"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

>You Only Live Twice.

>The other day I did something that I swore that I would never, ever do: go into Todd’s bedroom and pick up his pants and socks.

Entering Todd’s room is more of a health hazard and picking up his dirty underwear breaches all the EU Health and Safety Regulations that have so carefully been put together over the past years. As a rule, I will not do more than go into Todd’s room, open his window and then shut the door for fear of the stench of sweaty feet mixed with excess use of heavy deodorant and after shave wafting through the rest of the house.

The reason for clearing away the mess was simple. The Ex had told me that each week that Todd returns here from his new school, I am to count the number of pairs of socks and boxer shorts that he brings back, wash them and give them to Todd for the next week. My idea of buying underwear with the day of the week written on each pair was not taken seriously, although it would make life all that much easier, not that I can see Todd actually wearing such under garments, but my reason was to help the boy organise himself.

So I spent quite some time picking up socks and boxer shorts from various parts of Todd’s bedroom and managed to fill the washing machine with my findings. When I hung them up the following day I was shocked to learn that 13 pairs of shorts, 8 pairs of socks and 23 odd socks – most of which belonged to the girls – had been lying in Todd’s bedroom for as long as I can remember. Or maybe they had been breeding.

Seeing as I really don’t fancy going back into Todd’s room I have decided to keep his underwear in my cupboard and hand out 7 pairs of each to Todd this coming Sunday. I mean, Christ only knows what else I may find in his room should I return, so I prefer to stay on this side of his bedroom door.

The Ex hasn’t taken into account that washing machines are greedy buggers and never return the same amount of socks that you put into them. I think, just for fun or sheer insanity, I’m going to keep count of how many socks get eaten each time Todd comes home. I’ll then enter my figures into some sort of elaborate Excel sheet, send it to Miele and demand a refund.

I’ll call it ‘Cash for Socks’.