Posted by: martinworster | December 7, 2009

81. THE SULTAN AND HIS LORDSHIP

My position as the dominant male in the house has been usurped. There’s two new swingers in town – and they certainly rule the roost. I used to have sole control of the remote control. Not anymore. My demotion really hit home the other night as I observed my two sons Tristan and Oliver loungeing on the sofa watching TV.

Tristan lay languorously on one sofa with a bowl of grapes to his side. He was feeding himself in the manner of a Sultan or Emir, or perhaps even a classic toga clad Roman reclining as he chomped on his red grapes. He lazily munched on one grape at a time. All that was missing was a slave to feed him and keep him cool with a frond fan. His eyes were fixed on the flat screen TV stuck on the wall like a painting. He was watching Cars, or it might have been Ice Age, or maybe it was Fox And The Hounds. Tristan didn’t bat an eyelid as I walked in.

Oliver was lying on the other sofa (or couch as they call it here) – this time more in the manner of a Lord or Duke. He was also reclining, head propped up by a pillow. In front of him was another bowl of snacks – Cheetos, M&Ms, a trail mix, I can’t remember – that he funneled into his mouth. I tried to get myself in his line of vision. He didn’t bat an eyelid, not even a scintilla of recognition. It was like I was invisible. The Man Who Wasn’t There. 

I took the remote control and flipped the channel. All hell broke lose. Screams and cries. ‘My TV! My TV! My movie! My movie!’, they both shouted angrily. Maybe I should have asserted my ‘father-breadwinner-authoritarian-patriarch-status’ but to be honest with you I couldn’t be bothered and turned it back onto Pixar’s latest work of art. Silence resumed. Their gazes re-averted to the TV. I retreated to my bedroom like a sullen teenager and strummed my guitar as I sat on the edge of the bed. A moody teen – I’ve got all that to look forward to. Times two.

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