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Scan Magazine  |  Humour  |  Columns

IS IT JUST ME…

By Mette Lisby

Who gets nervous when my spouse makes announcements in the vein of: “What? The kitchen sink is clogged? Ha! I can easily fix that myself.” Statements like that fill me with horror. It’s right up there with: “And after dessert, our little Alex will play a concerto on his trombone!” My otherwise capable husband completely changes personality when things break around our house. He becomes the ‘I-can-fix-it’ guy from hell. Before the days of the internet, he would look at the sink, poke a couple of pipes underneath it, make me get the spanner, and say something like: “Well, it must be the outdoor pipes. We might need a plumber.” That was the old days. Now there’s a bloody YouTube video that promises to walk you through the ‘43 easy steps to unclog your sink’. While my husband watches the video, I prepare myself. I hate to crush people’s dreams, but as a wife I feel it’s my duty. I mean, it’s just one of those things married people do for each other. So I try to convince him to do what every sane person would do: let somebody else fix it. However, at this

point the video has filled my husband with encouragement and a ‘can-do’ attitude that is very unfortunate and – as it turns out – indestructible. And so it begins: armed with (not factchecked, I might add) YouTube instructions and the boundless optimism that only an amateur handyman possesses, my husband enthusiastically embarks on his ‘fixing the sink’ mission. After a couple of hours (boy, time flies when you’re having fun!) the optimism fades. I vaguely start suggesting that now is the right time to call someone. Not that my husband can’t fix it – of course he can! He watched a video! It’s just – he might be expected to show up at his real job within the next couple of months, which is the time it would take him to repair the sink. So we call a plumber who fixes the sink within minutes while my husband sulks in the corner. I taped a video of this part of the DIY adventure – and I’m putting it on You-

Bread sauce My mother-in-law is an extraordinarily hospitable woman. Never is she more hospitable than around the time of Christmas, and most of all where Christmas food is concerned. I am from a background of – I want to say meat and two veg, but this would not be accurate – it’s more like meat and one veg. Not so in my in-laws’ home, and never so at Christmas. My mother in law – Mrs. N – gets up at 3am on Christmas Day to put the turkey in the oven, which is no mean feat seeing as she has been up serving Prosecco and nibbles until insane o’clock on Christmas Eve. Then the rest of the preparation gets underway, which is where I tend to attempt to help. I’m not a good cook, but I can peel and by God is there peeling to be done. Every vegetable known to man, with the swedes offering an obligatory seasonal snigger (a Swede peeling swedes – funny). Mrs. N

Tube, so I can play that for my husband the next time something is out of order. Feel free to share with your loved one. Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad

leaves me to it with vague instructions on how to make bread sauce. I Skype my sister in Sweden, asking her to google bread sauce and talk me through it. This causes her to pause over her cornflakes as she remembers it is Christmas. “Does bread sauce look like someone vomited in a pan…?” she asks, shaking her head at the strange, British tradition, while making a mental note to defrost some seasonal reindeer for later like a normal person.

shoots me the odd exasperated look (using a peeler and averaging at 30 seconds per spud, rather than a knife and two seconds) but kindly lets me get on with it and refills my breakfast glass with Cinzano. Come 11 o’clock I am drunk and bleeding. Mrs. N finds a last-minute panic and

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Issue 95  |  December 2016  |  115

Scan Magazine, Issue 95, December 2016  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish skiing ace Charlotte Kalla.