‘I’ve been waiting for this for so long!’ my grandpa squealed, rubbing his knobby hands together. ‘This was a dream your grandma and I talked about way back, into the sixties!’
‘Really?’ I frowned, stepping out of the way as a contractor edged back into the bathroom. ‘I didn’t expect you to take this so well.’
‘Why would I take it badly?’ he asked, seeming genuinely puzzled. ‘This is what I’ve been waiting for!’
‘A company specialising in bathtub modifications?’ I said. ‘Sorry, sorry,’ I walked it back quickly. ‘It’s your bathtub when you’re using it.’
‘Too right,’ he said with a warning waggle of his finger. ‘I appreciate you letting me live here with you and your missus, but a man needs something to call his own.’
‘Right,’ I said with a sigh. Somewhere in the bathroom, I heard a circular saw start up.
‘You two are going to love it too,’ he said with a chuckle. ‘It’ll make life easier for you as well.’
‘We don’t need a cutout to get out of the bath,’ I sighed. ‘Our backs work just fine.’
‘Well, sure, now they do,’ he laughed again. ‘Just wait – it happens sooner than you think!’
‘Right, Gramps,’ I said, suppressing an eye-roll. ‘It’s a revolutionary idea.’
‘It is!’ he insisted. ‘You just wait, people will be crying out for a bathtub cut out for elderly people, near Sydney especially. You people spend so much time in traffic,’ he shook his head. ‘Takes its toll.’
‘Right,’ I repeated, failing to suppress the eye-roll this time. ‘Look, as long as you’re happy, I’m happy. Are you happy?’
‘Oh yes I am,’ he said, eyes sparkling again. ‘Your grandma would be so jealous she’s missing this!’
‘She’s just at the shops,’ I frowned. ‘We could wait for—’
‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ he snapped. ‘She knew what today was!’
I raised an eyebrow, and slowly backed away from the very strange man I was related to.