Carry on Budapest
There's an old man standing in our flat in his underpants.
It's our neighbour. He rang the doorbell a few moments ago and when I opened it the scantily clad gent invited himself in. He’s trying to say something to me in English, but struggling to find the words. I think he’s asking if the noise from a neighbouring flat is bothering us, but to be honest, the only thing that’s bothering me at this precise moment in time is the old man standing in my flat in just his underpants and an open, extravagantly multi-coloured overcoat. He looks like Joseph from Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, if Joseph had recently divorced, lost his job and then turned to the bottle for comfort.
“Maybe, best if I speak to Zsuzsa?” he says. “I struggle for the English”.
Zsuzsa, you may well remember, is the artist formerly known as 'wife'.
“Zsuzsa!” I bellow. "Our neighbour is standing in our flat in just his pants. Help me!" I want to add.
Then I remember. Zsuzsa is in her underwear in our spare bedroom and our spare bedroom is only a few yards away from our erotically dressed neighbour. She’s trapped! I block our neighbour’s path to prevent him getting an eyeful of wife while I try and work out a plan. Moments later though and Zsuzsa confidently appears. She’s wearing a large ski jacket (the only thing to hand). She walks up to our neighbour and I leave them to it. Just two people having a chat about a nearby, Austrian oboe player. One wearing saggy white underpants and a coat made from the skin of butchered teletubbies, and the other a ski jacket in a sweltering hot flat.
I then have an idea. This morning we read that Mila is now at the age where she should begin to laugh. On reading this we spent the day tickling her feet, doing silly dances, flaring our nostrils and making funny noises. Alas we haven't even managed to raise so much as a snigger. We're disappointed, but also relieved that this means that Mila probably isn't a Daily Star reader. But maybe the unusual sight of an old man in pants will make Mila giggle! I fetch our baby girl and show her the old man in pants. Mila just stares at him and frowns.
The following morning and Zsuzsa has left me alone with our sleeping cub. I’m very proud of myself as I’ve been ultra productive while Mila sleeps. I’ve been beavering away with a work project and I’ve also done some rigorous exercise.
I’m about to jump in the shower when I hear something. A baby cry. Fudgenuts! I eventually decide to solve this crying baby, stinky body conundrum by bringing Mila’s play mat into the bathroom so that I can keep an eye on her while I shower. I plonk Mila down on the floor, switch on the shower, let my dressing gown drop and I’m about to step in to the steamy hot water when I hear a noise that I haven’t heard before. It’s a laugh. A baby laugh. My baby’s laugh.
I turn to Mila to see what on earth could be so funny. What could it be? One of her cuddly toys? A strange sound? Has she just discovered her own feet? None of the above. It’s Daddy’s ‘bits’. She has suddenly decided that Daddy’s ‘bits’ are hilarious. Brilliant.
“Ok, Mila. You can stop your giggling now.”
But Mila is having none of it. Her little baby face is contorted with hilarity. It’s apparently the funniest thing that she’s ever seen in all of her nine weeks on Earth.
I point my baby in the other direction, continue with my self conscious shower and reminisce about those halcyon days before Mila learnt to laugh.