September 2008: Mr & Mrs Average-Cliché


I hope you don’t find this week’s few words boring. It’s just that I’ve been feeling that way lately ever since my new neighbours moved in. I am referring to Mr Cliché and Miss Average. Of course, they are now known as Mr and Mrs Average-Cliché. That is only to be expected.

They have been married a while and have two point four children. The two whole ones came at first. A boy, then a girl. The third Average-Cliché is a bit of a boy-girl combination. I haven’t quite had a good look at him or her or it, whatever, yet but when I do I’m sure I’ll figure it out with the help of a calculator.

I am unsure whether the point four is a vertical point four or a horizontal point four. In any case, it’s nearly a half, be it with one leg and arm, plus point four of a brain. Hopefully, it is a vertical point four as a point four child cut off just below or above the waist would be a distinctly disadvantaged child and not proper for a Average-Clichéd family at all, at all.

They all live in a two up, two down house. Nowadays, that probably means two bathrooms upstairs and two utility rooms downstairs. I don’t know as I have not been invited over there yet, which, if I may say so, is a bit average even for modern times. I’m a bit odd, you see, and probably wouldn’t fit in with Mr and Mrs Average-Cliché’s crowd.

They live just a stone’s throw away from me and if one of them decided to toss such a projectile in my direction, they would probably kill two birds with it when doing so. They’re that sort of couple, you see.

They use phrases like “It’ll be alright on the night” and then say they never go to the theatre. Or they say “not a bad day, is it?” when the rain is pelting down.


I meet them most mornings as they go out to work. One’s a teacher and the other’s a nurse. Or is it a civil servant? In any event, they both serve the public in some form or other, earning an average enough wage to keep them in good stead. At least I think so. There is the fact that he calls her the Better Half, which obviously means she’s either good at gambling or that he earns more than him. Perhaps it is the former, as I heard her praising him the other day as being the main Breadwinner. Then again this could mean that he is a bit of a Gordon Ramsay in the local baking contests.  It can be very disconcerting at times, the phrases they use.

They used to go out to the pub, but now I see them hauling in crates of wine from their car every Friday night. They invite their families over, and the place can be running amok with average men and clichéd woman until all hours. The Average intake of alcohol is 2 units per day. I discovered this by careful analysis of their bottle recycling habits.

They tell me that they go on a couple of holidays a year to The Usual Places, which must be a group of islands near the Canaries or somewhere.  I have this vision of all these Average relations, all 17.6 of them,  sitting around a barbeque in the Usual Places, sipping a unit of wine and dining on five portions of fruit and vegetables.  The lean meat they are grilling will be chicken, with portions no bigger than the palm of the Average hand.

The Average-Clichés are alright as neighbours really.  They never play music at odd times of the night. They get up, on average, between eight and eight fifteen every day. Except every second alternative Sunday when they have a lie in, before heading over to the Averages-in-law and Clichés-in-law for Sunday lunch of roast beef and roast potatoes.

So, all in all, I’m happy to have the Average-Clichés as neighbours. They have standards, you see. They may not be very high standards in many people’s eyes but they are very useful when I compare my own standard of life with theirs. I can gloat when I exceed their standards and worry when I fall below them. They may be boring but at least they’re consistently boring. And they have a funny way of looking at life which keeps me amused.

I bumped into the pair of them in the supermarket one Saturday while they were doing their Average shopping and, naturally enough, asked how they were. He said “Grand, can’t complain, no worries.”  Now such statements are fine and dandy for normal supermarket encounters except that it was obvious the man was in bother, what with him being in wheelchair with a broken leg and fractured arm. Apparently, he fell off the back of a lorry while flying his own kite in an effort to go with the flow. That’s what Mrs. Cliché told me anyhow and who am I to argue with her?



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