This is my son, Sebastian. He’s a cute, squishy little monster…..but sometimes he does things that are just a bit out of left field. Here’s one recent example:
So, I’m lying in bed and I’m reading a fantastic book under the warm glow of my bedside lamp. I’ve gone up early because I’m completely wiped out, but this novel has me completely captivated….and the sound of my wife’s late night Eastenders marathon (downstairs) has become a background buzz.
So…..me in bed. Reading. Happy. Comfortable. Absorbed. Glowing like a pregnant dolphin…..if they glow. They might.
Then my wife comes into the room.
“You took your time,” I say in a distracted, jovial way. “Was Eastenders any good?”
When she doesn’t answer, I look up from my book.
My wife is gawping at me.
Not staring. Actually GAWPING. Her bottom jaw has dropped open and she looks like she’s about to scream.
I freeze, as my mind immediately kicks into Def Con 342: SPIDER…..I know it’s a F***ING spider. Probably one of those massive ones with trainers on: the ones you read about in the Sun. They’re all heading to Britain….because they’re hungry: they’ve killed everyone in Australia and now they’re coming for us.
I slowly, very very slowly…..turn my head, just as my wife shouts “Fire!”
My bedside light is blazing merrily away, and I mean blazing. I’ve been sitting next to it, two inches away, for the last half hour and yet it is smoking like an elderly lady with a 90-a-day habit, flames dancing around the shade.
24 CARAT IDIOT that I am…..I do the first thing that occurs to me. I reach over and switch off the light.
Oddly, this works, and the entire room is plunged into darkness. The following conversation then takes place:
“Shall I switch it back on, love?”
“No. It was on fire. I’ll find the big light.”
Still dark in the room.
“How did you NOT notice your bedside light was on fire?”
“I’m supposed to check for that? Seriously? We live in a house, not in the Jungle. What I am supposed to do, get a bucket ready every time I flick a switch in here?”
Light goes on.
“Why did it catch fire, do you think?”
I peer over the top of the lampshade, and this is what I see:
The thing that has melted THROUGH the bulb is one of Sebastian’s plastic frogs. He’d put it inside the lampshade, on top of the lightbulb. He’s such a good boy.
I now have a melted frog light that I can’t use…..but, because the book was SO good, I actually did just that. I turned the light back on and read the last chapter in the warm glow of the fire.
The truly astonishing thing was that Bast had a MASSIVE go at me the following morning for ruining his favourite green frog. When I pointed out that all twelve of them were green, he just looked at me through tear-streaked eyes and said: “You don’t understand, daddy: that one was SPECIAL.”
It is now: it’s half frog, half light bulb.