It has taken me some time to come to terms with the events of last night. I had decided, in Lisa’s continued absence, to celebrate the conclusion of the holidays by taking the children to see ‘Dawn of Planet of the Apes’ at the cinema in the Westfield Shopping Centre.
I was tired. It had been a long trip to France. (See “French Leave“)
I accept that I took my eye off the ball at the sweet counter. I gave the kids some money, waved them away and sat, just for a moment, to reflect on where my life had gone wrong. Post camping fatigue overwhelmed me.
I should have been alerted that things may go awry when I saw the Tango Blaster. I don’t know if you have seen one of these rocket-fuel disaster packs but they take the form of 2 large tanks (one blue, one pink) of semi-frozen luridly coloured chemicals – think Jacques Cousteau on acid. The children are banned by Lisa from eating or drinking anything blue. Bitter experience has shown they just can’t handle blue.
I struggled, caught between lassitude and anger, “Sean, what do you think you are doing?” I hissed.
“I can’t take it back, Dad” he shrugged. “I’ve been bubbling it and it’s got spit in.”
At that moment, Isobel dropped her hot dog and all hell broke loose. What with imposing the five-second rule and blowing on the wiener, I really stopped paying attention to the boy and his bulging pockets.
I should have been worried when Sean declined his post-film burger and said that he felt ‘claustrophobic’. Vaingloriously, I insisted that he ate some, “There are children in India…” To no avail. I gave up, and muttering to myself about ungrateful sods, got the bill.
As we picked our way through the Friday night crowds in Westfield, it began. Sean projectile vomited a purple sea of filth. It was like a fire hydrant of half digested pick’n’mix, burger and fries. People were screaming. Some had dolly mixtures in their hair. I was soaked. Wave after wave. Children were sneering ‘That’s disgusting’, mothers were outraged and smug. I was reduced to whimpering ‘Please Sean, stop. Please. Please make it stop’. No. On it came. Endless. Finally someone handed me some tissue and we squelched slowly across the food court. We got a lift to ourselves. Fortunately, Sean had remembered to ask for a doggy-bag and so, as I fumbled to get the puke covered keys into the car door, I looked across to see him popping a nourishing morsel into his maw.