Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chick lit, Dags style

Like most other city-dwelling kids who wouldn't be caught dead with tree bark smudges gracing their pink little hands, my offspring positively adores indoor playgrounds - apparently, they have no problem with wallowing in dust, discarded chewing gums and baby drool. Civilization is a wonderful thing.

Being the indulgent parent I am (no, really!), at least once a week I find myself stationed in front of a giant glass screen, the trademark 'mommy is looking, dear' smile plastered across my face, counting the minutes until my kids decide that finger-painting their wardrobe of the moment is actually more interesting than watching mommy's horrified face as they attempt to scale the artificial castle while hanging upside down.

And then I'm left trying to navigate the pits and falls of that most horrible of all the social activities known to humankind: namely, hanging out with the other parents.

The antisocial bastard I am, it didn't take me long to realize that the safest (and by far the fastest) way to ward off unwanted conversation is to 'never speak, and carry a large book'. Preferably a foreign language one.

However, the problem with indoor playgrounds (privately owned, and therefore a fairly recent discovery in this part of the world) is that the patrons invariably hail from similar social/age group strata, and therefore are all well versed in deciphering the Anglo-Saxon pictographs. Well... enough to read the book title, at least.

And, as everyone who has ever visited kid-oriented establishments will be quick to tell you, there is always one conversation-starved new parent eager to trade potty stories. Well this parent would rather discuss the reproductive biology of invertebrates than revisit those particular experiences, thank you very much...

Through a series of trials and errors I've finally stumbled upon the perfect solution, which was revealed in the person and works of one Jeremy Clarkson. You see, the book-reading part of the 'beyond the glass screen' population (namely, the females) has no idea who the man is. And as for the remaining 20% who could actually recognize the silly bugger prancing around the covers with a bunch of (more or less) domesticated animals... they have no idea that men can write books, too!

Now, I'm not sure how this reflects on Mr Clarkson's books sales but it's a bloody win-win situation for me.

With the added bonus of no one wanting to venture any closer than is absolutely necessary to a chain-smoking chick dressed in all black who keeps chuckling to herself every fifteen seconds or so.

1 comment:

  1. Dags, god I love your writing and humour! Hayley (not really anonymous)