‘I’m just saying,’ the queen sighed, exasperated. ‘I’m just saying, I don’t know what was wrong with the old one.’
‘It was very out of season,’ her husband replied, leaning against a half-finished sink and flicking through a catalogue.
‘It was a toilet.’
‘It was last season’s toilet,’ he rolled his eyes, slamming the parchment shut. ‘I thought you understood fashion?’
The queen’s eyes settled into their familiar glare, her fists clenching as she resisted the urge to throw a tile sample at him as he held up curtain swatches against the shower.
‘And what are these?’ she finally asked, picking up one of the samples.
‘New tiles for the guest bathroom,’ he said without looking up. ‘All the best bathroom renovations around Melbourne have been using those this year.’
‘All the best…’ the queen glanced around the room, checking if there were servants hiding behind the door, ready to jump out and laugh at her. When none appeared, she turned back to her husband.
‘You need to stop,’ she said firmly. ‘This obsession has gone on long enough.’
‘Oh, dear,’ he chuckled. ‘Don’t be ridiculous.’
‘Ridiculous?’ she scoffed. ‘Says the man with the marble bath!’
‘It’s only marble-lined,’ he muttered.
‘And tell me,’ she continued, on a roll. ‘Tell me, just how much will this bathroom renovation cost?’
He pointed to a scrap of paper underneath a tile, with a number scratched into it. The queen picked it up, frowning. Her eyes widened.
‘A single tile!’ she hollered. ‘We’re paying this much for a single tile!’
He shook his head, unfazed. ‘Whole thing.’
‘That number,’ he said, gesturing around the unfinished room. ‘That’s the whole thing.’
‘But–but, but that’s… that’s quite reasonable?’
‘You sound surprised,’ he said, squinting at the curtain samples.
‘Of course, I’m surprised,’ she snapped. ‘A second ago we were talking about a fashionable toilet! And for God’s sake Harold, go with the roses, they’ll be pleasant in spring and refreshing in winter!’
He nodded approvingly, dropping the other contending curtain to the ground.
‘Now,’ he turned back to her… ‘was that a yes on the toilet?’