Mind control!

Well the trip to the zoo has seriously backfired. The kids enjoyed it immensely and now have a list of things they would like to do during half-term. I didn’t expect this to happen, this is serious! I was thoroughly stressed out the entire time. Normally days out have been curtailed by a tearful disagreement over who has which flavour ice lolly but this never happened. The kids seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves. The wife was smiling gleefully throughout the entire day like we were no longer a thoroughly dysfunctional family. She seems to be under the impression that I am a reformed character intent on being a good father who is preoccupied with healthy family based excursions. All I’ve done is give up smoking and drinking I haven’t been reprogrammed by MI5!

So there goes all the money I have so far saved from giving up smoking. The wife has gone and mentioned the Hawk Conservancy and falconry centre to one of the boys who has gone ape shit crazy about it. He loves the idea and has gone and told his teacher and friends all about it. So that’s that then, I have no idea how I’m getting out of that one. Basically I’ll have to drive 3 hours to a medium security bird prison staffed by alcoholic former stage actors dressed as Tudor noblemen. I’m not even sure I could depart from what dignity I have left to dress up like that. There’s a limit to just how fun this can be. I had no idea that giving up smoking would carry this level of responsibility!

Drunk Panda!

Well it’s nearly been a whole month, this is the longest I haven’t smoked for for as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure I started when I was about oh I dunno, 12 maybe. Incidentally that’s pretty much when I started all my unhealthy pastimes including drinking, dodging any sort of physical exertion – especially work – and generally adopting an attitude of contempt towards any kind of authority especially people telling me whats good for my health. Well all that has changed. I’m very positive today as I approach the weekend and I’m thinking of taking the family out somewhere for a day trip. They really won’t be expecting that one!

Up until now I was dreading the weekends as I had to come up with imaginative excuses as to why I wasn’t attending the pub. It’s the pub strangely enough that has given me an idea of where to take the family. I’m going to take them to the zoo! I haven’t been to the zoo for years and I’ve never taken the family. The pub isn’t that far removed from a sort of human zoo. There are some of the rarest endangered humans on the planet in there. There’s the worlds reddest man, the two oldest looking middle-aged women on the planet and a girl who can sustain an argument with her boyfriend for 39 hours without needing any food or sleep.

I have spent hours in there like a sort of amateur anthropologist observing specimens like Dinky the 29 stone Glaswegian rail worker who uses a unique language to communicate with bar staff. He is always in there and resembles a big fat drunk panda. Technically he is not in captivity, he chooses not to leave! He just continues with his instinctive behaviour of drinking cheap beer and growling incoherently. This is his natural habitat, a cavernous, eerily quiet pub occasionally interrupted by the grunts and squeals of other pairs of humans performing drunken courtship rituals. I think it’s important that we preserve endangered species for future generations. Hopefully I’ll be taken off the endangered list soon!