the corner of the room underneath a fallen wardrobe or something. The Old Man, still delivering a lecture on the failings of the current government whilst absorbed by the television screen. Completely oblivious to the Greydoll's fate.
Despite all her shouting and waving.