“I know! Let’s go on a picnic!”
“Not so loud,” groaned Ron from the sofa.
He’d been on that sofa when I went to bed at two in the morning. Now I thought about it, he’d been on it when the first guys turned up with a stack of takeaway pizzas at six last night, and only left it if he couldn’t find anything alcoholic within easy reach.
“A picnic’s just the thing for a hangover.” Caroline, I was learning, was a morning person.
“Don’t you think so?” She turned to me.
“Eh, what?” I am not a morning person. “OK, why not? We’ve still got some of the red wine left, haven’t we?”
Ron groaned louder, pressing his hand to his head as if trying to contain his swollen brain. Caroline and I looked at him.
“Don’t mention that stuff,” said Ron. “I’m never going to drink again.”
“It’s not about wine,” said Caroline. “It’s about being outdoors, in the sunshine. Simple food. Sitting on a blanket. Trees.”
“Plastic wineglasses,” I said, eliciting a satisfying groan from Ron.
If Caroline was going the be the exuberant one and Ron was going to be the party animal, I may as well step into the sardonic-shaped vacancy in the house.
I raised an eyebrow at her, hoping it looked sardonic.
“Well, why not?” she asked. “Fresh air, sunshine and marmalade sandwiches. Just what Ron needs.”
“I never want to see daylight again,” said Ron.
That was my cue to throw open the curtains.
Ron hunkered even lower on the sofa. “I can feel the sunburn already.”
“You can’t get sunburned through glass,” I said sardonically.
“I can,” said Ron who was too hung over to distinguish sardonic from pedantic.
“I’ve got a basket,” said Caroline, “so let’s make some sandwiches.”
“You mentioned trees,” I said.
“Yes. Willow trees,” said Caroline.
“Where there are trees, there are wasps,” I said.
“No there aren’t. Don’t be silly.”
“And there will be ants.” It was the most eloquent thing Ron had said all morning. Caroline and I looked at him, but he didn’t add a groan.
“And if there are willow trees, there must be a river,” I said. “And Ron will fall in.”
“That’s true,” said Ron. “I always do. Even if the river’s tiny.”
Caroline looked between us and sighed. “Oh all right. We’ll go to McDonalds.”
I took that to mean sardonic was off to a good start.