The Situation

by An Ordinary Man (the novel)

“Liz was angry, but Richard wasn’t, which would give him the upper hand if he wanted to turn this into a fight. It wasn’t that Richard ever really wanted to fight with Liz but that The Situation, as he had come to refer to it as, left him in a constant state of irritation and annoyance with her, like the bull with banderillas in its shoulders.”


banderillas: A decorated barbed dart that is thrust into the bull’s neck or shoulder muscles by a banderillero in a bullfight (
Some say their use is to keep the bull provoked, others to fatigue it through loss of blood, and others to impair the use of its neck muscles.  Obviously, using them to describe Richard’s state of mind is hyperbolic.