I have a fairly well-developed persecution complex. It appears to be a disease of the middle-aged man. Real or not, at times everyone feels that they are getting not just the shitty end of the stick, but the other end is being poked somewhere unpleasant too.
Such was my thinking on late Friday afternoon. There I was minding my own business, when I got the phone call that every man dreads.
It wasn’t that one of my daughters was pregnant (although in ten years this is more likely to be good news than bad, but at 17 and 15, I think not), it wasn’t that Louise had dumped all my belongings on the front lawn either. This is mainly because we don’t have a front lawn. This was uppermost in my selection criteria of any new house…..
“Yes Phil and/or Kirstie, we are looking for a seventeen bedroom period property with eighteen acres of land, with our own water-mill and miniature village on the back patio where we shall sit and watch herds of Wildebeest sweep majestically through the Home Counties with our children Saffron and Hercules. Our budget is tight at only 25.4 million pounds”…said me never.
No, our new house is modest but it has no grass and this is something I wake up thankful for every day.
Anyway, I digress, this dreaded call wasn’t any of that. It was that….
SKY WAS NOT WORKING!
Quite what I could do about it from twenty miles away I don’t know, but the girls had done the correct thing and gone next door for Grandad. I put the phone down thinking he may well sort it by the time I got home.
Nope. In fact I got another call from Dad, which turned into one of those conversations that you could never have imagined having.
Dad: “There is water coming out of your Sky box!”
Me: “Sorry, I could have sworn you said there was water coming out of the Sky box”.
It turns out that is indeed what he did say. Fast forward to my arrival home, and the TV and its plethora of boxes and gadgets are all over the front room soon to be joined by my will to live.
To cut a very long and painful story short, we discovered that the aerial cable coming in from outside was pumping water into our Sky box, which was now forlornly lying on the carpet looking damp and unlikely to ever work again.
This water was coming in via a circuitous route involving the cellar, which was as a result nice and damp too. So back to my point?
I had a right sulk on. In the full glaring horror of a post holiday cash shortage, with Christmas looming, once again, just as I could see us getting back to some sort of financial normality, shit happens. It was quite an epic sulk, and I could quite easily have torched the bloody house at that point and put in an insurance claim. Staring down the barrel of a new sky box, new cabling and who knows what else to sort out the cellar, I had a right hissy fit.
I was so upset that I almost didn’t eat my tea. THAT is how upset I was.
So with the Sky box down we watched a DVD on Friday night, The Black Knight, which was again awesome, and then went to bed, taking my bottom lip with me.
Saturday dawned and taught me (again) a lesson in perspective, patience and parents. After drying out the Sky box, I tried to connect it all up again (minus the water-bearing aerial cable of course) and it all worked. The scenes of jubilation were epic. It was like the Ewok party in the Return of The Jedi with even Emily raising an eyebrow in appreciation, her Dad being suddenly useful.
So we don’t need a new Sky box after all. Kerching.
My Dad then returned from golf and popped in with a plan to sort the cellar, and with news of a chap he golfs with arriving on Monday to sort out our aerial issues.
Having stared down the desolate barrel of a weekend without Sky, huge bills and a leaky house, come Saturday afternoon, Sky was restored, and the rest didn’t look so daunting.
So the moral of the tale is…
I am absolutely correct in my persecution complex. Life is just a series of obstacles and hurdles, most of which trip me up and see me sprawl across the running track of life. The thing is, it is probably the same for everyone else too.
Much as I put my girl’s worlds back together again on a regular basis, when they fall out with friends, lose a boyfriend or have coursework traumas, so in the circle of life does my Dad (and/or Mum) for me. The fact that he spent his entire working life in the building trade, and there is not a trade that is not represented now by a member of his golf club, means that these house related things are small beer for him.
The fact that I lose all perspective and patience from time to time is just how I am made. Louise knows this, recognises the signs and handles me in the way in which I need handling. That is to be left alone until the sulk passes, with some consoling words thrown in which pretty much fall on deaf ears despite her best efforts.
I’m an introverted drama queen, which is a pretty bad combination. Whether my Dad is picking me up after falling off a swing (not for some years now I admit), or from the precipice of a house related trauma, he’s probably used to it by now.
I shall try better to remember, appreciate and deploy the three Ps of which I write in future!
But for God’s sake who has ever heard of water being pumped into your Sky box by your aerial? (Not a euphemism!)
Till the next time….