Life & Style | Relationships

Professor Tufflov: Coping with divorce

Our resident agony uncle with a heart of stone

  • alpha magazine
  • Published: 10:21 February 12, 2013
  • alpha

Professor Tufflov
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Professor Tufflov.

Dear Professor,
I got divorced a few years ago – a traumatic experience that left me a withdrawn, empty shell of a man. For almost a year, I found it hard to face the world and spent my free time watching TV box sets in a darkened room in my villa and gorging myself on Pringles. But then things started to look up.

Six months ago, I won a car in a raffle and sold it to pay for a holiday on a cruise ship. While there, I met a glamorous and sexually enticing cabaret singer called Raquelle and we had some lovely chats on the moonlit deck. I would regularly accompany her outside whenever she needed a cigarette, and entertain her with ribald anecdotes.

When the cruise ended, we kept in touch, and then she contacted me to say she was coming to Dubai to seek work and could she stay at my villa? I agreed without hesitation. I was delighted by the prospect of her falling deeply in love with me. That is, until she turned up at the airport with her husband in tow. I had no idea she was even married.

Anyway, Raquelle and Vernon have been staying at my place for a month now, with no prospect of them leaving. They’re perfectly friendly to me, but the novelty of having a bit of company has worn off and I am no longer attracted to Raquelle (especially since I found out that she wears dentures and is on her seventh marriage). How can I get them to leave?

Raquelle and Vernon have clearly outstayed their welcome, but they seem blissfully unaware of it, eating all your food, hogging the bathroom and sending your utility bills through the roof. I once shared a poky Moscow flat with a penniless poet who had an alarming aversion to hygiene and hard graft, so I know what it’s like to carry someone financially.

As for how to get them out of your flat, get yourself a strong padlock and barricade yourself in your room with several weeks’ food supply and plenty of warm blankets. Sell (or padlock) your fridge, clear the food cupboards and turn the A/C up full blast at all times. A combination of starvation and the sub-Siberian chill pervading the villa will send these parasites fleeing from your home faster than terrified monkeys from an Amazonian forest fire. And that’ll put the kibosh on their free-loading Dubai adventure.

Next time, Jacob, never trust anyone who works on a cruise ship. In my experience they’re always on the run from some kind of personal turmoil – or the law. And keep away from those Pringles, y’hear!

Dear Professor,
I’m about to take possession of a brand-new sports car that my dad has bought me for my 25th birthday, but I’m suddenly having doubts about whether I’ve chosen a good colour. It’s day-glo orange. What do you think, cool or fool?
Ali D

You ask whether you’ve chosen a “good” colour. The answer, Ali my friend, is an emphatic yes. Orange is a very good colour indeed. Good for advertising a children’s fizzy drink brand. Good if you get lost in the Sahara Desert and need to be spotted by search and rescue helicopters. Good, also, for rocket-launcher target practice for short-sighted soldiers. For anything else, it’s a ludicrous choice that betrays a woeful lack of taste. Go for brown instead, the colour of that foul-smelling, sticky stuff you have in your head instead of a brain. And yes, you are a complete and utter fool, and as far removed from any notion of cool as Pluto is from the core of the sun.

Dear Professor,
My father has started dating again, 12 years after my mother passed away. I’m happy for him, but he’s started asking me for dating tips. I’m his son and I don’t feel comfortable getting involved with his love life. How can I explain this to him without hurting his feelings? Surely he can just Google stuff like this?

Remember when you were a boy, Prashad, and your father told you about the birds and the bees? He probably agonised for days over the matter, wincing with embarrassment as he drew diagrams of sticks and holes. Well, now the roles have been reversed and it’s your duty to sweat it out as you fill him in about dating in the 21st century. As a man of a certain age, and one who’s not completely unfamiliar with the opposite sex, he’ll just need a quick refresher. For example: Old Spice hasn’t been the scent of seduction since the Seventies; men are no longer required to pay the whole restaurant bill and feminism isn’t just practised by butch-looking women in dungarees. As for your Google remark, why don’t we just revert to Google for everything? How to raise a child, how to blow your nose... In fact, why should humans teach their children anything at all? Just stick them in front of a computer...

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