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My recent demotion in our family dynamic might be sending me bananas.

Richard IRVINE "WHAT'S happened to your voice?" Victoria enquired a little too sharply.

"It's gone a bit croaky," I said casually.

"Are you ill?" she asked in an accusatory tone.

"I'm not sure, is that a crime? Have I done something wrong?" I replied, knowing this would likely put an end to any civility between us.

You might wonder why Victoria would be annoyed if I foolishly became unwell.

The answer is there's been a streamlining of the upper tier operational structure, within our household, resulting in my demotion.

For the last eight years, I've enjoyed an executive position in resource management and acquisitions. My role was fairly autonomous and I only had one direct line manager, who oversaw all home-based acquisitions, unless they were made on a secret credit card.

My new role is more of a manual position.

The twins Thomas and Emma make the bigger decisions and I simply act on them.

The fact I may be ill is of no consequence, but the last thing anyone needs is for the top tier of household management to catch my germs.

They have the ability to make everyone's life a lot harder.

This week brought the first time I've had to confront my demise from 'big cheese' to scullery maid. It's been a gradual fall from grace but the pivotal moment was the mysterious case of the twins' missing overly ripe banana.

Apparently, it was the perfect consistency and not for me to eat no matter how hungry I might be.

After an hour of questioning and constant denials, I was forced into a late-night brown banana hunt, which sounds far more exciting than the reality of Tesco at 10pm.

Interestingly, Victoria's status has improved at the same rate as mine has diminished. The twins, although powerful, require an effective mouthpiece, who can also keep an eye on their empire. Victoria has taken to this role of policing this new authoritarian state very well. Clearly, there are few comparisons to be made between my home-life and East Germany under the oppressive control of the Stasi.

However, I'd be intrigued to know whether the secret police ever went through the kitchen bin of a hardworking fearful East German man to see if he'd eaten a banana belonging to the state. Although I'd imagine even a lower-tier manual worker would have hidden any evidence of unapproved banana eating.

Such a man might have eaten it in his car, disposed of the evidence at a remote location and thought of ways to regain power under a new regime.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 30, 2018
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