I am being kept waiting by my country’s next Prime Minister. He is late. It is very tiresome.
Favourite Daughter: Daddy!
There are an awful lot of tall men with very short hair and enormous hands present. They wear black suits with strange bulges under the arms and 24-style earpieces. They start to get a bit animated. Something is happening.
Me: Just another minute sweetheart.
She is hopping up and down in four-year old frustration. Favourite Son is busy trying to smack his head off every single unexpected object in the building, as is the wont of most two-year old boys.
Forty minutes previously.
All three of us get off the train. We are at the city that I may have mentioned my strange love affair with. We head toward the science centre. It is a real place that does real things with genetics and that, but also has huge tourist-exhibition-type-things all the time.
Some of the way is uphill. FS is in a pushchair, FD is holding my hand. My right hand is on the right-hand handle of the pushchair, my left hand is holding FD's hand, and my right hip is pushing the left-hand handle of the pushchair. I've had practice, and find this works. Although does make one appear as though one is attempting to fuck a pushchair. Whatever. It works.
There are coppers EVERYWHERE. Favourite Daughter witnesses a man who appeared a bit out-of-place being instantly maced, cuffed and thrown into a meat wagon.
FD: Are they taking him to jail Daddy?
Me: Christ. For his sake I hope so.
Law enforcement are twitchy this afternoon. I hope he doesn’t get too much of a kicking.
FD is delighted. It is possibly the best thing she has ever seen.
FD: Policeman take the naughty people to jail he was naughty but we’re good so we’re safe.
Me: Yes sweetheart.
I’m not sure he was doing anything wrong at all. But he was unshaven. Which will not do when my children are present.
We get to the reception-type place of the science centre.
Quite Fit Woman: Can I help?
Me: I believe I’m on a VIP list of some sort? It’s Mr.Dad.
QFW: [checks] And who are you the guest of?
Me: Em. Under invite of Makepeace in Human Resources.
QFW: That’s right.
Me: Um. I know.
I am issued with much paraphernalia to indicate that I have a right to be there and will not be bombing anyone or anything. And that I don’t have to pay for anything at all. Ever. Well. Today. Not even lunch. Today.
I am told that we have to be at a specific point in the exhibition centre at a specific time. At the time the next prime minister will arrive.
Which is where we are now.
Favourite Son: Owww!
He’s ten minutes late now. This won’t do. If he can’t keep a simple appointment I don’t know how he expects to run the country. Christ. I’m never late for anything. Maybe I should get the job. Anyway. Doesn’t he know who I am? I write a blog that gets literally tens of hits every MONTH. I bet his doesn’t.
On the gangway above us lots of the short-hair big-hand men begin approaching. All the television people around us get quite animated. I see our next Prime Minister who doesn’t even have a blog and even if he did it would be rubbish compared to mine heading this way.
My eyes and brain do that weird ‘ooh I recognize you but from tele-vision so it’s a bit odd seeing you without a tele-vision in front of me’ thing.
FD: Daddy! I want to see the monsters!
Me: Two seconds sweetheart. Look. That’s the man who is going to be the boss of the whole country.
FD: Which one?
She looks at a man in a suit. She’s seen one before. This is not an event.
Me: Oh you buffoon.
Our next Prime Minister begins to head down the stairs toward us.
48 hours previously. I am on my way home from work. I share the car with sister-in-law Makepeace. I say share. I sit in the passenger seat and offer money from time to time. It is never accepted. I do not push the matter.
Makepeace: Strange request for you.
Makepeace: Gordon Brown’s visiting our place. Some sort of meet-and-greet thing. It’s just. We’ve had a call and he wants plenty of children there. For him to be seen with. It’s his thing. Only photogenic ones though. He wants to be seen chatting to them. What do you think?
Me: Do I have to pay anything?
Makepeace: No. You’ll have to security vetted, but otherwise it’s a free day out.
Me: Fill your boots.
Makepeace: I’ll put your name down.
Me: Great. And I don’t have to pay anything?
Makepeace: Not even lunch.
Me: Great. Although I’m not the biggest fan of Dave Cameron.
Makepeace: It’s Gordon Brown.
Anyway. He’s heading down the stairs toward us.
Me: He’s coming now sweetheart.
Me: Silly sod.
FD: Daddy! I want to see the monsters!
Apparently it’s a very good exhibition. Life-sized models of mythical creatures.
He looks shorter than on the tele-vision. But also bulkier. He gives the impression that he is made of very dense Lego.
In fairness we’ve been waiting fucking ages.
There’s a dragon I’m told. I’m quite anxious to see it myself. Animatronic. Apparently there’s real smoke. It’s supposed to be huge.
Our next Prime Minister heads our way. But is distracted by a family consisting of slightly-less-attractive-than-my-own children.
Do you know what? Fuck it. I want to see the fucking dragon as well.
Me: Come on you.
We walk off. He had his chance.
And there was real smoke and everything. Favourite Son was terrified. Favourite Daughter was ‘middle-scared’. It was brilliant.