Friday, 17 November 2017

Government wants my kids in school, but it won't feed them. #DadDirt



Things in my head next week.

Monday 20 November
Government wants my kids in school, or a £1000 fine.
But it won’t feed them.

Tuesday 21 November
God help me. Why do I find crutches and plaster casts so damn hot.

Wednesday 22 November
This is how sexist I am.
I can’t name any billionaire women.

Thursday 23 November
Soft play centre: Heard a Mum call for her son, Lucan.
Lucan.
I think it was Mum and not the Nanny.

Friday 24 November
My struggle as a Dad is to have the kids be consumed rather than consuming.

Saturday 25 November
The only thing that damages my wedding ring is DIY.
I try not to think of it as a metaphor.

Sunday 26 November
Realising that tutting at parents for staring at their phones is time I could have spent with my kids.


Previous post...
Blob of come in the coffee shop #DadDirt


I keep 365 Days (a whole year's worth) of Dad Dirt right here.

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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Blob of come in the coffee shop #DadDirt




DAD comes out of the coffee shop toilets and walks through the tables to get back to MUM.

He sits down back at his table and MUM goes purple.

MUM
There’s a--

DAD wipes his cheek for crumbs.

MUM
No - down there.

DAD
It’s okay - I haven’t wet myself.

MUM
No - on your other leg.

DAD
Those sinks splash a lot.

MUM
You just walked through the entire shop with THAT on your leg.

DAD
What do you think it is?

MUM
On your leg - there’s a blob of come.

DAD
Huh.

MUM
What do you think they’ll think you were doing in there?

DAD
It’s just some soap.

MUM gets up to announce this to the shop.

MUM
Everybody! It’s just soap!
On his leg! It’s only soap.
It’s not a blob of come!

Silence. The coffee shop is in shock.

DAD
Thanks. What do I do now?

A MEMBER OF STAFF goes into the toilet carrying a BIG CONTAINER OF LIQUID SOAP.

MUM
See! New soap.

MUM gets up again, to announce.

MUM
Because he used the last of it up.
That’s proof that it’s just soap on his leg.
It’s not a blob of come!

The coffee shop is still silent. Cough.

DAD
You know, I could probably do with something to distract from this right now.

Click! The MEMBER OF STAFF leaves the bathroom.

MUM
Look! On his leg. There’s a blob of come!

Nothing.

MUM
I tried.


Previous post...
Me Vs The Sugar Cereal Box Monster. Thanks supermarkets. #DadDirt


All about me, and getting these by email.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Me Vs The Sugar Cereal Box Monster. Thanks supermarkets. #DadDirt



Kitchen table in full family breakfast chaos... DAD is in deep thought.

DAD
Every morning.
There you are.
What is your point?

REVEAL he’s staring at the CEREAL BOX:
A BIG DUMB GREEN CARTOON MONSTER, holding a bowl of “Rice Crackles”

DAD
Look at the state of it.
What makes you think you have a place at my table?

Is that it?
Is this what you evolved for?

Holding a bowl of “Rice Crackles”.
It’s not even a real cereal name.

But there you are, shoving them up at us with that big dumb toothy grin.
And you can’t even hold them - you’re just sort of hugging them...

MOVING EVER CLOSER BETWEEN DAD’S EYES AND THE GRINNING MONSTER ON THE BOX.



DAD
We know you’re not eating them.
The second ingredient is sugar.
The teeth you’ve got is because you don’t eat this filth.

You’re holding that bowl like you’re going to throw it in my face.
Blind me long enough to give you the advantage in your lizard-style attack.

In the meantime, there you are, grinning like a nonce.

You’ve been on this planet for millions of years to get those features.
What have they got you doing?

What is their game?
Am I supposed to be threatened on a primal level?
Are you a challenge?

I see your challenge.

You think you’re better than me.
But look at me.
Holding my spoon.
With my opposable thumb.

(switches spoon to other hand)
I can use either hand.
Look at my thumbs.
I can use them in your eye sockets - hard enough to release me from your wonky jaws.

And then I’ll use my thumb.
My lovely bendy thumb, to jam up in your single nostril.
While using my other hand to force feed your own Rice Crackles until you choke you abomination. How’s that for 200% GDA carbohydrates “of which sugars”--

MUM
Are you okay?

DAD
Yep. We're just fine.

He smiles, back in the land of breakfast.

Can’t help one final eyeflick to the box.


Previous post...
Thwarting the next explosion #DadDirt


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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Thwarting the next explosion #DadDirt



A Gold-Command-style situation room.

Female POLICE CHIEF leans in for a closer look at a live CCTV feed as other female COMMANDERS gather round.

POLICE CHIEF
She’s headed for the supermarket.

CCTV zooms into track a menopausal mum, strutting towards the entrance.

POLICE COMMANDER 1
(on radio)
Send in teams 2, 7, and 9.

POLICE SWAT TEAMS in dark fatigues swarm as troops with helmets and shields... busting into fire entrances and staking out sniper positions.

POLICE COMMANDER 2
Do we evacuate?

POLICE CHIEF is torn. Ice cold, but everything is on her shoulders.

POLICE CHIEF
If we let it go ahead, we can contain it.

POLICE COMMANDER 1
If she goes off in the shopping centre...

POLICE COMMANDER 2
It’ll be in all directions.

POLICE CHIEF
(to herself)
Is she working alone?

POLICE COMMANDER 1
SHE’S GOING IN.

POLICE CHIEF
(into radio) Get me visuals. I need cover.

CCTV cameras flit to find teh woman at the checkout.

POLICE CHIEF
Shhhhh!

She turns up the volume to listen as the WOMAN explodes in rage at the customer in front of her.

WOMAN
EXCUSE ME. WE HAVEN’T GOT ALL DAY.
WE’RE WAITING FOR YOU.

POLICE CHIEF
Code Lavender.

POLICE COMMANDER 1
Go! Go, Go, Go, Go!

CUSTOMER
Sorry, I’m just--

WOMAN
THE WORLD DOESN’T REVOLVE AROUND YOU.
IF YOU DON’T GET A MOVE ON--

POLICE SWAT TEAMS storm the checkout.

CUSTOMERS AND STAFF scream and flee.

POLICE SWAT 1
Cheer up, love. Get some perspective.

WOMAN
DON’T YOU TELL ME WHAT TO THINK.

POLICE CHIEF grabs POLICE COMMANDER 1’S headset.

POLICE CHIEF
No! Abort! Team 2 - send in Team 2!

POLICE SWAT 2 barges to the front.

POLICE SWAT 2
Come and have a cuddle.

WOMAN
STOP TRYING TO CONTROL ME.

POLICE CHIEF throws the headset in temper.

POLICE CHIEF
TNS - Where’s - the - T-N-S?!

POLICE COMMANDER 2
(into radio)
Deploy T-N-S. Repeat--

POLICE SWAT 3 steps foward - on eggshells.

POLICE SWAT 3
We understand--
Oooh look. Tea and cake.

REVEAL: SWAT TEAMS with china and pastries arranged on their shields as trays.

WOMAN
WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME?

POLICE SWAT 3
You’re absolutely right.
I’m so sorry.

SITUATION ROOM: POLICE CHIEF regains composure.

POLICE CHIEF
(into radio)
Send in the mags.

POLICE SWAT 3 winces on her earpiece.

POLICE SWAT 3
(with magazines on shields)
There’s Homes and Gardens... or some interior design ideas.

WOMAN starts crying.

WOMAN
You don’t understand.

SWAT TEAMS all nod with sympathy.

SWAT TEAMS
(in unison)
We know.

From a crouch position POLICE SWAT 4 bellows into a radio.

POLICE SWAT 4
Clear sight. CHAIR ONE, CHAIR TWO, CHAIR THREE--

Soft armchairs teamed into place round the checkout.

POLICE CHIEF
(off monitor)
Drop her. Drop her now.

The WOMAN falls onto the couch.

POLICE SWAT 4
Down! Target is down.

CHEERING and APPLAUSE and BACKSLAPS in the situation room.

POLICE CHIEF refuses to accept them.

POLICE CHIEF
Too close. That was too close.


Previous post...
Kids app developers. And what goes on in their heads #DadDirt


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Monday, 13 November 2017

Kids app developers. And what goes on in their heads #DadDirt



TAYLOR approaches TODD’S work space - ergonomic desk and balance ball chair.

TAYLOR
Hey Todd.

TODD is bashing code into his 3-screen computer.

TODD
HEY TAYLOR!

TAYLOR gestures to his tablet, worried.

TAYLOR
Dude sorry I’ve got to cut in again--

TODD
No worries.

TODD gestures TAYLOR to sit on an office-chair-ball too.

TAYLOR
You remember this app we’re rolling out for children?

TODD
Yeah the one you wanted to be the multi-platform experience kids have never seen before.

TAYLOR
Yeah. It’s still a bit... “buggy”.

TODD calls it up on his keyboard.

TODD
We’ll iron those crinkles now - shoot!

TAYLOR
On level 6--

TODD
I LOVE level 6.

TAYLOR
Yeah, this is where we were hoping the kids would be totally engaged.
Immersed, even.
But level 6 is like--
(reads tablet)
“Put this thing down now.
Go and get some daylight.”

TODD
(high five)
Awesome - no?!

TAYLOR
That’s all it says.

TODD
Right. That’s all of level 6.

TAYLOR
Which comes after levels 1-5.
(reads)
“Now put this down and hug the person you love the most.”

(swipes)
“Step outside and breathe.”

(swipes)
“It’s a cosmic miracle you are here right now.
This place, this time.
Turn it off.”

(swipes)
“We love you.” -- That’s all it just says.

(swipes)
And “Let’s kill 12 more seconds of your young life with some more of this inconsequential irrelevance.”

TODD
(finger kiss)
Level 5.

TAYLOR
Todd... Do you... Do you like doing this job?

TODD
(thinks)
Yeah. It’s pretty, powtastic.

TAYLOR
It’s just that every kids app you make, compares what we do... us... that we get paid money to do... it’s like...

TODD
...It’s like we’re trying to get kids to smoke cigarettes.

TAYLOR
That’s probably not what I was reaching for.
But that seems to be what you’re saying.
In every app, game and multi-platform experience you create--

TODD
Is it the font? I can change the font.

TAYLOR
It’s not the font.
It’s the helping kids to stop using devices.
It’s not helping us.

TODD
Right. It’d be like a cigarette company killing off its customers.

TAYLOR
Exactly. Yes.
(then)
No! Look, we’ve decided to move you over to a new project.
(pulls out ANOTHER TABLET)
Apps for Babies.

The TABLET pings up a BABY-FRIENDLY LOGO.

TODD
I am, like - way - ahead of you.
I’ve been working on this.

TODD’S TABLET plays baby-friendly music as he hands it over to TAYLOR.

TABLET
Ahh-Ah-Ah!
Nooooo.
Noooooooo.
Uh-oh.
No.
No.
(disapproving grunts)
Don’t touch.
Non.

TODD
(headphones on)
You’re welcome.


Previous post...
Couples shouldn’t bathroom together, but we still do. #DadDirt


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Sunday, 12 November 2017

Couples shouldn’t bathroom together, but we still do. #DadDirt



DAD is sat on the toilet. MUM goes to the sink.

MUM
Sorry... do you mind?

She grabs her puff scrubber and plunges the hand soap.

DAD
No... Go ahead.

She turns the tap.

PSSSHHHHHHHHH!

The sink is dry.

DAD
Whoah!

MUM double-takes DAD and the empty sink.

The water is gushing out of him.

MUM
Huh.

She turns off the tap.

DAD
Phew.

MUM tries the other tap.

PSSSHHHHHHHHH!

DAD
Whoah!

Wincing and shaking his legs with this surge.

But the sink is empty.

MUM
(gets it)
Ohhh.

She chonks it off.

DAD
(Relief)

She chonks it on.

PSSSHHHH!

She chonks it off.

DAD
Ahhh.

And on.

PSSSHHHH!

And off.

DAD
Ahh.

Maybe one final quick one.

PSSH!

An awkward moment.

Then.

DAD
Little bit more?



Previous post... My list of words meaning bad or not good...

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Friday, 10 November 2017

My list of words meaning bad or not good...



I find it really hard finding words for the opposite of good ("awesome, bodacious, bitchin, phenomenal, smashing" the full list is here...)

Either they are words meaning "bad" or "not good" or they're replacements for swearing.

Few words do both.

Have I missed any, because a lot of safe words for bad are really bad.

Bosoms
Bumholes
Cr*p
Crud
Pants
Poop/Poo etc
Twaddle

Nouns only:
nonsense
gibberish
malarkey
twaddle
bunkum
crud
garbage
baloney
poop
filth


Exclamations only:
Dang
Darnation
Doggone
Darn
Curses
Dammit
Cripes


Previous post...
I love it when people ask me to look after their stuff on the train #DadDirt


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Thursday, 9 November 2017

I love it when people ask me to look after their stuff on the train #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you can't take any more responsibility than you have to.


DAD is staring out of the window.

A COMMUTER opposite gets up, hesitant to leave his laptop, bag and jacket.

He makes a beeline for DAD.

COMMUTER
Excuse me.
Would you look after my stuff while I’m in the toilet?

DAD
Sure.

The COMMUTER toddles off and DAD seethes.

DAD
(to himself)
I don’t want to worry about someone else’s stuff.
I’ve got my own stuff to worry about.

Like you’re going to hold me to it if your stuff gets nicked.

You’re putting all this stress on me, just to reassure yourself that nothing bad will happen to your stuff.

And now, I’m responsible for your stuff.

You’ve got a bag.
Why can’t you at least put the damn laptop in it and take it to the toilet with you?

Hang on.
If you’re not going to actually hold me to it if your stuff really does get nicked...

DAD gets up and goes over to the commuter’s seat.

DAD
(to himself)
I absolutely have to go through your stuff, and steal as much as possible.

He rifles through the Commuter’s bag and jacket, pocketing gadgets and valuables.

DAD
It’s good for you to confront your fears, instead of relying on total strangers as some kind of mental prop that has no support whatsoever and-- What am I doing?!

DAD frantically crams all the loot back to where he got it from.

DAD
Quiiick, he’s coming back...

Like a flash everything is returned and DAD is impossibly back in his seat as if nothing happened.

COMMUTER
Thanks for looking after my stuff.

DAD
No problem.

DAD double-takes his table.

DAD
(to himself) Where’s my paper.
And my pen.
My jacket?
Where’s my jacket gone?



Previous post...
Here's how I know that I am Not The Worst Man In The World #DadDirt


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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Here's how I know that I am Not The Worst Man In The World #DadDirt



DAD is letting MUM in from a night out.

DAD
I love it when you go out with your friends.

MUM
I know... because you get the place to yourself.

DAD
No. Well, yeah, that is pretty good. But not the best bit.

MUM
You get to turn the heating down.

DAD
No.

MUM
Four eps of Ice Road Truckers.

DAD
No.

MUM
Outback Truckers.

DAD
No-- the best bit is that I know that you get to hear about all the bad stuff everyone else’s husbands are doing - and you hear stuff that makes me not the worst man in the world.

MUM
No.

DAD
I’m right. I can tell. You don’t tell me anything, and I know that it’s a validation - a vindication that you are not with the worst man in the world.

MUM
That’s not true.

DAD
It is. I am not the worst. Admit it.

MUM
I’m not.

DAD
You don’t tell me anything that they do.

MUM is poker face.

DAD
So I know it’s bad. Isn’t it?
(NOTHING)
What their husbands do is really bad...

Still no sign off MUM.

DAD
Oooh. It’s stuff you wouldn’t tolerate for 5 seconds.

On MUM: still nothing.

DAD
And you’ve got to listen to it! From The Girls, knowing that even the very worst of what I do, isn’t nearly as bad.

DAD bursts.

DAD
(PUNCHES AIR)
Whoop! I’m not the worst!

He does a victory dance.

DAD
In your face.
(THEN)
And I know this is going straight back to the others.
(THEN)
Except... it can’t.
Because you’d have to tell them that they’ve got men worse than me.
It gets better!

He stops dancing.

DAD
Please don’t delete the Outback Truckers.


Previous post...
Sorry to bother you but the porn's not working again #DadDirt


All about me, and getting these by email.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Sorry to bother you but the porn's not working again #DadDirt



MUM cradles her phone in the LIVING ROOM, with a glowing LAPTOP SCREEN.

MUM
Hi, sorry to call you at work...

DAD's at his groaning desk.

DAD
It’s not really a great time.

MUM
I know, I know I’m sorry, it’s just a quick one. I... I can’t get the porn to work.

DAD rolls his eyes.

DAD
(SIGH) Are you actually at the porn? Are you there?

MUM
Yep I’ve got it all on. I just don’t know what to do with it now.

DAD
Are you sure the porn is there, in front of you, ready?

MUM
Aha...

DAD
Okay, erm... are you at the start of the porn.

MUM
Yes, I’m at the start. It’s not working.

DAD
Okay, do you know which porn you want.

MUM
YES.

DAD
I wish you’d pay attention when we went through this.

MUM
I just can’t get it to work.

DAD
Are you going for the deliberately competitive stuff, or the random porn?

MUM
Random’s fine.

DAD
Okay, so you’ve got to get through a lot of the porn in a jaded way as quickly as possible for it to start working.

MUM taps on off-screen keyboard.

MUM
When should I stop?

DAD
Don’t stop! Keep it going...

MUM
I think that might be the problem.

DAD
...until you’re almost bored of it...

MUM
I might’ve spent too long finding something good.

DAD
Ah, yes - that wouldn’t work. Quick and jaded... Quick and jaded. What can you see?

MUM
Almost there.

DAD
(NO REPLY) Talk to me.

MUM
Yes, there it is thanks honey. You’re a marvel. The porn is working again now.

DAD
I’ll see you later.

DAD hangs up in a huff.

MUM is happily glued to the screen.


Previous post...
Forget Contactless Payments... Too slow. Introducing, Meaningless Payments #DadDirt


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Monday, 6 November 2017

Forget Contactless Payments... Too slow. Introducing, Meaningless Payments #DadDirt



First we brought you the credit card.

No need to bring cash.

Just spend as much as you want, when you want.

You’d think that would be the step forward, but no.

It took far - too - long...

COCKY CUSTOMER TYPES IN PIN DIGITS: SHOOTS CASHIER A KNOWING SMILE.

Then we brought in Chip And Pin.

No signatures, biros, or slips.

For you, it takes just four digits.

For us, that still feels something like, for - ever.

OTHER SHOPPERS PRISING OPEN WALLETS AND PURSES AND ASKING “DO YOU TAP IT HERE?”

So, we developed Contactless Payments.

Where “a tap is all it takes”.

And now you’re fumbling in your wallets, standing around asking if the reader works.

Are you kidding me?

Surely there must be an even quicker way to get to your money...

SHOPPERS AT TILLS AT THE MOMENT OF PURCHASE: CUSTOMER APPROACHES THE CHECKOUT COUNTER.

Well finally, there is.

We are proud to be rolling out our latest, and fastest, way for you to pay...


THE CUSTOMER HEAD BUTTS THE PAYMENT MACHINE.


Introducing Mindless Payment Technology.


ANOTHER CUSTOMER HEADBUTTS THE PAYMENT MACHINE. UPBEAT MUSIC.



Without a card, why waste a moment thinking about your next transaction?


MORE CUSTOMERS, BANGING THEIR HEADS ON COUNTERS AND CHECKOUT READERS...


With Mindless Payments, the transfer of funds is instantaneous.

You don’t even need a reason to be spending on stuff.


A WOMAN HEAD BUTTS A PC MONITOR SCREEN.


You can make Mindless Payments in all kinds of places.

Shops, bars, cafes, garages or the comfort of your own home.


KIDS ON THE SOFA BANG THEIR HEADS ON TABLETS.


Mindless Payment Technology.
An even faster way to pay.
To us.
Now.
Seriously.
Give us your money.

THUD.


Previous post...
How to tell my kids why boobs and willies are still measured in inches? #DadDirt 169-175


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Sunday, 5 November 2017

How to tell my kids why are boobs and willies still measured in inches? #DadDirt 169-175



Things in my head this week:

Monday 6 November
I can’t tell my kids why boobs and willies are measured in inches.
I guess it’s weird to compare them to feet.

Tuesday 7 November
Spending time with my family costs me money.
That's why they call it "spending" time.

Wednesday 8 November
My bank sends me emails at 4 in the morning.
Because it really needs the money.
Or the attention.

Thursday 9 November
My son hates plastic medals.
“It’s like you’ve won nothing at all.”
How can I tell him... he’s right.

Friday 10 November
I am still harping on about it.
But the harp is a really nice instrument.
Who wouldn’t want to hear more of that?

Saturday 11 November
If a newspaper asks if it can use a photo you’ve taken, it’s probably a sign it’s the kind of photo you shouldn’t be sharing in the first place.

Sunday 12 November
Not caring what people think is wasted on the Old.


Previous post...
i HATE it when people say Alright? It's not a real question, is it? #DadDirt


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Friday, 3 November 2017

i HATE it when people say Alright? It's not a real question, is it? #DadDirt



A BUILDER passes another BUILDER on some scaffolding.

BUILDER 1
Alright?

BUILDER 2 strains to answer.

BUILDER 1
(KINDER)
Alright?

BUILDER 2
I... I never know what to say when someone asks me that.
There’s only one answer, isn’t there.
“Yeah.”

That’s it.
Anything else is too much.

“Alright?” isn’t asking after my health.
My outlook.
My physical or spiritual wellbeing.

So why ask it?

BUILDER 1
Look.
It’s just a tic.

Something I use to release tension when we’ve got nothing to say to each other.
It’s just a time filler.
It’s just to let you know that I don’t know what to say to you but I don’t want to say nothing.

BUILDER 2
Alright.
Didn’t want your life story.


Previous post...
How my daughter sees me as a man. In biro. And it's uncanny in every fault. #DadDirt


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Thursday, 2 November 2017

She hates my guts but I don't know what that really means #DadDirt



MUM and DAD are in the kitchen, folding washing.

DAD
You hate my guts.

MUM
I don’t hate your guts.

DAD
You do. Which wife doesn’t.
I can get you to hate my guts just by being myself.
But here’s the thing, I don’t hate your guts.

I love your guts.
Like that’s the thing we strive for.
Alright so you say you don’t hate my guts right now, but you will do.
I spend every day thinking how can I finally get you to like them.

I love your guts.
I am besotted by them.
I think it’s your guts that get me going.
If I were pushed to choose, I’d say I was probably a guts man.

You have the finest guts.
I can’t take my eyes off them.
You nearly caught me checking out the guts of some woman in the shoe shop, but you won’t believe me that your guts - to me - are perfect.
I love the way they jiggle when you’re in a rush.

MUM
ALRIGHT. I GET IT.


Previous post...
What if I dont need yet another clock? Will I still worry about the spending at 2am? #DadDirt


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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

What if I dont need yet another clock? Will I still worry about the spending at 2am? #DadDirt



A DAD is glued to a heap of gadgets in the supermarket baskets of “While Stocks Last”.

DAD
(in his head)
There’s only 3 green ones left.
And it’s only Monday.

They must be popular.
I can’t leave them have a think and come back.
They’ll be gone.
Focus.

My bedside clock is sort of annoying me.
It’s alright.
But it’s not excelling at its job.
It is not sparking joy.
So this isn’t about avoiding more clutter.

This is the thing that I check at 2 in the morning and it doesn’t spark joy.
This - this might make me happy.
In its cheery green.

Let’s trade it off against the cost of 5 quid.
So it won’t bankrupt me.

But I don’t really need it.
But it’s better than what I’ve got.

But isn’t the work that I have to do to earn the 5 quid the reason that I’m awake at 2am to check it?

No!
No, I am taking a stand. Right here, right now.
I am not going to buy this.
This is one whole five pounds that I don’t need to earn.

I can do this.
It’s a small stand, but it might mean that I treat my time with more value.
And my value with more time.

Oooh crabsticks!
Two for one.

He crosses out on autopilot.

I’ll get four.



Previous post...
I can't remember all of my sex even though it's my favourite thing #DadDirt


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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

I can't remember all of my sex even though it's my favourite thing #DadDirt




MUM and DAD are stirring porridge.

MUM
You okay?

DAD
I think, of all the things in the world, I think I like having sex the most.

MUM
I am so glad I asked.

DAD
So why can’t I remember any of it?

MUM
You’ve forgotten all your sex.

DAD
Yeah. All I can remember is just snippets.
Not entire sessions.

MUM
Thanks.

DAD
No - not just with you.
It’s always been the best thing in my life - each time it’s happened has been a joy and a wonder and a surprise.

MUM
Even when it’s gone bad.

DAD
Especially when it’s gone bad - I want to know how to remember more.

MUM
It’s because you need to pay more attention.

DAD
(oblivious)
It’s weird because I am there - Taking it all in. So to speak. So how come I only remember the weird stuff - the stuff that’s a little off-piste or plain wrong?

MUM
You need to pay more attention--

DAD
I can remember the...
(sings it)
... the LWT theme tune. I even remember the shortlived 1990’s...
(sings it)
...rebrand. I remember Tesco adverts: “here’s a cheerful sole instead”.
But not the very activity that makes me the happiest.

MUM
You need to pay more--

DAD
I can even remember the name of the mechanic in CHiPs.

MUM
Harlan.

DAD
You remember the name of the mechanic in CHiPs.

MUM
Maybe because I pay attention.

DAD
Maybe I should try that.

MUM
I can’t wait.



Previous post...
My Energy Company is a stroppy ex-girlfriend who can't face that it's over #DadDirt


All about me, and getting these by email.

Monday, 30 October 2017

My Energy Company is a stroppy ex-girlfriend who can't face that it's over #DadDirt



I’m on the phone, to my energy company.

ENERGY COMPANY
How can we help?

ME
I changed supplier on the 17th August, and it’s now 19th October, and you still haven’t closed my account.

ENERGY COMPANY
Let me take a look at that for you: yes we still haven’t received your electricity meter reading from your new supplier.

ME
But it’s over two months now.

ENERGY COMPANY
We know, but we can’t do anything until we receive that meter reading - which is checked by a third party company.

ME
But, it’s over two months now.
Am... am I in debt to you?

ENERGY COMPANY
Oh no - you’re in credit.
£189

ME
So you owe me £189.

ENERGY COMPANY
Yes - we can pay it to you now, but the account is still active and so we will have to issue final bills whether you have that money now or not.

ME
But it’s two months since I left.

ENERGY COMPANY
Yes, and the problem is for you to raise with your new supplier. We’re doing all we can to get that final electricity meter reading.

ME
But, you’ve got the gas meter reading?

ENERGY COMPANY
Oh yes.

ME
So you’re saying they’ve sent you the gas reading okay, but not the electricity reading.

ENERGY COMPANY
That’s right. We’ll try to contact them again.

ME
Can’t I give you the meter reading. I’ve got it right here.

ENERGY COMPANY
Oh no. It’s got to come from... them.

ME
I just want this to be over.
It’s 2 months since I left.
We’re through.

ENERGY COMPANY
Please don’t go.

ME
Excuse me.

ENERGY COMPANY
We know we pushed our luck - raising our lowest tarriff like that - but, we can change.

ME
You raised it by over 20%.

ENERGY COMPANY
We couldn’t help it. You know we like lifting things when we got together.

ME
Can I just get my £189 quid back?

ENERGY COMPANY
You can... If you really want it.
But could you come over to to get it?
We’ve washed it for you.
Maybe... you’d want to see our tarriffs again.

ME
(crumple)
I do miss your tarriffs.

ENERGY COMPANY
And our letters... Didn’t you find them... impenetrable.

ME
(groan)
Yes. Your letters are... impenetrable.

ENERGY COMPANY
So c’mon. You can totally have it. But do you really want your 189 pounds back now?

ME
I’m so weak.
Let me just make a call.
Stay there.

ENERGY COMPANY
We’re right here.
With your £189 pounds.

I dial a number.

NEW SUPPLIER
Hiya, how’s it going?

ME
Brilliantly - thanks - listen, I’m really sorry to bug you with this, but... did my ex-call you?

NEW SUPPLIER
Uh, don’t think so.

ME
They said they called a few times.

NEW SUPPLIER
Nope - we sent over the meter readings on the 18th August.
Does that help?

ME
Gas and Electricity?

NEW SUPPLIER
Yep! Went out as part of our data stream.

ME
Huh. You’ve got a really cute data stream.

NEW SUPPLIER
I know.
And it’s all for you.
Hey, did you put the oven on?

ME
Yeah - I’m - oh, you’ll see what it is later.

NEW SUPPLIER
Okay. Bye!

I dial again.

ME
I want this to stop.

ENERGY COMPANY
No.
You can have the money back but we’re not closing that Electricty account.

ME
Close my account.

ENERGY COMPANY
No, you have to complete the complaints process.

ME
You said you called the New Supplier.

ENERGY COMPANY
What, you’d think we’d call that cow.
What have they got that we haven’t?

ME
They don’t put their lowest tarriffs up while making comparisons as if I were on the most expensive tarriff so that it looks like a saving!
Yet.

ENERGY COMPANY
Oh that again.
Give it a rest.
You’re like a broken record.

ME
I really thought we had something.

ENERGY COMPANY
We did.
And it was £189.
Which you can have back but we’re going to have to stay in touch.
Don’t leave.
Think of the quids.

ME
You take all the time you need.


Previous post...
Married name or not married name? Either way women do all the work getting companies to change them #DadDirt


All about me, and getting these by email.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Married name or not married name? Either way women do all the work getting companies to change them #DadDirt



MUM opens a utility bill while DAD puts on a coat.

MUM
Ugh, these people. What is wrong with them.

She shoves the paper into DAD.

DAD
50 units of water over 6 months... No, that looks about right.

MUM
No, the name. Look at the names at the top.
They've got it wrong again.

DAD
Aww... You're all angry because it's not your married name.
That's so romantic.

MUM
It's completely useless as a utility bill.

On DAD, crestfallen.

MUM
How am I s'posed to use that?
Why is it so hard getting things changed or not changed.

She rips it up in anger.

DAD
I honestly don't mind if you kept your mai-- non-- name.
Your name. It's yours. I didn't force you to change it.

MUM
But then it ballses up the credit rating.
And I'm the one who's got to prove who I am.
I know who I am.

DAD
I... do too.

MUM
They're the ones who should do the proving.

DAD
You are the customer.

MUM
Right, and it's their stupid system.

DAD
We should just use our first names.

MUM
They've got so much data on us, they'd know -oh, my voiceprint, my phone number, "Hello Charlotte, how can we help you?"

DAD
I'm calling to trade-in my husband please. I hate his name!

MUM
You always make it about you, don't you.

DAD
I've phoned up to dump my husband.

MUM
(leaving house)
It's always about you isn't it.

DAD
"Can I have an ambulance please. I think I've killed my husband."

She’s gone.


Previous post...
I don't want a diffuser in the living room. I never get to decide these things really though. #DadDirt


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Saturday, 28 October 2017

I don't want a diffuser in the living room. I never get to decide these things really though. #DadDirt




MUM AND DAD are in the Living Room, looking down on a shelf.

MUM
I know you probably don’t like the smell...

DAD
It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that I’m not used to it.

MUM
God, why can’t you be more supportive?

DAD
Because you make all the decisions in this room - and you’re good at it.
If you think it needs a diffuser in here, just put the diffuser in here.

MUM
Right, thank you. I do want the diffuser to go here.

Reveal an Army Bomb Guy concentrating on cutting a wire on the detonator packed with explosives.

DIFFUSER
I’m awfully sorry but would you mind keeping it down for a moment. I’m about to cut the red wire.

Outside the house, it’s sunset and the “discussion” continues.

DAD (FROM INSIDE)
I’d prefer the blue wire.

MUM (FROM INSIDE)
No, I think red would be better.

DAD (FROM INSIDE)
Right, because it’s “your” room.

MUM (FROM INSIDE)
That’s not fair...

KABOOOM.


Previous post...
Don’t Trust Anything That Mummy Says #DadDirt


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Friday, 27 October 2017

Don’t Trust Anything That Mummy Says #DadDirt




SON is changing from his wellies to trainers while MUM and DAD are standing over him.
It’s taking weeks.

MUM
Come on, let’s get to the Heath.
We’ll see if those tyres are still on the trees.

SON
What tyres?

MUM
The ones you can swing on.

SON
There aren’t any tyres.

MUM
You swung on them last time we went.

SON
No I didn’t.

MUM
But you were swinging on them.
There was that archaeological dig next to it.

SON
The seats are just sticks.

MUM
Really?

DAD
Never trust anything Mummy says.

SON
There aren’t any tyres.

DAD
Is there an archaelogical dig there?

MUM
I could’ve sworn they were tyres.

DAD
Or was it just two men. Burying a dog.

MUM
There’s definitely a dig going on.

DAD
(quotes diggers)
“Oh, yeah. It’s ‘archaeology’.
We’re just waiting for the funding to come through.”

MUM
Well. That just goes to show.
How our memory changes things.

DAD
Don’t trust anything - anything - that we say.

SON
I don’t.


Previous post...
Why do Dads want silver-plated nickel effect light switches and sockets? #DadDirt


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Thursday, 26 October 2017

Why do Dads want silver-plated nickel effect light switches and sockets? #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
... you realise you will never ever finish the place where you live.


Fitting silver-plated nickel effect light switches and sockets.
I've done some careful research around and this is every straight white Dad's ambition.

It doesn't matter what demographic or income bracket.

None of them wants white plastic light switches and sockets.

And the same thing happens to all of them, which is if you're lucky enough to get 2 or 3 switches in... it is then at that very point that the cost of them hits you.

And then you lose the urge to keep on changing them.

That one under the table... or behind the cupboard.

I start putting big plants in front of them so I don't have to change them.

It's my final interior design stamp on the home.



Previous post...
Taking the world's biggest dump on a National Trust path #DadDirt


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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Taking the world's biggest dump on a National Trust path #DadDirt



A FAMILY with a little girl pass a PAIR OF WALKERS up a hill on a National Trust path.

WALKERS
Hello! / Hello!
Oh... that’s disgusting.

There’s a huge turd on the path.

WALKERS
Mind out! Mind the child./ Don’t step in it!

MUM AND DAD
Phew, that was close.
Thank you.

WALKER 1
Some people - honestly.

DAD
Who would let their dog do that on a National Trust path.
On a path cut by the very hand of the world’s first pioneering ecologist Gilbert White so long ago.
And this - right here this - is where someone thinks is the best place to take the world’s biggest dump.
Like it’s some kind of massive litter tray.
That’s awful.
Slap bang square in the middle of this perfectly maintained gravel path - preserved for decades by the National Trust - midwife’ing a heap so big...

WALKER 2
Was it your dog?

MUM
(unconvincing)
No! But maybe... isn’t it funny, even... that Gilbert White insisted on the importance of observing animals, at work, in nature...

MUM and DAD shoot each other a guilty look.

WALKER 1
It was your dog.

DAD
(unconvincing)
Bad dog.

They call for their dog.

DAD AND MUM
Gemma! / Murphy!

6 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER
Mummy, I think I need to go again.

She’s squatting on the path.

MUM
(limp)
I haven’t got a bag. Have you--

The walkers are well gone.


Previous post...
I think I hate your bolognese and I don't know how to tell you #DadDirt


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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

I think I hate your bolognese and I don't know how to tell you #DadDirt



MUM and DAD are hovering around the hob.

DAD
I don't know how to tell you this.

MUM fears what’s coming.

DAD
I think I-- This is really difficult.
(THEN)
I think I really hate your Bolognese.

On Mum. Silence.

DAD
It’s too meaty.
You never put enough tomatoes in it.
That’s what makes the sauce - and it costs less than the pound of mince you’ve got in there.

MUM
How long’s this been going on?

DAD
Aww, come on, you must’ve noticed.
How I’m always acting, differently, around it.
Offering to start it off...

MUM
Is there anything else I need to know?

DAD
Why don’t you ever put any garlic in it?

MUM
I do! How can you say that. I try--

DAD
Two cloves isn't enough for a pot that size and the fresh basil?
Look at that big lovely plant on the shelf...

MUM
Don’t bring the herbs into this.
That basil is mine.
It will always be mine.
You can’t take my own basil away from me.

DAD
I know, that’s why it’s so bloomin’ big.
You never use it!
I can’t go skulking around like this any more,
adding to it behind your back.
I want to make this Bolognese better in front of you,
and I don’t care who sees it.
If I don’t, then you’ll just keep making it like a pile of mince - in blissful ignorance - I can’t go on like this any longer.

MUM
I can change. I could put more herbs in.
Maybe try using some stock--

DAD
No - that’ll make it more meaty!
You just don’t get it do you.

MUM bursts into tears.

DAD hugs her, but she pulls away and leaves.

MUM
Well I hope you’ll both be very happy together.

DAD hangs his head. Drained, but relieved it’s in the open.

DAD
Your pasta’s to die for.

But she’s gone.


Previous post...
These new weird screws mean only one thing. I am now obsolete. #DadDirt


All about me, and getting these by email.

Friday, 20 October 2017

These new weird screws mean only one thing. I am now obsolete. #DadDirt



NEIL is in the cupboard under the stairs staring at his toolbox.

NEIL
Where did these weird Hex screws suddenly come from?
They’re everywhere.
I haven’t even got screwdrivers for these.
“So go and get some”.
But I don’t want to.

I don’t know where they came from.
They've got to be better than the screws I’ve got.
But I don’t want to change.

No-one said out loud this is what we’re using now.
Why don’t I just change over?
Because it’s yet another sign I am getting old.

That my technology is obsolete.
All those cross-head screwdrivers and boxes of screws that I haven’t used.

And it seems like there’s more than one hexagon.
There’s another one that’s kind of star shaped.

It looks like they’re compatible, but they’re not.

WHERE ARE ALL THESE SCREWS COMING FROM?

I can’t keep up.

THEY’RE SCREWING WITH MY MIND.

I am obsolete.

NEIL closes the understairs cupboard and moves on with his day.


Previous post...
The one that didn't get away in the bathroom. #DadDirt


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Thursday, 19 October 2017

The one that didn't get away in the bathroom. #DadDirt



DAD is standing behind his BOY, who is straining on something.

DAD
Lean with the pull...

BOY
It’s too strong Dad.

DAD
Use your full bodyweight against it.

BOY
I think I’m losing it.

DAD
Go on my son... I know you can do this.

REVEAL the BOY is fishing in the bath: pulling on a full-size rod, bending to breaking point.

BOY
(GNN)
I can’t. I can’t. It’s me or him.

GROAN... SPLOSH!

DAD
You did it, you did it!

REVEAL: from the end of the boy’s line is a MASSIVE BALL OF HAIR.

DAD
What a beaut!

The boy is crying.

BOY
I did do it.
He’s huge!

They hug.

SNAP! Father/Son grinning photo fishing pose with the hairball on the line between them.

“In memory, HAIRBALL 2016-2017”


Previous post...
In the offices after hours... who goes gathering with extra powers... #DadDirt


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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

In the offices after hours... who goes gathering with extra powers... #DadDirt



Shadows of men in the darkened office floor with torches.

O.C.O. 1
Got to be quick on this one.

O.C.O. 2
We've got a lot to get through.

O.C.O. 1 shines a torch in his face.

O.C.O. 1
This is a normal shift.

He turns the torch off.

O.C.O. 1 (CONT'D)
Try and find the sweet spot.

All the office lights flicker on:
O.C.O. 2 is in janitor's overalls and an elaborate stretched out pose to trigger the lights.

O.C.O. 2
Got it.

O.C.O. 1
Keep up.

O.C.O. 1 (also in janitor's overalls) sweeps the top of a cluttered desk straight into a bin bag.

O.C.O. 2
So we're like the people who get the restaurant tables ready.
Not the waiters--

O.C.O. 1
--Or the cleaners. Or the furniture movers. We are the "Office Clearer-Outers".
But what we do is so unspeakable, we have no job title.

O.C.O. 2
I'll get the drawers.

He dumps all the filth from the stuffed desk into bin bags.

O.C.O. 1
Everyone loves it when they start at a nice clean empty desk.
They don't think for a second about the actrocities that took place here.

O.C.O. 1 opens a folder from a shelf of indexed folders.

O.C.O. 1
You think you're creating all this useful "product" at your "workstation".
(RE. FOLDER)
Meeting notes, strategy reports, action plans, it's all sooooo important.
Until you go.

The folder goes in the bin bag.

O.C.O. 2
And then we come. After hours.

All the folders go in the bin bag.

O.C.O. 1
No-one wants to see this. When I was a kid, in hospital, appendix, one day they closed all the blinds, all the doors. And the nurses and helpers are all there distracting us... but we knew.
That bed bay was all clean and ready for the next one when the doors opened again.
That's this.

The workstation is completely stripped bare and pristine.

O.C.O. 2
Aww look. All "ready for the next one".

O.C.O. 1 crosses out with their stuffed bag-laden trolley.

O.C.O. 1
Come on. We've got six more. You're doing good.

O.C.O. 2
Thanks.
(THEN)
What happened to the last guy who did my job?

He crosses out to catch up.

O.C.O. 2
Hello?

Previous post...
Dad's attempt at geography model homework... #DadDirt


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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dads attempt at geography model homework... #DadDirt



In the Living Room... A BOY and DAD are huddled over a home made model that fills the table top.

DAD
Just one more...

BOY
Dad, are we taking a bit too long on this? It's just geography...

With a tube of glue, DAD sets the final piece.

DAD
There. Finished. "The South Downs".

REVEAL: a perfect topographical model of The South Downs made entirely out of tampons and sanitary pads.

BOY
Is the village of Buriton all there now?

DAD
Woah, no, good catch, thanks.

He unwraps a Kotex and cuts the string.

DAD
We've put in too much housing. It should be more light-industrial.

"BURITON" is labelled and made from the tips of tampons grouped together like a village, but still all in cotton white.

BOY
Does... does Mum know you've used all her stuff on this?

DAD
Mum will probably get very very angry.
Angrier than you've ever seen her.
For some reason, all the nonsense from us that she tolerates will suddenly fall over a boundary, and you will be humiliated for all the liberties that'd usually be overlooked.

Remember the 4 "A's".
Apologise.
Avoid drama.
Agree with everything.

BOY
Dad, you've-- I think you've spilt some glue.

DAD stands up with a puddle of glue on his lap.

DAD
Have you got anything to clear it up?

BOY
Sorry Dad.

DAD shuffles off.

DAD
Ashamed.



Previous post...
Wife's checklist for hubby's affair lady #DadDirt


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Monday, 16 October 2017

Wifes checklist for hubbys affair lady #DadDirt



In the supermarket aisles... DAD is pushing the trolley. MUM pulls him sideways.

MUM
Quick, over there. Don’t look.
(ON THE QUIET)
It’s the affair lady.

There’s an ATTRACTIVE 30-SOMETHING WOMAN.

DAD
That’s her job?

MUM
No, that’s what Claire calls her.

DAD tries not staring.

DAD
She’s the one on the left?

MUM
She’s the one who went off with that other Dad, and now they’re splitting up.
If you were to have an affair with someone like that, then at least I’d know, well, I can’t look like that so there’s nothing I could’ve done about it anyway.

DAD
And if she didn’t look like that...
(THEN)
I mean you look lovely.

MUM
If she wasn’t good-looking... I don’t think I could cope with that.

MUM considers a wall of coffee, but DAD’S head is grinding.

DAD
You mean, if I am going to have an affair. You want it to be with someone attractive.

MUM
I don’t know what I’d think if she wasn’t attractive. It’d probably be more upsetting. If she was plain - it’d mean there was something there that’s probably love. And that’s more hurtful.

DAD
So you want me to only go off with horny women.

MUM crosses out to shop on.

MUM (OS)
She’s not that hot.


Previous post...
We've all got a hobby thats someone elses job #DadDirt


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Sunday, 15 October 2017

We've all got a hobby thats someone elses job #DadDirt



Someone in staff uniform is gathering up used cups, saucers, and empty sandwich wrappers, but he’s interrupted by another uniformed member of staff.

COFFEE STAFF 1
Please don't do that.

COFFEE STAFF 2
It's nearly done boss.

COFFEE STAFF 1
No, really, I insist. Please, stop.

He takes crockery away from COFFEE STAFF 2

COFFEE STAFF 2
I don't mind - really.

COFFEE STAFF 1
But... you don't work here.

COFFEE STAFF 2
You don't know that.

COFFEE STAFF 1
We do know that because... you don't work here.

COFFEE STAFF 2 returns to wiping the table.

COFFEE STAFF 2
Honestly, it's cool

COFFEE STAFF 1
Honestly. It is not cool.
You do not work here.
Can you please stop.

COFFEE STAFF 2
But I’m almost done.

COFFEE STAFF 1
You don’t even need to start--
Can you at least please take off that T-shirt.

COFFEE STAFF 2
No! It’s mine!
I paid for it on ebay!
Come on, I’ve only got those tables left to do boss.

COFFEE STAFF 1
I am not your boss.
Literally!
You are not paid to be here.

COFFEE STAFF 2
And like you’ve not got any hobbies?

COFFEE STAFF 1
I’ve got hobbies. Lots of them.
And none of them are other people's jobs!

COFFEE STAFF 2
Ohhhh, so you don't think I am helping you.
You think I am competing with you?
You think there's only “limited” pie.
You think there is limited mess.
Limited tables to clean and clear?

COFFEE STAFF 1
Yes!

COFFEE STAFF 2
Look around you, man.
There's enough mess to go round!

COFFEE STAFF 2 pulls out one of the chairs from the table he just straightened.

COFFEE STAFF 2
Why don’t you take it easy?
Why don’t you take advantage.

COFFEE STAFF 1 sits down and tries to take stock.

COFFEE STAFF 1
What you are doing is exactly the same as putting on outfits from the dressing-up-box at school, and playing shops.

COFFEE STAFF 2
Yeah!
Isn’t it great?

COFFEE STAFF 3 storms in to yell at COFFEE STAFF 1

COFFEE STAFF 3
Dude! Again?
You are so lazy.
With all these tables left to do?

COFFEE STAFF 1
I was just telling this guy--

COFFEE STAFF 3
--Interrupting this guy from clearing up, I’m sorry. That’s it.
We’ve got to let you go.
Be out by the time I’m back.

COFFEE STAFF 3 storms out.

COFFEE STAFF 2
Can I buy your apron boss?


Previous post...
My belly is still big #DadDirt


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Saturday, 14 October 2017

My belly is still big #DadDirt



DAD, clothed, checks himself out in the mirror, front on, while MUM is in bed.

DAD
I don't get it. I've been working out every day with the ioniser... and I'm bigger than when I started.

He turns, revealing the bulge on his tummy.

MUM
You mean Ab-dominiser.

DAD
Oh.

He pulls up his jumper. A room ioniser is taped to his stomach.

DAD
My belly’s still big.

MUM
On the upside, it smells nice and fresh.


Previous post...
We love those advert banners all over our school gates don't we. #DadDirt


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Friday, 13 October 2017

We love those advert banners all over our school gates don't we. #DadDirt



MUMS arriving with their kids at the school gates.

REVEAL the school railings are TOTALLY COVERED by overlapping SUPERMARKET ADVERTISING BANNERS for vouchers and tokens schemes.

MUM 1
Sorry sweetie...

REVEAL: MORE MUMS patting and groping at the banners trying to find the entrance.
Like those zapped moaners from Day Of The Triffids.

MUM 2
(HOLDING WAD OF VOUCHERS)
We are such a bunch of losers.

MUM 3
And that’s why we need the vouchers.

MUM 4
Then we’d be winners.

MUM 5
But we can’t hand them in if we can’t find the school.

MUM 2
We are such a bunch of losers.


Previous post...
It's all okay using a womens body spray #DadDirt


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Thursday, 12 October 2017

It's all okay using a womens body spray #DadDirt




MUM and DAD getting dressed for the day. DAD is spraying himself.

MUM
Sorry, I used your deodorant.

DAD
That’s okay. It’s a women's one anyway.

MUM
Well, it’s nicer than mine.

DAD
Thank you.
(HANG ON)
It is okay for me to use a lady body spray.

MUM
I know.

DAD
I don’t want you thinking less of me as a man, just because of the products I use.

MUM
Alright.

DAD
Because that’s what they want you to think.
They spend millions of pounds to separate us.

MUM
Okay.

DAD
Haven’t we got past this already?

MUM
Oh my god--

DAD
This... lazy discrimination.
It’s not 1985.

MUM
This spray, I think. I think it’s turned you into me.

They raise their hands and touch each other.

A moment.

DAD
(EMOTIONAL)
It’s just--

MUM
-- so hard.

DAD AND MUM
I don’t think we should ever use this again.

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How I drank from a gravy boat in a job interview. My third worst job interview ever. #DadDirt


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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

How I drank from a gravy boat in a job interview. My third worst job interview ever. #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you think back on the times you put yourself at physical risk to earn money for your family.


I’m still working up my courage to write about my first and second worst job interviews ever. So let’s have a crack at number 3.

It was for a headhunter firm - already alarm bells should be ringing here. The trouble with recruitment firms approaching me is that I’ve got to separate myself from feeling flattered that they’ve contacted me... from the fact that they earn their money from me being there for free.

I got to their offices in London’s trendy Oxford Street and I was obviously the first one there, because the clients - the two women from the actual company looking to hire someone - had only just settled into the bare room that was set aside for them.

The start of my interview involved choosing which was the best seat to sit on, while they were giddy to be out of their office for the day and choosing which were the best pastries to start on.

I didn’t mind any of this. It was charming to be around their glee at what their company was paying for.

Eventually it hit them that, you know, I was in there too, crowding the moment.

They suddenly seemed very guilty and offered me a coffee.

Sure!

Finally, being the only person in the room not being paid to be here... I can join in and might even swing the chat around to why we’re here.

(Message to my kids - if you’re ever offered a drink in a job interview, always always go for a water. Rejecting it always goes down badly - like you’re being offish. And going for a hot drink always involves distracting business that has nothing to do with why you’re there. Milk? Sugar? Ooops I’ve spilt some... etc. etc. etc.)

“Oh, I am so sorry. We’ve only got two cups.”
Was this some kind of test?

“There’s the milk jug.”
They both giggled. I held it up - it was empty, and it was definitely a gravy boat.
This was some classy recruitment outfit.

“I think it’s a gravy boat.” I said out loud.

“You could drink it from that, if you don’t mind?”

I was in now.
There was no way I was going to back down from this.
I still don’t know where it was going, but do know this is where I double-down.

“Okay.
No, no sugar, thank you.
Ooops I’ve spilt some... ”

The only thing I remember from the rest of the 20 minute interview was the look on their faces as I’d break the conversation to wilfully take awkward sips of coffee from their borrowed gravy boat.

It was a sort of a wavy line where smiles should have been.

At the time, I was so eager to please that when they wanted to know if I had any questions at the end, I didn't even think to ask “How little do you care about your company that you don’t know your industry well enough to conduct a search for staff yourself?”

How little do I care about my industry that I’m relying on a company to find me a job.

Though to be fair I was all caught up in myself, stopping hot drink dribbling from the spout into my lap.


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Why Club biscuits are banned by my wife from our house #DadDirt


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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Why Club biscuits are banned by my wife from our house #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...certain products are banned from your house for some reason.


I'm doing something in the kitchen that uses the same square-metre of floorspace as my Long-Suffering Wife (LSW)

ME
(SINGS) Love a club... Love a club...
If you don't lub-a-dub then you don't lub a dub
Cause everyone loves a Club.

LSW
I hate all adverts for Club.

ME
You don't like the song?

LSW
No they stopped us in Guildford High Street - me and my cousin - and said "Do you like chocolate?!"
It was us, of course we love chocolate!
"Can we borrow your children to help us for half an hour?"
Of course! "We're in the White Hart Hotel" or somewhere on the High Street.
So we left our parents, went off with these two adults.

ME
Ahhh, the 1980s.

LSW
I was so random I remember it so clearly.
We must've been about 11.
They showed us a load of adverts.
We went into this room in a hotel and there were other kids hoiked off the High Street, and they showed a load of adverts, and Club must've been one of them.

ME
How did you know they were from Club?

LSW
She started going on and on about Club.
Club this and Club that, but no-one could remember it, and it became pretty obvious they were marketing or advertising for Club.

ME
Can you remember which one - was it the one: (SINGS) "Have you ever seen a biscuit chocolatey... Lubba-dubba-lubba-dubba.. Lub Dub"

LSW
I couldn't remember it then and I can't remember it now.
They kept saying it was thick chocolate, and I remember saying "but the chocolate isn't very thick." But I suppose it was thick for a biscuit. I was probably comparing it to things like a Mars Bar.

And that was the hook "Do you like chocolate?!"
I didn't even get a whiff of chocolate.
Or anything at the end of it

ME
You didn't get paid.

LSW
I got a pen.
It didn't even have the word CLUB on it.
It was just this normal biro.
I'm not sure if they were dissatisfied with my services.
That their advertising campaign wasn't working, at all.

ME
(SINGS) Everyone loves a club!

LSW
I might've stolen the pen.

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Disney princes and princesses, which way round and what next #DadDirt


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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Disney princes and princesses, which way round and what next #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you can predict entertainment for your kids.


Here’s something I wasn’t expecting: In Walt Disney World, I met my first ever cross-dressed cast member.
A sales assistant working proudly and prominently in the shop nearest the entrance.

It was glorious.

What my eyes and prejudices believes to be what a man looks like - with pretty hair clips, glasses, and a uniform dress: the female shop staff uniform.

My kids were running rampant trying out the branded fidget spinners, so we were there for about 20 minutes.

And I was transfixed by the reactions.

Nicole wasn’t nervous, but had the body language of someone who’s dealt with our reactions her whole life.

The men - all Dads - would stand side-on.
Without fail.

Maybe to avoid eye-contact, to make sure they look like they're not staring... ironically to show that they’re cool, by not being cool.

We are in awe.

Because for most straight men, it's difficult enough getting dressed in the clothes we've got...
Let alone dealing with a whole new wardrobe.

So I stood front-on with full eye-contact - realising this is how I probably am with women.
Veering on a letch.

What is the right way?
Everything I do is wrong.

It was shocking because only a few years ago there was no way a Disney cartoon would accept any form of cross-dressing in its comedy.

It hit me how much of that is a part of British comedy - panto, big dumb characters in “wrong” clothes. Probably dates back hundreds of years to the upside down world of carnival in many cultures...

You just could not put it into an international cartoon script - especially if it was for the US.

So here might be the next unexpected step.
We think of it as jolly.
Celebratory.

But cross-dressing in comedy might now be blocked for something else.
Being demeaning - coming off that it's laughing at it.

What if Mrs Brown, Lily Savage, all those characters from Gigglebiz to Panto are seen as the “blacking up” of more enlightened transgender times.

Then another thought hit me that night, seeing all the Prince/Princess kiss moments from so many stories across the happiest place on earth:

How far are we from a same-sex happy ending?
Or even “other” gender happy ending?

It could still be a Prince and Princess.

Just maybe dressed the other way round from what we’re used to on screen.

I don’t think it’s that far away.


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My List Of Famous British People From the late 90s #DadDirt


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Saturday, 16 September 2017

My List Of Famous British People From the late 90s #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you can't stop living in the past.


I'm still clearing stuff out - it's an experiment to cut down my electronic hoarding.

I'll publish the things that spark joy.
Like this.

It's a list I made in 1996 of all the people who were famous at the time.

I was a Researcher at the BBC, and the hardest part of the job was thinking up the list of interviewees or subjects or talking heads
(for shows like "Auntie's TV Favourites" or "The End Of The Year Show" or many others that were never made).

The same names kept coming up and I was fed up starting from scratch each time.

So now, for posterity, is my list of famous people in UK culture from 1996.

It was added to over the years, so think of it as a list of famous people from the late nineties...

Obviously some of them are now dead, and others disgraced, some both.

I looked up some who were really big online, shocked at mere hundreds of followers they have now.

I don't know why I am shocked.

Why would they mess about online having been in the papers every day 21 years ago.

Anyway, here's the list - under the, frankly, bizarre headings of Presenters, Acting, Comedy and Other.




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Boy George on Larry Grayson’s Generation Game - how I got to watch every single one


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