Godalming, England, and the regular violent arguments disfiguring a three-year affair between Quantity Surveyor Brian Aldermaston, and Harriet Spurgle, a Trainee Barrister, are one of the major factors in keeping them together, according to reports taken from the Surrey Advertiser. "It's quite ridiculous." Said lifelong friend of the pair and part-time pole dancer Susie Quartz. "Every time we got out in a group the night ends with the two of them hurling insults at each other and lowering their behaviour to the level of warring gorillas. Last week we went to watch some stand-up and Harriet got upset Bri didn't stick up for her when the comedian took the mickey out of her hair. To be fair to Brian he could hardly have matched this guy for quick-wittedness, but it was probably going a bit far to agree and tell Harriet she looked like a 'gypsy in a mullet' in front of everyone. They ended up wrestling in the bushes outside Jongleurs and Harriet only stopped clawing at his eyes when Brian grabbed a handful of her hair and started dragging her home by it. The rest of us stood around waiting for the barney to blow over like it always does, but they're so embarrassing. Especially with people watching and giving running commentaries to mates on their mobiles. When I heard sirens I decided to leave them to it and get a kebab with extra chilli sauce, but I still felt guilty. Then I saw Harriet two days later and it was as if nothing had happened. What kind of ridiculous relationship is that?" Statistics on the pair which HDUK obtained yesterday from Mori make shocking reading. Over the thirty seven months they've been living together Brian and Harriet have destroyed several thousand pounds of household goods, generated half a dozen domestic disorder complaints and threatened to kill each other eighty six times. Yet they remain a couple and even plan their long-term future together, having recently put a deposit on a house outside Shalford and selected a high-interest joint bank account. So what's the secret of their success? Why does a psychopathic union like this last when people who seem like they're made for each other break up every week? And how could a couple in their late twenties remain such a close unit if most people back off in horror within a few hours of meeting them? We at Home Defence decided to investigate and paid a visit to the couple's current abode, a mock-Elizabethan flat in Godalming's leafy Boegswah district.
Upon arrival we found Harriet hoovering up the remains of a glass ashtray while Brian held a frozen piece of meat to what looked like a fresh black eye. On seeing us at the window they became unfailingly chipper, welcoming Home Defence with open arms and flushed cheeks. In fact it wasn't long before Brian confided to us that their recent altercation had led directly to "the most amazing make-up sex".
"That's what people can't understand," agreed Harriet, exchanging the rapidly defrosting joint of pork for a bag of peas on the face of her lover. "It's all part of the same thing when you're in love, you just have to take the ups with the downs. Our neighbours aren't such big fans of it, sure, but Bri sealed up those holes I made in the wall and bought them some flowers and everything was alright again. What you have to understand is that a real relationship between adults won't always be sweetness and light."
"Exactly my love, I completely agree with you there," concurred Brian before trying to glue together pieces of a vase his parents bought Harriet for her last birthday. "Any relationship counsellor will tell you it's healthy to express the malice and loathing we occasionally feel for those we're in love with. Don't bottle it up all the time. Wasn't it those famous philosophers, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, who once said: Love ain't like the movies, it blisters and bruises? Everyone goes through difficulties, but I've found that romance cures hurt and wounds always heal. Particularly if you've got private healthcare like we do."
Yet according to acquaintances of the couple, this period of domestic harmony was nothing more
than an isolated afternoon. As Simon Cobbler, a colleague of Brian's from the office, observed: "I
can't believe you got off so lightly. My wife and I won't go round there anymore. We must have turned
down five dinner invitations and they still can't understand why. I'm sorry, but when the cursing starts I
don't know where to look. Although often the etiquette of the situation is a little irrelevant, I'm too busy
trying to protect my wife from flying crockery."
Indeed, word comes to us from within the Surrey Constabulary of an incident at the couple's home later
that same day, passers-by calling the police after being exposed to the sound of twenty cats trapped in
a barrel and the kind of language that could curdle milk. The official police line states that officers in attendance could do little, retreating nervously from the scene when the vehemence of the disagreement became apparent and radioing airborne forces for back up. Meanwhile Harriet held a bread knife against her boyfriend's throat in a failed attempt to make him apologise to the memory of her recently deceased mother.
As Susie Quartz puts it: "Other people's relationships are always a mystery, but something tells me this isn't a good mystery, it's more Murder In Suburbia than Agatha Christie. Call it woman's intuition, or the realisation what they call 'repartee' any normal person would consider slanderous quarrelling, but I can't see the point in the two of them continuing together. Then again, what Harriet and Bri have seems to work for them. Maybe it wouldn't be good for either to go out with someone normal, someone who didn't derive weird satisfaction from brutal fights.
"I always think; 'after last night there's no way this couple can stay together' but they don't even think about splitting up. Last time I phoned Harriet she was talking about marriage." Quartz paused for a moment to reflect. "As long as they don't have kids. God, can you imagine?"