About the Grout

‘I can’t believe this,’ I grumbled as I paced the length of the bathroom, phone pressed firmly to my ear. ‘I can’t believe this is happening again!’

‘Oh, relax,’ my wife rolled her eyes. ‘It’s not The Great War.’

‘It’s my The Great War,’ I scowled at her, hold music incessantly blaring in my ear. ‘They should have fixed this properly, from the start!’

‘It’s just a repair job,’ she sighed, settling into the empty bath like she was going to have a nap. ‘Let me know when they pick up.’

‘I mean, how hard is it?’ I went on, only half-realising I was ignoring her. ‘How hard is it to find someone to repair my shower grout? In the Melbourne area, for a change.’

‘Oh, relax,’ she scoffed. ‘That last guy was only from the outer suburbs.’

‘Well, maybe there shouldn’t have been a last guy,’ I frowned. ‘Maybe just the first guy should have sorted it out!’

‘Maybe,’ she rolled her eyes again. ‘Steve, look – you’ve got to relax.’

‘I am relaxed,’ I fumed.

‘No, I mean actually relax,’ she smiled at me. ‘Look around! This bathroom has been perfect for us.’

I did as she said, taking a deep breath and letting my eyes wander around the room.

‘I guess,’ I muttered.

‘No need to guess! Do you remember how hard it was finding a company that designs bathrooms for disabled people?’

‘All the more reason why it should be fixed.’

‘Oh, one of the tiles fell off,’ she shrugged. ‘That happens to every bathroom.’

‘What if she’d been in the bath?’ I countered. ‘And we didn’t know a tile had fallen on her?’

‘It didn’t fall out over the bath!’

‘But it could—’

‘Well, that’s insane,’ she laughed. ‘You sound insane.’

‘Someone has to care!’

‘Woah, woah, woah,’ she climbed out of the bath, all traces of laughter gone from her eyes. ‘We both care. But you,’ – she stuck a finger in my face –, ‘don’t get to throw a hissy fit and call it caring!’