On Saturday we had a lunch date with friends. And we were late.

I was thinking about how common an occurrence this is for us as i waited for Mrs P to get ready for another arranged get-together the following morning. This time we were meeting people for a walk.

It was 10.40am and we were already 10 minutes late.

Now obviously in the grand scheme of things our being a bit tardy is not going to affect the balance of world events. It may very well be I am the only person in the world who gets, shall we say, a bit irritated by not being on time.


I might need some sort of psychiatric help over why it bugs me as it does. Perhaps I'll make an appointment to go see someone. 10am tomorrow. I'll be there bang on time. Obviously.

So, anyway. I'm standing there at the front door twiddling my thumbs, jangling the car keys, shifting from one foot to the other and trying not to look irritated as Mrs P scurries round in the background organising whatever it is that's so vital she needs to be organising it now . . . minutes after we were supposed to be at our destination.

The thought crosses my mind that my beloved may, in fact, be doing this on purpose for a laugh. Basically to irritate me. Which ironically irritates me even more and results in my shifting from one foot to another starting to resemble the Irish jig of a man at the pub desperately waiting for a vacant urinal.

It occurs to me Mrs P may have worked out after years of us being late I have taken to telling her a false time each time we arrange to meet someone. As in this case. Our 10.30am meeting time is actually 11am. Perhaps her sisterhood have been in touch telepathically and made her aware of my deception.

It seems the loose attitude to time-keeping runs in our family, on one side at least. My prospective son-in-law has confirmed as such.

Last time he and the Boomerang Child were over we found ourselves alone at the front door, late for something or other, while we waited for the girls who seemed to be needlessly farting around in tandem.

Our scheduled departure time was long forgotten as us two blokes stood by the door, twiddling thumbs, jangling keys and basically trying not to look like we were auditioning for Riverdance.

"She's always late," he said with the resignation of a man who knows that's just the way it is and probably will be for ever and a day.


And as I said to him there's no point having a go when you're in the car later, speeding to your destination. The women of the world have the best comeback line for complaints about lateness.

"Do you think this just happens?" they say, displaying their preened-to-perfection appearance and throwing it back at you just daring you to fall into the trap.

It's hard to return a comment to that. However timidly offered to try and score a worthless point, its akin to suggesting they needn't have bothered spending the time. And even though they asked you five times if their bum looks big in those jeans and you said "No", what you really meant was "I don't care. Just get a move on. " And that of course leads to all sort of ongoing dramas.

Best just to drive, let your blood pressure subside and pretend there's no problem. And don't tap your spare foot impatiently. That's a giveaway.

Anyway. I guess its all really a matter of priorities isn't it?

I think Mrs P might have discovered that on Monday as she sat, growing increasingly irritated, in the car waiting for me to board for our drive to work.

"What have you been doing?," she asked as I finally got in. "I'm going to be late for work".
"I was watching the football on telly," I responded, kind of surprised she couldn't understand how important it was.

"Being a little bit late won't matter," I said reassuringly. "It is the World Cup after all".

■ Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to kevin.page@nzme.co.nz .