So, you’ve probably heard that a visit from the in-laws strikes terror into hearts across the globe. My situation is really no different, although I like to think that I got off to a worse start with my future father and mother-in-law than most. They had a dog, who I’m told was usually friendly. It met me at the door when I arrived for dinner, knocked me onto my backside and sunk its teeth into my sleeve, which caused me to fling the petunias I’d just picked into my girlfriend’s mother’s face, which she was deathly allergic to. The night didn’t get any better than that, though by the wedding she’d stopped glaring at me whenever I met.
I think they started to approve of me when I went into the hard floor cleaner business. Carla’s parents are sort of neat-freaks, you see…on my first visit I only wiped my feet four times when I entered instead of their requisite fifteen, which I soon learned was unforgivable. But after we married, I took up a career teaching people how to use street sweepers and floor scrubbers, and they were a good deal warmer to me after that. Now whenever they visit our house (which is scrubbed to the nines beforehand, of course) we spend hours talking about my profession over dinner. I don’t quite have the heart to tell them I started my own paintball business two years ago, so we’ve kept up the charade. Got to keep fresh in that will, after all. Carla plays along, and I’ve fed her enough ride-on floor scrubber lingo to make it seem like we talk about the subject all the time. Thing is, the parents keep requesting one for their house, even though they live in a tiny flat and you couldn’t even get it up the stairs, let alone through the door. But I always assure them that I’ll look into some economical, local Sydney model commercial sweeper and get back to them. They’re pretty forgetful, so I don’t think it’ll ever be a problem. So long as I can never, ever let them know that my job involves helping people to make a mess.