However. I am now finally back and in a feedback loop of procrastination so intense that I have already emptied the crumb tray on the toaster, descaled the coffee machine and uncovered a box of paperwork from 2008 whilst delving into the deep sendimentary layers of mess on the sideboard. This is no way to spend a Saturday, but I am too hungover for Ikea which was my initial plan and there are several more pressing things I am avoiding doing. I do not have a great deal to say, but that will not be stopping me. Onwards!
1. Tiger Mother
I am deeply entertained by the whole Tiger Mother thing, but got distracted, predictably, by thinking what kind of animal best reflects my parenting style. I raised the matter with V.
E: So, Tiger Mother. What kind of animal mother are you? I think I'm Sloth mother. Maybe hamster mother, that eats its young.
V: Easy. Seahorse mother. I abandon the baby seahorses with Papa Seahorse and swim off.
E: Oh yes, like the Eric Carle book!
(This book, Mister Seahorse, for those that are not familiar with it, is an uncanny look at male parenting using aquatic life. Firstly, all the papa fishes swim around boasting about their childcare credentials ('Mrs Pipefish laid these eggs in my mouth and I must take care of them!') like they want a medal. And then at the end, as soon as the baby seahorses hatch, one of them tries to swim back into the pouch and the Papa Seahorse says something along the lines of "Oh no. I have looked after you until you hatched but now you must fend for yourself". in a sort of "whoa, dude, don't get too comfortable, my work here is DONE" way. Ace.).
V: Seafoals catch on at an admirably young age.
I raised it with M, who suggested 'Sugar Glider Mother'.
E: So.. Bitey, musky smelling, high pitched shrieking, not fond of children.. and always pissing down your arm?
M: Yup. Let's go piss down someone's arm RIGHT NOW.
(Tiger Mother on Twitter, incidentally, is rather fine).
Things not to do five minutes before a telephone interview: find and watch a YouTube clip of your subject talking about his sex life. Particularly if your subject, a 'relationship expert', uses an extended food analogy to do so, which involves comparing his wife TO AN OVEN. "On prend du temps.. on fait chauffer le four...". No. Whilst I am in no way qualified as a relationship expert, as anyone who has met me can testify, I feel comfortable assuring you that comparing your wife to an oven, sexually, is unlikely to do you any favours. Just .. no.
3. Illegal activity
Google Adsense have shut me down for illegal activity. I think that is because you very kindly clicked repeatedly on the mystifying adverts for Ukrainian brides, reclaiming your brain, and all you can eat buffets with gyrating macaroons in lurid colours (well, these are what I got, and very nice they were too). I don't know whether I should bother trying to appeal, they make the whole process impressively difficult. You are, for instance, not allowed to know what "invalid click activity" they have detected or indeed, anything at all. So, essentially, I have been offering free advertising to Ukrainian escort services for the last month, which is nice.
This has to be one of the most boring kinds of "illegal activity" imaginable, doesn't it? Quite apart from the fact that it's not, strictly speaking, remotely illegal. If I'm going to get penalised for illegal activity, I'd like to actually have some fun in the process, thanks. Or at least get a free tram ride (EXCEPT WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THAT, OH NO).
4. "Fuck the Crips and the Bloods - Blastoise versus Charizard"
You should only watch this clip if:
- You have been repeatedly exposed to Pokémon;
- You have an exceptionally high tolerance for spoken obscenity;
- You have a very wrong sense of humour.
If you tick all these boxes, you may be as helplessly reduced to hysteria as M, F and I were. M and I decided the internet could actually close down now that this existed. It has fulfilled its purpose. Incidentally, F mocked me mercilessly when I wrote "Cribs" instead of "Crips" when discussing it. I am extremely street. I could not be more street if I tried.
5. Animal of the Year
This has been hotly contested, and my children, after a brief flirtation with the DikDik, were most unhelpfully insistent that this owl should win, when he hadn't even entered, and I had decreed, Diana Vreeland style, that Owls were Out (I don't mean it, owls. You'll never be out with me, but fashion is a cruel mistress).
I am sorry to the cross eyed opossum and to the Highland calves, the late flurry of swaddled baby bats, the wonderful Potto over there in the sidebar and the many other excellent candidates, but I simply cannot see past the aye-aye. The extraordinarily mournful eyes, the special pointing 'loser' finger, the vast and weirdly leathery ears. I am overwhelmed with love. It's 2011's naked mole rat and no mistake.
That means commenter Diabolo wins a tiny, derisory, low value prize. Email me your address, Diabolo and I will despatch it.
Coming soon on Belgian Waffle: Oliver James's new crusade against my sanity, further thoughts with props - and possible Exciting Multimedia Content - on the Belgian constitutional crisis, and almost certainly a lot of empty promises that come to nothing. Here, have some more aye ayes. It's all going to be ok.