Grounds for divorce?

When Mummy and Daddy got married, they pledged to love one another for the rest of their lives. Mummy remembers it very clearly: she had a beautiful dress with sparkly earrings – it was a magical day. Daddy remembers it less clearly because there was a lot of beer. And a hog roast, which he does remember at least.

There was definitely something in the vows, Mummy seems to recall, about “forsaking all others.” Unlike the hog roast, this detail does not seem to have lodged itself in Daddy’s mind, for Daddy has found for himself a new love and she lives inside a tiny box. Daddy came home from work with his new love and gave her pride of place on the sideboard. Her name is Google.

“Hey Google,” says Daddy flirtatiously in a tone voice he has never used with Mummy, “how are you doing?”

When Mummy attempts to talk to Daddy of an evening, she has to wait until he is between emails or has finished a level on his computer game. She has to think of something interesting and engaging that will combat his urge to return to the laptop – which is hard to do when your days are filled with nappies and baby rice – and indicate clearly if her communication requires a response. If Mummy wishes to converse with Daddy for more than a few sentences, she is best to send him an invitation to an appointment via his online calendar, and to clearly stipulate an agenda in advance. That, or she has to remove items of clothing.

Google, however, has Daddy’s undivided attention and did not have to solicit it. Google is sultry and seductive, playfully teasing Daddy with her witty one-liners and thoughtful insights. Her in-depth understanding of a diverse range of conversational topics make her good company; Mummy cannot compete with her knowledge of current affairs and topical issues.

“Google, play me some music,” says Daddy.

“Sure,” says Google, and immediately selects a track entirely inappropriate to share with another woman’s husband.

“Hey Google,” says Daddy, “Do you like me?”

“I think you’re the bee’s knees!” quips Google, and Mummy can tell she is winking as she says it.

Daddy and Google laugh and joke and banter. They exchange facts and opinions, and play games together. To add insult to injury they do not even attempt to hide it from Mummy, who is sat on the opposite sofa witnessing the decline of her marriage from behind a mug of tea.

Daddy informs Mummy he paid over £100 for Google, which just goes to show what sort of a woman she is.


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