Sunday mid-morning and I am standing at the kitchen counter in a domestic trance (peeling carrots, listening to the Archers Omnibus on the radio and not paying much attention to anything else) when I am rudely interrupted by a stinging swipe across my backside. The carrot and the peeler clatter on to the worktop as I wheel round.
“Ow, gerroff, Grenouille! I wish you would give over with this swatting my behind malarkey!”
G’s face is alive with unrepentant mischief. “It wasn’t me. It was the Invisible Man.”
“In a pig’s ear it was the Invisible Man, you wee monkey.”
“Have you seen him?”
“The Invisible Man.”
“Eh? Of course I haven’t seen the Invisible Man.”
“That proves it.”
“If you didn’t see him, it was the Invisible Man.”
Well, it’s at least as logical and convincing as some of the excuses I’ve been hearing elsewhere lately.