Wife No 1


I have not been lucky in love. That is an understatement, to say the least! Married 5 times and none of them turned out well. Obviously the current marriage is still extant and seems satisfactory to both parties. It’s not the great romance of the century, but I get the house kept quite competently – and she gets a title.

My first wife was called Debbie (can you check that please, Cilla?) and she was a great beauty in her day. We met, as one did in those days at a debs ball, had a whirlwind romance and married within a couple of weeks. Her parents – minor aristocracy, nothing impressive – disapproved. I wasn’t quite the huge literary success I was destined to be, and they didn’t think I would be able to keep their darling daughter in the manner to which she was accustomed. As they lived in the servants’ quarters of a rather dilapidated manor house in Bucks and couldn’t cough up a decent dowry, I don’t think they were in any position to complain. To cut a long story short, we had a glorious honeymoon, carefree, blissfully in love and, frankly, at it like rabbits. She got in the club, gave birth to my darling son Aleister, then went potty. Literally. Off her trolley, round the bend, doo-lally oddsocks. Later research showed there had been a quite a bit of it in her family history. You would have thought her parents would have told me – that would’ve been a damn sight more effective at stopping the wedding than moaning about my lack of prospects.

Some blamed my philandering for her mental state, but, to give me my due, she went barmy first. And when one has the prospect of going home to Mrs Rochester and a screaming child, who can blame me for seeking succour in the arms of another. Well, quite a few anothers. My career was taking off and I was being feted around London – I tell you, totty was flinging itself at me. I rarely even had to buy dinner.

Things got rather heated when she found a pair of lady’s knickers in my suit pocket that weren’t hers, and she went atomic – as we said in those days. She leapt at me, claws outstretched, screeching like a banshee. Once I was on the ground – I didn’t like to fight back as she was a woman – she then attacked me with the lawnmower. Yes, she tried to mow me! Ruined my suit, and very nearly did me a very great mischief to the old meat-&-two-veg. Luckily, as I had discovered in the war, at life-threatening moments anything extraneous retracts inside the body so, with the exception of very evenly trimmed pubic hair, I was personally unblighted.

I was rescued by my chauffeur, Raven, who grabbed the lawnmower off her and flung it into the ornamental pond. She leaped into the water to retrieve it, and he helped me up. We then locked ourselves indoors, called the police, and hid in the cellar while she tried to get in the house by eating the front door.

(Incidentally, Raven is still with me as my chauffeur. He’s 92 and registered blind so I actually drive him, but he’s company in the car.)

Anyway, Plod arrived, sirens a-blazing, and into the nuthatch she went, and there she remains. I don’t visit. It upsets her, and doesn’t do a lot for me. She looks well, funnily enough. They dope her up to the eyebrows which obviously suits her. She crochets, does Sudokus (I have no idea if she inserts the correct numbers), and occasionally visiting drama students sing old-tyme music-hall numbers to her and her fellow crackpots. Our son visits her when he’s in the country, but sometimes she thinks he is me, and tries to murder him.

We divorced on grounds of insanity – hers, obviously – and I contribute to her upkeep which, surprisingly, is cheaper than alimony.

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