I heard this story over a pint of Thatcher's Cheddar Valley Cider in a charming village pub in the south of England. I can't swear to it's being a true story, but I can gladly assure you that it is true that it is a story.

A man’s wife planned a trip to the city for a day of shopping and lunch with her girlfriends. She left a “honey-do” list:

-Patch the leak in the roof

-Trim the hedges

-Fix the gate latch

Have a lovely day!

At ten, the wife dialed home from a payphone (this story takes place prior to the days when we all traipsed the globe with handheld space-satellite-projecting miracle machines). No answer.

“Hmm,” she thought to herself, “He must be on the roof.”

During lunch, she excused herself to call again. A second time her husband failed to answer.

“Perhaps he’s moved on to the hedges,” she thought with some delight.

At afternoon tea she rang a third time, to no avail.

“He must be fixing the latch.”

From the train station she phoned once more, but alas, again there was no answer. A flash of panic pierced her breast as her mind raced toward worst-case scenarios:

“What if he is hurt? What if he cut himself with the shears? What if he fell off the roof?”

She immediately phoned the village pub and asked the barkeeper to send someone to check on her husband’s wellbeing.

“Why, love?” the barkeeper asked. “He’s been sitting right here for some time.”

She clutched her chest and a long puff of air exited her lungs. Her relief was palpable, but her mind soon turned to the list of duties she had left. “May I speak with him, please?”

“Of course, love,” said the barkeeper, handing the phone to the woman’s spouse.


“Hello, darling,” said the wife cheerily.

“Hi,” answered her husband.

“How did the list go?”

“Not as well as I had planned,” came the besotted reply.

“No? What did you get done?”

“I had a lovely day.”