The spare room is now officially known as New Man's room, as he stays over most weekends. This morning I didn't stir from my room until I heard him come out of the bathroom, and then I went to have my shower, only to find that my towel was wet.
The following conversation ensued once I'd got dressed and joined him in the kitchen:
Me: "Did I ever tell you about the time my mother stabbed my brother?"
New Man: "Not that I recall. Why do you want to tell me about it now?"
Me: "Because the reason she stabbed him was because he used someone else's towel."
New Man doesn't always pick up on subtle hints, but I think he got this one!
The story is true. My second brother never used to use his own towel when we were growing up, but would always grab the nearest one. At the age of eight, he had impetigo, and my mother warned him again and again that he MUST use only his own towel, because impetigo was so contagious and she didn't want the whole family to get it.
In the house we were living in at the time, the kitchen table was next to the door. My mother was chopping vegetables at the table one evening when my brother wandered downstairs after his bath. She looked up to see him coming into the kitchen, wrapped in someone else's towel.
Throwing the knife down on the table, she exclaimed, "How many times have I told you not to use other people's towels?" ... and then watched in horror as the knife slid all the way across the table and sank, quivering, into his arm.
Of course, my mother has never been allowed to forget it. And hopefully New Man won't forget the real moral of the story either.