Night after night it happened. His "nights out with the boys" went on seven times a week. My husband would come staggering in after a hard night at the local, no excuses, just demands for his evening meal. Always it was ready, warmed up, ready to eat. This went on for years until I had had enough and figured out a way to pay him back. At first I left his dinner in the oven until it was dried out. He didn't seem to notice. So I tried putting it in the fridge, serving it ice cold — still he ate it. Then I turned to curries — I would put five chillies and three heaped teaspoons of curry powder in his meal, he'd just sweat more and his eyes would water. Finally, in desperation, I thought I had the best weapon. I cooked his favourite meal — grilled sausages with gravy, mashed potato with cheese on top and greens. I went one step further though and substituted yellow soap for the cheese. As I grated it over the meal, it melted over the top of the mashed potato and if I hadn't known what it was, I could have eaten it myself. The anticipation of seeing his face when he had his first mouthful was almost more than I could handle. Finally the car lights came up the driveway, the meal was on the table ready to eat. I sat opposite him, so I could get a good view of his expression. But after eating it, all he said was, "What a great meal!" I left the house early the next morning — I didn't wait around to see or hear the outcome, but I bet it was a smooth ride out on bubbles and froth! We've been married for 46 years. He doesn't drink alcohol any more.
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