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Normally if someone asks me what I've been up to lately I'll say I've "been on a course".

The golfers among us will know this is our way of trying to sound like we are regularly upskilling on the education front when, in reality, it means we have been testing our patience and coordination skills by whacking a little white ball around a green paddock.

Lately though I've had occasion to investigate real education courses.

As you are aware, the redundancy axe fell courtesy of Covid-19 a while back and took out my main job so of late I've been looking at retraining options.

I spent a large part of last week reading up on what was available.


It was into this scene that Mrs P came home, shall we say "a bit tired", one day and asked what I'd been up to on the couch.

Now dear reader, before your brain goes charging off and you start to think I have been up to something inappropriate on said item of furniture, I should clarify I had spent an hour or two sitting in my favourite spot reading about online courses. That's all.

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But Mrs P was having none of it.

If I could make the couch that untidy and its coverings that dishevelled just by sitting on it I definitely needed to do a course, she said.

A "throw" course.

Now I have to point out when she first said it I was a little shocked. A "throw" course? Did this mean I was to be subjected to physical interaction and tossed around the room by my beloved, albeit irritated that I had apparently messed up her couch? Luckily not.

The "throw" course would involve tuition in the right way to place, tuck and fold a cover, or "throw", over the couch and would also involve a module on the correct positioning and "plumping up" of cushions.

For a moment I felt like vocalising the observation that the "throw" was actually just a flash blanket but the firmness of Mrs P's instruction coupled with regular mutterings like "how on earth do you mess it up like this" led me to believe discretion would be the better part of valour.

So for the next few minutes, I watched the Queen of Throw Preparation in action. I have to say it was a marvellous sight.

The throw was, er, thrown over the back of the couch, its pattern fitting neatly in line with the seat cushions at the front. It was carefully massaged in tightly at the back and the sides were caressed into place so the pattern flowed seamlessly.

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I held my breath throughout the performance, anxious not to move or make a sound. Actually, if I'm being truthful, I stayed quiet and still so I could check out her bum as she tucked the thing in. A work of art in itself, he says, both embarrassed to admit being a perv and proud of God's work in equal amounts.

But I digress.

Then we got on to the cushions. They needed to go up this way, not that and this one should be behind that one not the other way round.

I was too scared to say the fat one she regarded as her favourite, the one she complained I had somehow managed to flatten, was employed as a rest for my plate of beans on toast in front of the telly only a few hours earlier.

When it was all over the couch was looking a million dollars and, under instructions not to mess it up again, I opted to not risk it and sat on the floor.

I'm not too sure how long I'll be able to maintain this position though.

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Apparently the next course I have to go on covers vacuuming the carpet.

If, at the end of that one, I'm not allowed to sit on it anymore I might have to learn how to hang from the light shade.

• 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 via editor@whanganuichronicle.co.nz (Kevin Page in subject field) .