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Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Trouble with Being a Unisexual

Unisex gloves and sunglasses

Now that I’m back at school, Scotto feeds all the animals every evening (except for the cat, who swipes me on the ankle with her venomous claws as I’m juggling with my thermos, lunch and laptop on the way to my car every morning. It’s her way of gently reminding me just who is in charge of the Whiskers bag at the front door).

I usually arrive home as the sun is going down and the cruel and bitter mountain wind starts up and I shout to Scotto (who is hunkered in the garden cleaning up chicken shit) from the back door, not wanting to venture out in case of frost bite, hypothermia and frozen corneas.

One evening last week I blinked when I spied what seemed to be one of the swamp people in my backyard.

It was Scotto, who feels the cold quite badly, I must add.

“You aren’t going to wear that thing out in public ever, are you darling?” I gasped, trails of frost emanating from my iced up mouth.

“No,” Scotto replied nervously, as if I’d caught him out wearing my high heels and suspender belt. “I bought it for chicken feeding time.” *

“It’s just that you look like you’ve just stepped out of a movie about illegal whiskey manufacturing in the Ozarks,” I continued, my teeth chattering violently and breaking off in small pieces in my mouth. “The only thing missing is a banjo and a possum skin over your shoulder.”

“It’s cold,” he wailed. “Did you accidentally take my gloves to work today?” he said suddenly, shivering, hands in pockets and looking a bit accusatory.

I don’t blame him for immediately suspecting me, after all I had taken his sunglasses to work on a previous occasion. I don’t know how I didn’t realise because they’re quite a strong prescription. I think I merely assumed I was having a stroke, had a case of diabetes or the windscreen was dirty.

I guiltily stared into the distant houses with their chimney smoke spiralling towards the overcast sky and vaguely remembered picking up a pair of leather gloves and putting them in my glove box as I left that morning. It had been the first time I’ve ever put gloves in a glove box and I recalled how amazed I’d been at the revelation that a glove box was designed to house gloves and that’s why it’s called a glove box.

“Sorry,” I said. “I thought they were my gloves.”

I hate wearing gloves even though my hands turn white and useless when it’s cold and I’d just picked up a pair of these at the IGA on my way home.

If you turn your phone/laptop around you will be able to read this

I was excited that someone finally had the common sense to invent air-activated hand warmers you can keep in your pockets. How lovely and thoughtful.

I fished into my pockets and pulled out the unopened packet. “Look what I found at the IGA!” I dangled them in front of Scotto’s dubious face, in an attempt to appease his anger at me for swiping his gloves.

“Did you buy those for me, Pinky?” asked Scotto, his face relaxing in instant clemency and a little smile beginning around his lips.

“No,” I replied tartly. “They’re for me, silly.”

Later on, I scrutinised the packet and there are several alarming warnings about the hand warmers regarding allergies, poisonous lead residues and accidental swallowing, so I’ve decided to gift them to Scotto after all.

He can be my experimental guinea pig.

He was extremely grateful when I gave them to him.

I think I am forgiven for the glove thing.

* Poetic licence. I haven't owned a suspender belt for at least two and a half years so get your mind out of the gutter.