Bob, the father of the family is currently licking every last inch of choc ice from the wrapper, occasionally pausing to do up the buttons on his jeans again. He reminds me a bit of that man off the telly – you know that documentary, ‘The Royle Family’ I think it’s called. Although to be fair to Bob, he’s not quite as lazy as Jim. He actually goes to the fridge to get his own beer!
Diane is my favourite. She’s married to Bob – although she frequently tells him she isn’t sure how legal that ceremony in Vegas actually was, and anyway, "In this bloody house you’d never find the paperwork to prove it!" Diane is a big fan of pizza, and the ‘Jane Fonda Workout’ which she still watches on VHS about once a month! I can recite it in my sleep now and so can Diane I presume, because reciting it is about as far as she ever gets!
I love her though. She is so kind, plumping me up when I get flat. Plumping me up and moving piles of stuff from one side of the room to the other, is her idea of housework! Well, apart from one week every month when she goes crazy and blitzes the place until everything shines. That’s when Bob says she ‘has the painters in’. I don’t know what he’s talking about, I haven’t seen any painters and the wallpaper in this room has been hanging off since I got here! Do wish they’d sort it. I have to look at it all day...!
Sometimes I let myself wonder what the rest of the house is like. I briefly saw the kitchen when Bob brought me here. Diane must have had her crazy week then because it was immaculate – apart from the cupboard doors falling off their hinges and that massive stain on the lino. I wonder if Bob’s fixed those doors yet? Doubtful!
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the family. Maxine in sixteen and I don’t think she likes her Dad much.The fact he always calls her ‘Maxi Pad’ might have something to do with that! Technically I'm Max's – I was a birthday present you see, brought her long before she started wearing black and grumping around the place. Bob told Diane I was from Argos...the local library is more like it! I had a nice spot in the children’s corner where I could look at books all day. Bob and that dodgy mate of his were painting some walls there...Shame he can’t do some decorating in his own house isn't it?!
Anyway, the next thing I knew I was in the back of a pick-up truck! Imagine that, ME...with my beautiful orange velvet like skin, suddenly slung in the back of a dirty pick up - I was mortified!
When I got here, Max would sit on me and play with a doll called ‘Rainbow Bright’. Other days she would spend ages trying to make me flat so that she could lie down. I was appalled - I presumed she had a bed upstairs! At least Diane understands what I'm meant to be –plumped up and bouncy. Maxine ignores me now or throws her coat at me. Oh, and there was that time a few months ago when she came in from a night out with her friends and nearly vomited ‘Sambuca shots’ all over me! Luckily she made it to the kitchen sink in time, or I might never have recovered!
So you see, most things I can handle, most things that is... except Basil. Oh, don’t! The very thought of him makes my velvet crawl. Basil is a boxer apparently. I was confused at first, thinking that boxers were usually a ring with gloves on. Bob watches them sometimes and Diane will leave the room saying if she wanted to see grown men belt each other, she could just "go down the Lion on a Saturday night!"
No, boxers have four legs and fur too.
My life was fun before HE came! There was always something going on, people in and out, and the family are great at making me laugh. You might have guessed that I can deal with most things....even the day I saw Diane starkers after she left her bath towel down here by mistake. THAT took me a bit of getting over, but get over it I did.
Now however, I am Basil’s BED!
Morning usually finds my once beautiful velvet covered in large patches of doggy drool, or I wake gassed by one of his...smells! To be honest, I'm not sure the dog is responsible for all the smells...I have my suspicions that Bob might have ‘created’ some of them himself. At least he doesn't say "pull my finger" any more before he lets one go! He hasn't done that since Maxine threatened to leave home if he did it in front of her friends again.
Where that creature is concerned, I think I've been rather saintly. I've even learnt to politely look the other when Basil puts his leg in the air and begins cleaning himself! In the last few months though, I have reached the end of my tether, and I actually fear for my life. As his dreams get more vivid, the dog has become dangerous. It is not unusual lately for me to find myself almost torn by his claws. More and more holes are appearing in my velvet and the tiny white ‘beans’ that comprise my insides are slowly spilling on to the carpet! I'm quite sure that once or twice some of my innards have become part of that animal’s breakfast! Well, I hope he chokes on them!
The thing is I'm not sure how long I can go on for. Diane can’t operate on me forever... picking pieces of me up off the floor-a stitch here and a stitch there. I'm a beanbag...Get me out of here...now!