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A Man’s World Flatliners A matter of taste


DAVID FLATMAN compares two of life’s great pleasures – art and takeaway food . . .


Flatman household, opinions collide as Mrs F offers a ‘pros and cons’ list for food options from each different origin so comprehensive that, at times, I feel any protestation may reveal my lack of preparation and general ignorance. Last Sunday, her case for Thai food was so rounded


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– so complete – that there was nowhere for me to go. For the first time since agreeing to counter-sign the contract of marriage, I drove a wedge between us that seemed seismic in its arrival. “Right, you have Thai and I’ll go my own way, probably via China.” It was a bold move, and one that threatened the very bedrock on which our lives together were seated. But we made it. Despite the respective deliveries arriving almost 20 minutes apart, we ate together, both evangelising with every forkful of food consumed. If anything, it has strengthened the dynamic chez nous. However, attempts to roll this approach out into different areas of our life has been a road somewhat more rocky. Mrs F has a lot of art stacked up in a store room,


ready to be accurately hung by a better man than me. This problem is that I hate almost all of it. She, staggeringly, is willing to compromise (evidence of


rt is a lot like takeaway food, in my mind. I don’t mean that it’s often beautiful – though that may be so – I mean that it is entirely subjective as a choice. Come Sunday nights in the


takeaway-Sunday learnings), but I have almost nothing of my own to propose. Something in me – something pathetic – almost wants to buy something that I know she will not like, just to counter the unenjoyable pieces she will impose on my eye line for the next decade or so. That would be childish, though, so I will grow up. This is how pathetic I am: I opened my iPad last


week and Googled ‘cool art for my walls’. I spent a good half hour sliding through a zillion images of what somebody, somewhere, thought was cool. I hated all of it. So I am not cool. I decided to sit still and actually think about what,


given the choice, I would look at all day long on the lounge wall. Then I ran my top three choices past Mrs F. The first one was predictably inappropriate. The second one was met with an equally predictable reposte: “A car on the wall? No chance.” Option three, however, seemed to work. “I want a massive painting of a proud, ugly, beautiful bull,” I declared, and Mrs F seemed to get it. I kind of wanted an argument as I had my mental list ready, but none came. One of these days, I indeed aim to have a Joanne


Cope painting on my lounge wall. I also aim to have one of a filthy, green Land Rover hanging in the kitchen. I will sit and stare at it as I eat special fried rice and sweet and sour pork balls. At least I now feel confident that this meal will not be taken alone, even if she is eating dim sum beside me. It’s all about taste, and taste cannot ever be wrong. BL


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