Today, I bought a sandwich toaster, a torch, about four hundred AA batteries and very nearly got into a fight with a cow.
And so begins a week with a somewhat surreal air to it – my last week as an unmarried man.
The sandwich toaster and torch bits were easy. I’ve lost count of how many of the former I’ve bought in my life but the number is dangerously close to rendering them a disposable item. The batteries were unplanned, but, then, they always are. It doesn’t matter that I’ll take fourteen years to use the mountain I ended up carting back to the car. No, there’s just something comforting about stocking up on the little cylindrical bundles of energy, even if you have absolutely no use for them at all.
There’s nothing comforting, however, about being eyeballed by twenty-seven cows while in a field with only your dog for company. And that’s exactly what happened to me this evening.
I don’t care how soft this sounds – cows are scary. Sure, they look cute and harmless chewing grass as you admire them from the safety of your driving seat, but as soon as you get within fifty yards of them – on foot – they stop, raise their heads and just stare at you. All of them. I think there was even one playing the piano who also stopped, put down his scotch and swung his head in my direction.
At first, you think they’re perhaps just a bit stupid and therefore struggling to make out what the two-legged creature approaching them is. Then you realise they’re not stupid at all. Like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park, they’re weighing you up. They’re working together, sussing you out. The bull, in particular, who was about the size of a small village, followed my every move as I clumsily and pathetically stumbled around the field, searching for an alternate exit (they had surrounded the only gate offering escape).
All in all, it took me about twenty minutes to pluck up the courage to scurry past them, practically hugging the fence (until I spotted it was electrified). My dog, who had frozen with fear moments earlier, was tucked under my arm, head bobbing as I speed-minced my way to the gate.
The cows shrugged and got back to what they were doing. The unexpected entrance of a bearded Paris Hilton had clearly lost it’s appeal.
I’m not sure what happens after you get married, but I’m pretty sure that, as the husband, I’ll need to man up a bit.