Monday, November 08, 2004


Today was my birthday. I am now 32. In Earth years.

However, if I lived on Mercury, besides being very hot and extremely suntanned, I would be 132 years old.

My birthday will not be remembered as a great success. History will not recall the grey sky that loomed over me and my dad as we plodded towards Tamworth in his BMW he is so proud of. He keeps alerting me to the fact that we are sat in his new BMW.

"How's your seat?"
"It's fine."
"It reclines..."
"It's okay."
"These seats, the engineering..."
My dad says this a lot about cars. He says "... the engineering..." and then his voice will trail of, as he contemplates a heavenly vision of serious men drawing and designing and making things.
He moans about the excessive noise generated by the low profile tires.
I sit there and tune out.

Where are we going on my birthday?

The Grim Housing Estate

My dad has laid on a birthday treat. We are rushing headlong towards the grim housing development where my brother lives. He isn't there at the moment, but his girlfriend and their child are.

I felt such a surge of joy as I stepped out into the winter morning... there's something about grim housing developments, grey skies, and birthdays, it really moves me.

I had been pining for newspapers, and my dad pointed out the local shop.
"Try there, son."
I emerged a minute later, looking very downhearted.
"It would appear that the locals don't read The Guardian or The Independent."

We spent a few hours sat around.

There was one thing that interested me, and that was the baby's toys. One toy in particular was great...

Here is a picture of a similar toy to look at, in the current absence of photographic evidence of the toy I am about to praise.

Lara's music toy had three buttons, each one the head of a creature. There was green cat, red dog, and blue bird.
When you pushed in a button the first time, it would say, "I am green cat/red dog/blue bird (delete as applicable) and I love to sing!"
I thought this would be a suitably baffling response to dramatic life events.
"I'm sorry, Mr Kennedy, but it would appear that your in-grown toenail is terminal..."
"I am green cat and I love to sing!"
"Mr Kennedy, we're going to have to repossess your home and all your possessions..."
"I am red dog and I love to sing!"
When you pressed the button again, a jolly little tune would play, tinkly keys, baby handclaps, and la la melodies, bliss. This would be useful in violent confrontations.
"Before you hit me, may I just ask one favour. Would you mind awfully if I played you a hummable little tune on my electronic kiddie music toy?"
I dance alongside a bald-headed giant with a scowling face and crowbar in his mitts.
"Okay! I'm blue bird and I love to get knee-capped..."

The van that blocked the wonderful view
When we left, my dad thumbed at a particular flat.
"The people in there, downstairs from your brother, all they do is sit there all day."
My dad said this as if it was a capital crime. I suppressed the urge to mention my own fondness for sitting around.
"They've put in a complaint about your brother, because he parks his van there."
I looked at my brother's white transit van, parked on the side of the road.
"They said it blocks their view when they're looking out."
I looked around at the grim housing development. Surely anything that blocked your view of it was a mercy.
"Hmmm, what's the problem? What can they see when the van isn't there?"
"They can see the bus shelter."
I looked over at the bus shelter. It was no more or less interesting than every other bus shelter in England.
I explored feelings of mild astonishment while I searched for a solution to this neighbourly dispute.
"Why doesn't Kirk go and get the view of the bus shelter airbrushed on the side of his van? They could have a permanently blue sky with a shining sun to gaze upon... maybe even have a bus coming to pick up passengers..."
"No," said my dad. "The bus would again block their view of the bus shelter..."
"You're right. But there should at least be a few passengers waiting, for extra interest..."
I was really pleased that my dad went along with my flight of fancy for once.
It was the best moment of when we were together.


Blogger Ruthless Jack said...

What was the toy ? WHAT WAS THE TOY ????

need to know !

have to finish the blog ! or i'll go mad !


6:39 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...


It's these expandable post summaries. Coupled with my nature to approach completion in little steps, I am turning into a naughty blog tease.

Having said that... go on, Guess the Toy!

8:13 AM  
Blogger gymnut said...

Was it a replica BMW? Complete with finest engineered reclining seats, a speed limiter, set for 29.9 mph.

3:16 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

phew-ee - i finally finished.

no, dad did put his foot down and send us into the dizzying world of + 30 mph driving at least twice

when he wasn't complaining about the fuel economy!

8:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home