Saturday, 5 March 2011

In Which The Insecure Maladjusted Child Of A Broken Home Escapes A Fate Worse Than Death.

Mum phones in the morning, while Max is cooking breakfast, and I'm listening to Dad telling me how he'd run the country if he were *PM. (Thank God he isn't, that's all I can say.)

"Ah, Molly, dear. I just wondered if you'd like to bring your father round for coffee?" she says.

"No," I say. "Of course I wouldn't."

"Oh," says Mum, before falling silent for all of a minute. She must be re-grouping, because then she says,

"Why not?"

"Because," I say, with a very hefty sigh, " I can't think of anything worse than having to sit there listening to you and Dad making polite conversation, while poor old Ted squirms and tries to look as if he isn't uncomfortable in the presence of his wife's former husband. I am a grown-up now, and so I don't have to put myself through that any more."

Mum goes quiet again, but now Dad's waving at me to get my attention.

"What?" I say, or rather, hiss. "I'm talking to Mum. Can't it wait?"

"Put me on to her," he says, before grabbing the receiver out of my hand.

I walk off in disgust and go outside to smoke three cigarettes in a row, while contemplating my continuing status as the maladjusted child of a broken home.

Don't Mum and Dad realise how lucky they are that I've got a degree, and that I don't go around mugging people - when all the statistics show that I'm much more likely to do so than people whose parents haven't divorced? Isn't that enough for them?

Obviously it isn't, as Dad still seems to be on the phone when I walk back into the house. No-one takes a blind bit of notice of anything I say.

"Oh," he says. "Well, if you think you might have a cold coming on, then maybe it would be best if I didn't come round. I have just had major surgery, after all."

Blimey - something's obviously happened to change Mum's mind. She sounded perfectly all right when I spoke to her.

I wait until Dad rings off, and then ask him what is going on.

"Oh, your mother's not well," he says. "Nasty coughing fit she had while I was chatting to her. Shame I can't go for coffee, though - especially when I'd just offered to show her all my pictures of Thailand, and of Porn-Poon, too."

It seems that, while Dad might not be up to the job of PM, Mum'd be a natural. That U-turn was worthy of Cameron at his best.

*PM - Prime Minister, a job that every single member of my family - not to mention a considerable number of constituents - believe that they could do far better than the PM himself. Or herself, for that matter, this being a rather long-standing problem.

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