Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Am A Chocolate Sausage

I have an exercise for you.

Take a handful of Cadbury's Mini Eggs. Just grab a bunch. Hold them knuckles up so that you can't really see them. Go find a flat solid surface to put them down on like a table, computer desk or kitchen counter. When putting them down listen carefully for the sound they make when they clink together. My daughter knows exactly what that sound signifies when she hears it. That's just wrong. I bought a big fat bag of them for Easter (you should know at this point that I've temporarily renamed my mouth, "Easter") and tried sneaking myself a few yesterday without the kids noticing. What a ridiculous fool I am. My son is two and can still be hoodwinked. I can recall a few months back not very discreetly standing with my back to him and eating out right out of a big family-sized bag of potato chips and being quite confident I wouldn't then have to explain that they were his mother's so no - he can't have any. But my daughter can tell by my gait when I enter the room that I have either chocolate or some other not-good-for-you snack hidden about my person. It's infuriating. Still - I take comfort that my own dignity level will sink to the point where I will smuggle something and then pretend to go do laundry upstairs so I can eat whilst stood in a cupboard listening for tell-tale footsteps approaching. Or worse - go into the bathroom, close the door feigning having a poo and then shamefully eating a handful of kettle-chips. That's never going to happen. If you're doing that then you are a junkie. Stop it.

This talk of smuggling chocolate eggs (not a euphemism or a crass tool for attracting Google-traffic, by the way) is slightly misleading mind you. I think I mentioned when I started writing this stuff again that I'd recently been sick and lost some weight. The "sick" part is complex. The "lost some weight" is easier to talk about. Actually that does somewhat sugar-coat it (ironically) as I lost a ton of weight really quickly through the method of not eating very much, then getting sick and then not eating at all. If any of you somehow saw me naked a few months ago (and to those of you who got those emails I'm sorry....) you'd have noticed that I was already thin. An accumulation of circumstances, mood and a complete loss of appetite had me not eating very much at all. Then not eating anything except dinner. Which I then started skipping as well. I just wasn't hungry. I could offer explanations or expose myself (sort of like those emails mentioned above) as to why, but we'll skip that. Just know that some people I've known for awhile had already mentioned that I was starting to look, "a little scrawny." I'd crossed from looking fit, to looking thin to just about looking like I might actually have a not-very-sexy disease.

Then my whole family got a different kind of sick. We all got the flu. The real one where you can't do anything. One by one everyone else got sick and I didn't. Which is the opposite of how it usually happens. And then - like a wonderful belated birthday gift for my wife - I got sick. And in true form it seemed to be worse and for twice as long as everyone else. It was like a bizarre catalyst. Now I wasn't just thin comparatively - I was actually dropping weight alarmingly fast. I got sick on the Sunday evening. Friday morning I'd lost 11 pounds. Combined with all the other personal shit going on and the tendency for me to annoyingly betray the nature of my soul in my eyes, people started flat-out asking if I was alright.

The point of this all is that yesterday at school I think my daughter's teacher asked me if I have AIDS. I'm not sure and I'm not really kidding either. The thing is that none of my clothes fit at all now. I haven't shaved in a week ou of general laziness. And - as my wife pointed out and has suddenly become very apparent to me since - I just look haunted to everyone I meet now. More tricky is that I have a two year old that has had a different cold on-and-off for months now. After the whole family getting the actual flu two weeks back I made some comment to the teacher that I was looking forward to my son not having to wipe his nose. My wife - bless her - brought a brand new cold home from work Monday. Which my son quickly absorbed.  Yesterday whilst picking my daughter up at school the teacher was so shocked by the ferocity of my son's sneezing that she flat out asked me if the apparent immune deficiency that I have is hereditary. So not if I have an immune deficiency - but rather if the one I have has been passed to my son. I had no idea you could be thin enough that people think your offspring might be sick too. I'm not sure what it is yet - but there has to be a comic angle I can exploit here.

Lastly though I wanted to share something about how wonderful it is to have an entirely new perspective on something that makes lots of people angry and sensitive, and which I thought was brilliant in it's simplicity. That being racism. My daughter asked me yesterday why someone was described as white on the news. I started blathering on knowing this is officially, A Very Important Topic. I made some rubbish point about how people like to lump large groups of people together and give them all one label in spite of the fact that the grouping has extremely tenuous links and suggests common behaviors that don't really exist. She destroyed everything I was saying in one fell swoop by pointing that it was silly because, "people are peach colored." Chuckling I then rambled on poorly through a point about how some people call others or identify themselves as black. Or even yellow! I then had an attack of liberal-white-people-guilt and mumbled on about how I wasn't calling people names and that she isn't to pay any attention to what I'd just said because I probably don't know what I'm talking about and should check whether I'd said something offensive. Somehow I also managed to throw in a bit about some people in Pennsylvania who were literally blue, and that it's amazing that we still refer to Native Americans as Indians despite knowing within a matter of minutes of first calling them Indians that they aren't actually Indians. She clearly just heard 2% of the words I had said and quickly replied that a girl at school, "thinks everyone is blue." I didn't get a chance to witter on at this point because I could see that my daughter also had something very important to point out. So I shut up and let her.

She then wonderfully pointed out that it was wrong anyway because we are all loads of colors when you have clothes on. She actually said, "you have a peach head Daddy, but today you are blue, brown and have black feet as well!" Oddly instead of thinking about the simple brilliance of this point at the time all I could think of was the bit on Alan Partridge where someone tells him, "we're all naked under our clothes, Alan" and he responded that he isn't. In other words we're all the same because we're all different. She then went on to point out all the different colors she and her brother are as well. I like that more than the current state of affairs.

I probably shouldn't mention then that right now I'm wearing a fetching brown-and-pink outfit which is at least two sizes too big. I look like a chocolate sausage.

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