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TONY PARSONS LIVE WEBCHAT: Author and columnist Tony Parsons is joining us on Monday 6 October for a live webchat from 9-10pm. Tony's sixth novel, My Favourite Wife, has just been published and is described by The Independent as 'a much bigger, more ambitious book' than the million-selling Man and Boy. If you can't make the chat but have questions you'd like to ask, please post them in advance. Hope to see you Monday.

Talk Roundup
3 October 2008

My Favourite Wife

October's here, so cue shouting at your partner about his mother and plunging into your festive planning on the Mumsnet Christmas '08 talkboards. For those of you who still want to believe, there are lots of suggestions to kindle your children's faith, including taking bites out of carrots, the annual preparation of Reindeer Food for the PTA, or Chandra's impressive suggestion of "a candle-lit landing strip in the back garden". Hohoho already!

Am I being unreasonable to find a man who couldn't drive UTTERLY unattractive? asked NotCod. "There was a barrister in court who couldn't. I quite fancied him till he revealed that." MaloryDontDiveItsShallow agreed, and warned that women should avoid men on scooters for just this reason: "They are quite likely to be veggies and/or socialists." "I like watching DH reverse the car," drooled 50s housewife Oliveoil, "it is the arm over the headrest, looking back all masterful." Sb6699's DH drives a "HUUUUUUGE" articulated lorry, "and he can parallel park with what seems like less than an inch either side!" But angry UnquietDad was not impressed with all this slobbering: "What a vacuous load of stereotypical giggly car-worshipping SH*T." "ANYONE detect a hint of learner driver about UQD?" teased naughty Cod.

Guess what Pizza Express sent me, asked serial complainer Fimbo, when I complained about being one dough ball short in a packet I bought from Waitrose? "A life?" suggested Littlelapin, while Beansprout guessed at "a horse's head?" and PinkTulips made a stab with "a sense of dignity?" But the correct answer was a £10 Tesco voucher, which Edam considered a snub: "Ooh, offering a Tesco voucher to a Waitrose shopper is a bit of an insult, isn't it?" But Fimbo's zeal was not dampened: "Apparently, they have a dough ball counting machine that automatically deposits the correct number into each pack and it is currently being upgraded. They will be 'sharing full details of your experience directly with teams working on the production line'." "Complain to Waitrose now," suggested an entrepreneurial Twiglett, "they may send you vouchers for M&S."

Am I bring unreasonable to think my overweight sister-in-law is out of order for breaking my DD's £100 rocking horse? asked Bodybag, fuming at the aunty who was trying to interest her niece in the toy while "singing Ride a Cock Horse". "Do NOT let this woman sit on your child," advised Blu, who understood the dilemma: "I am constantly having to police DS's v. small wheelchair and crutches from huge men who think it will be fun to have a go." But the court of Mumsnet voted heavily in favour of the jolly aunty, with Twinsetandpearls warning that Bodybag had got off lightly: "If you called me a ten tonne Tess I would take great delight in breaking your horse and then rubbing the sweat from my chafing thighs over the remains."

After a row about class on the latest Jamie Oliver thread, NotCod wanted to know who had proper working class grandparents, offering "ten points for use of the word Nana". Megglevache admitted to being ashamed of her shack-dwelling grandparents: "The cows lived downstairs so that they would be nice and warm and in the middle of the night you could hear them pooing and peeing (do you know how loud that is at 3am?)" MrsMattie revealed her grandad was a hedgecutter who cycled around the back lanes of rural Ireland, "but was really running errands for the IRA". WhirlingStirlin's Nana had the official job title of 'Knocker-Upper': "She made sure people got up for work at t'mill every morning by walking down the streets and banging on people's bedroom windows with a big stick." Sadly, she was widowed when her children were young, and from then on "her money went on chips for dinner every night and a few glasses of stout for her". If only she'd met Jamie Oliver.

MORNINGPAPER XXX

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