A Chip Off The Old Block

My father and I at Chambers in Folkestone, England. Circa. 2008

I have realised that I am becoming more and more like my father. Now don’t get me wrong this is not necessarily a bad thing as I adore my father and wish that I could be more like him. He has always been a kind and generous man. However taking after my father means I get to look forward to clumsiness, forgetfulness, afternoon naps, an addiction to Irish folk music and a penchant for bad jokes.

One of my favourite stories about my father’s clumsiness regularly gets recalled by my mother at family gatherings. My father has always been an early riser and so regularly begins his day an hour or so before my mother. He will spend this time checking emails, putting finishing touches to his own articles or playing the same levels of Age of Empire over and over again, using the cheat codes so that he can demolish all his foes with ease.

One morning, as a kindhearted gesture, he decided to make my mother a cup of tea and bring it to her while she was in bed. My mother recalls that she could hear him plod up the stairs, my father can be very heavy footed at times, followed by what she described as a tumble and the noise that one associates with someone stumbling down some stairs very quickly (Insert noise selection here). A few minutes later my father sheepishly poked his head around the bedroom door.

“I’ve made you some tea” he offered and passed the cup to my mother. It was a little under half full.

“What did you do?” my mother asked trying to hide her smirk

“I tripped” replied my father.

My mother rose from the bed and approached the stairs. Tea had been sloshed up the walls.

Summer 1996

My father taking an afternoon siesta. Summer 1996.

Another example of my father’s hazardous nature begins with a trip into the attic. My father always forbade us to venture up there. “Why?” We would ask in unison.

“Because you’ll end up putting your foot through the ceiling that’s why” He would reply firmly.

You may have guessed what is coming next. One day my father was in the attic looking for something, probably another Irish vinyl record, when I heard a crash. I came from my room into my sister’s room and found a foot hanging through the ceiling as well as an exclamation of “Ah fuck, shit, wank, Bollocks!!!”, coming from above.

A few minutes later he came down from the attic nursing a scratched shin and wounded pride only to be met by a younger version of myself, aged eight, chastising him by saying “You told us we weren’t supposed to use words like that Dad”


Me insisting that my father be a horse, circa 1986.

As time progresses and I get older I find that I am becoming just as clumsy. I stub my toes on random objects around the house, I knock over bottles and glasses of water which are usually always fully and I lose things. 

“We all lose things” I hear you say and you would be right. I don’t lose keys or my wallet as I always put them in the same place. No…I lose our car. Let me explain.

When shopping at the grocery store or at the mall or wherever I’m going to, I park up and always forget to take note of where I have parked. When I have finished whatever task it is I had set out for I return to the car park with the realisation that I haven’t the faintest idea where I parked. Thankfully my car has an electronic locking system as this enables me to press the unlock button on the car key and listen for the beep of the car unlocking.

The problem is that this only works within a fifteen metre radius of the car. There are times when I have been marching up and down the car park frantically pushing the unlock button on my key and waiting to hear that familiar beep.

I find that I am also becoming more accustomed to afternoon naps. I never nap for long, just a quick twenty minutes or so, but I find that it is a very refreshing way to boost one’s energy for the evenings activities.

Rozel bay, Jersey, Sept 69

My father in Jersey in 1969.

My mother recalls another evening when her and my father had sat down to watch a film together. My father quickly nodded off and dozed all evening. He then awoke around 11pm, yawned and said “I think I’ll go to bed now” and climbed the stairs to retire for the evening. I guess that’s the kind of romantic evening my future partner has to look forward to when I am older.

Lastly I have also been informed that I have inherited my father’s endless telling, and re-telling, of terrible jokes that weren’t funny the first time they were heard. I for one think my dad’s jokes are funny which is why I have stolen most of them from him and re-tell them to friends and family whenever I get the chance.

A particular favourite of mine is a joke about pirates. “Why are pirates called pirates? Because they aaarrrggghhh” (said in a pirate accent)

Another is “Did you hear about the pregnant bedbug? She’s having a baby in the spring” These jokes go under the “An oldie but a goodie” category.

And on that note it’s 10:30am and I have been up since 7:30am. I think it’s time for a nap.


4 responses to “A Chip Off The Old Block

  1. “Waiter” says a customer rather impatiently, “how long will my sausages be?”
    “About four or five inches” came the reply.

  2. I said I would never me like my mom. I am now middle aged and guess what, I am like my mother!! Like your blog. Thanks for stopping by my blog on art.

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