Friday, December 7, 2012

The Crumpet-Squirting Oxpecker

My son wants an Oxpecker.

When you look at the below you can see how two beasts of the wild have come to an agreement of mutual benefit. One gets clean - the other gets to eat.

Now, my son saw that this morning on an episode of The Cat In The Hat. Since then he's taken it upon himself to be an Oxpecker. Except one that is unbearably boisterous and apparently feeds by licking. Which would be somewhat amusing were it not for the fact that his nose is oozing green evil. And - may I add - it means that in this new relationship I'm a massive hippo.

Regardless - after some quite brilliant Jujitsu on my part I managed to prove to him that because I hadn't agreed for him to lick ticks from my back that he wasn't actually an oxpecker. At which point he fell back to his default position - asking if he could have one. He managed to ask repeatedly for about 45 minutes. We aren't the child-has-spiteful-tantrum-and-gets-stuff kind of family. Never have been and I pledge to never allow us to become one without a bloody good fight taking place. And thankfully he didn't become upset about it but he did convey that air that we had signed some sort of contract. And that when he mentions it loudly later on today in public that I will be the one that will look like I've been making promises I can't keep.

On an entirely different subject below is a photograph of my daughter's watch. She loves this watch. She has very little idea who Hello Kitty is - she thinks it's more a Super Kitten superhero accessory item. Anyway - she likes it very much and it was a nice gift to her a while back from a relative. And I for one am very happy that she likes it. But even my daughter thinks it is somewhat strange that the people who designed this watch didn't think to actually put a watch in it. As in - something that tells the actual time. As you can see from the digital display - that does work - the current time according to this is 14. That's right - just the number 14.

Anyhoo - I am seriously thinking of driving an absurd distance just to buy Christmas crackers right now. We're having the wife's family over here for Christmas dinner and I dearly want my kids to have some remnant of Britishness about their Christmas. So aside from forcing Cliff Richard on them (oh dear...) or having a very poor 70s-style silver fake Christmas tree I'm opting for crackers. My conviction on this matter has been swayed by watching hours of back-to-back Youtube videos of Stephen Fry talking about all and sundry at the Hay Festival. Many of which deal with the differences between the UK and the US. All of which make me want to get on a plane and go home. Not because he's negative about the US - he isn't at all - but because the kind of thing that Stephen fry simply oozes doesn't exist here. So in some sort of sad, pathetic alternative I've clung to the idea of buying Christmas crackers. Quite how I've equated crackers with an English, upper-class, Jewish Cambridge-educated intellectual I'll never know. But nevertheless - somehow I'm going to remind my kids that Christmas as is a religious event I hold dear, but as a cultural event it's equal parts Santa and equal parts English. 

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