At what point as a grown up person do you stop thinking your Dad is just the best man in the whole world?
Because, for my younger readers, I'm 24 now and it turns out this isn't the age that it happens. I still think my Dad is brilliant and, short of him going on a rampage and murdering Will Young, Jason Mraz and David Jason, I can't see my opinion on him changing.
There's somethng magical about a Dad that just makes you realise there's nothing a beard and some BBQd food can't solve for you. I've largely decided the next 40 years of my life will be spent moulding my brother into a very similar format to my Dad (maybe minus the penchant for incredibly dull TV shows). I will never understand how someone as interesting as my father manages to repeatedly watch Eggheads without screaming in frustration at the mind numbingly idiotic fanny-packs who insist on giving us their life story before answering any question.
A typical Eggheads exchange will go something like this -
So, which animal lives in the desert and can have or one or two humps on it's back?
Well, it's interesting you should ask that, actually. Because, my husband Brian and I met on a cruise ship back in the late 80s and when we met he was smoking Marlborough Reds. And of course, another type of cigarette is the Camel.
Correct! And what an interesting story...
At this point our TV screen is covered in blood where I've begun furiously bashing my face against the glass to try and make it stop (not sure if I'm trying to make my life or the show stop - it's all the same). When Dad is subjecting us to Eggheads he likes to watch "How It's Made". This is a show that exemplifies exactly how little human blood most TV insiders must have. I have watched episodes of this show where they show you how mother boards are made, how does cardboard get its layers, how does a plank of wood make it to the hardware store... how much of this TV show can you put up with before you start bludgeoning people to death with an axe made from your TV licenses? But, for some reason my Dad loves this show. He is odd.
When I was little one of my favourite things to do with my Dad was to watch Transworld Sport on a Saturday morning on the sofa before everyone else got up and before Grandstand started. Transworld Sport was a magical show where all the interesting sporting events from round the world got coverage and you could be watching skiing one minute and sumo wrestling the next. Nothing better than to watch that with a hug from your Dad and half your brain trying to work out why adults don't like cartoons but do like coffee.
One of the saddest realities I've had to face is that it doesn't matter how grown up I get, I will never be a storng enough person (emotionally or physically) to deal with my Dad's "pokey finger". Now, before you all start sniggering like yucky folk, my Dad's pokey finger is his right hand indexd finger which is UNBELIEVABLY STRONG. You get that finger under your collar bone and you are literally out of action for as long as my Dad decides you need punishing. The problem with "pokey finger" is that it doesn't really hurt enough to stop you laughing and how it tickles a little bit, but you are absolutely sure you don't want it to continue for any longer than necessary. there must be some kind of parenting class that teaches you how to master these kind of control techniques,
In my opinion, in order to be a good Dad, you need the following things -
1. A beard
2. Smiley eyes
3. A dressing gown that is older than most of your children
4. A deep voice that could read bedtimes stories but probably won't unless it's a very special occasion.
5. The ability to drive ANYTHING
6. Bat like hearing for the second you are up to something naughty.
7. The capacity to pretend you don't know that all your children have vomited vodka through their nose at some point in their lives.
8. Tolerance for frequent financial begging
9. Some kind of toilet library.
10. The ability to annoy any of your offspring at will with just one awful punchline or abitrary rule you've just invented.
Where would we be without our Dads??