Catching man flu from the freezer

“You do pick some bizarre times to start things, Dad,” observed the Ginger Ninja as he eyed the cement dust adorning my black work trousers.

He had a point. It was about 10.30pm on a Tuesday, a time when sensible citizens would normally be reaching for the Ovaltine and hot water bottle and heading off to burrow under their duvets.

I however, had decided that it was the optimum time to swap the doors of the fridge and freezer round from left-hand opening to right.

Don’t ask why; I have no real idea, other than the stupid thought that it was only a couple of screws and it wouldn’t take more than five minutes a door, would it?

Also the GN and Small But Fierce of Ipswich were watching CSI: Miami, that dreadful series in which every episode starts with a person or people dying in bewilderingly complicated, vivid and improbable ways and then being dissected for our benefit by glossily attractive young people in white trousers. I can’t stand it.


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It began well (the door re-orientation, not CSI: Miami, which obviously began very badly indeed for someone) and in 20 minutes the fridge door was on back to front, as intended.

The freezer door came off in a jiffy, with hardly any of the vital screws and bolts falling to the floor and rolling under anything. The fun started when I tried to re-fit said door as the cold air poured out of the box, threatening the icy integrity of the frozen peas and Arctic Roll.

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Try as I might I just could not find the extra hand necessary to hold the door up, put the hinge in and use the screwdriver, even with some all-purpose industrial language thrown in.

And so it came to pass that I stood before the Ninja, dishevelled and dusty, and asked for his help. And lo, he helpeth, and ye freezer door was reinstated and there was joy in the land.

You might wonder what the GN was doing at home at this time, given that he’s supposed to be at university racking up a whopping debt.

I’m pleased to say that he had his first bout of man flu, to which he succumbed as if he’d no immune system whatever. He was splendidly feeble, lying on the couch with Lucozade, coughing like a Byronic consumptive and generally being proper poorly.

In fact he only spoiled it by breaking the golden rule of man flu and actually being officially diagnosed as proper poorly by our GP. Never mind, he’ll learn.

I’m feeling a bit croaky myself, actually. Probably the result of toiling for hours under a doorless freezer.

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