Thursday, June 21, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on June 26th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 16 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 16

A game of thrones

Reservations required at her house


Atop a hill overlooking the Sea Pacifica in the land of the grand arroyo lies Castle Waterman where lives the Brit Lord of the Soccer Channel and his young grandson, Britween. The Lady Ariel, queen of this domain, is caught in a mad power struggle with these two as they each vie for their right to the recliner, the sofa, and the Porcelain Seat of Peace and Quiet in A Game of Thrones.

Sounds impressive, huh? Well, it isn’t. It’s reality, friends, when you have a bladder the size of a pea (pun intended!) and have to share a bathroom with a 72-year-old husband, his enlarged prostate, and a growing pre-teen boy.

Everyone has their favorite spot in the house. TV sitcom’s Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory has his, and woe to anyone who unknowingly sits in his seat on the sofa. “You’re in my spot,” he chides.

Even one of the knights of King Arthur’s round table had a special chair—the Siege Perilous—where none dare sit but Sir Galahad. A Siege Perilous exists in our house—in fact we have two of them, one in each bathroom. More about this in a moment.

We don’t own a full-size sofa because the living room is simply not large enough. Our floor plan is an L-shape, with the living room at the shorter end while the entryway flows straight into the dining area. I call it the floor plan from L. The largest piece of furniture that will fit our living room is a love seat, one of the most coveted seats in the house outside of the bathroom.

Now you would think a piece of furniture called a love seat would promote warm, fuzzy feelings. Our last love seat came with an ottoman wide enough for one person to elevate their legs. That person is the Brit, who reigns supreme over the Ottoman Empire as he shouts down the competition to his sacred soccer team, Arsenal, every weekend during the football (Brit-speak for soccer) season.

God help the benighted lady of the manor who tries to sneak a peak at Project Runway during soccer season. “You’re in my spot,” has become the motto in this house.

Our former love seat was chosen especially by the Brit, as was its matching club chair, which still holds a place of honor in our study. That is also where the second telly (Brit-speak for television) is located. The president of the club chair is Britween who regularly convenes meetings every weekend with the Nickelodeon network.

When we married and I moved into the Brit’s (now our) home, the living room from L was filled with an ’ellish, 1980s, teal and mauve sofa and matching love seat. It was like having the Queen Mary II and a tugboat docked in the middle of the house. I gently persuaded the husband to replace these relics and he fell, literally, onto a showroom love seat with plump, down-filled cushions. It was love seat at first sight as he nestled into the thing and refused to come out unless he could take it home with him.

I hated that love seat. The down cushions would never keep their shape, sagging and sliding down. They really did get me down. So last week I replaced it with a new and improved love seat. This tawny beauty is solid, firm, yet soft in all the right places, kind of like Javier Bardem! Plus, no need for an ottoman because both sides recline. That’s right! I defeated the Ottoman Empire with a love seat that truly deserves the name. Now both of my men recline together and snuggle as they armchair coach the Arsenal Football Club. Hubby and I also now cuddle together each evening as we watch our favorite shows. Our new love seat has proved to be better and cheaper than any marriage counselor!

But there are still two thrones in our castle more coveted than any other, the aforementioned Sieges Perilous! One of those domains is in the sacred master bathroom. It is here where the master of the house ruminates over the daily news, which can take awhile.

The other Siege Perilous is located in the hall bath, which also serves as Britween’s bathroom because of its close location to the chaotic no-man’s land of Mordor, um, I mean his bedroom. This smaller bathroom has become a domain of contention when Britween takes it over for what seems like hours at a time.

“Bloody hell,” the Brit bellows. “What are you doing in there?”

“Going to the bathroom,” cries Britween. “Do you mind?”

“Honey, are you all right? Do you need to eat some prunes?” calls his loving grandmother.

 “Nooo! I’m fine!” comes the exasperated answer. “Can I just go in peace, please?”

 Not in my domain, laddie. This is my chance to get even. You see, both thrones are appropriately named the Sieges Perilous because of the dangers they pose to the gracious lady of the land—that would be me. The thrones must frequently be polished (actually scoured) due to the lousy aim of the lord and lordling in our castle. Often the seat is left up, occasionally resulting in an unhappy surprise in the dead of night for this damsel in distress.

It is during such dark (and damp) moments that I recall what it was like to be the sole queen of my castle. No competition for a comfy seat in front of the TV, no waiting with knees clenched for a bathroom break, and no one shouting my name for imaginary emergencies while I held court from my throne.

I remember well how, when living in Pasadena, the Northridge Earthquake hit just as I had sat down for my early morning relief. The whole place shook violently for what seemed like an eternity. My throne had truly become the Siege Perilous!

All I could do was pray, “Please, dear God, don’t let me be buried alive while sitting here!” I thought of how the authorities would eventually find me, having literally “passed on.” But then I realized, what better way for a queen to go than while seated on her throne? Long live the Queen! 

Ariel Waterman may be the queen of her castle, but her editor, Ryan Miller, is master editor of his domain. All may hail him at

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