It’s all my fault, I took him into the shop and I gave him some of the money to start the hobby.
I knew we were going that way a week before we got there and it was my decision to stop and go in. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Mark had always fancied himself as a Kevin Costner or Cary Elwes. Cary Elwes is the guy that played the camp Robin Hood and Westley in The Princess Bride, if you aren’t familiar with the name.
Hubble needed a hobby, I don’t, you see, consider staring at a computer screen for hours on end, a hobby. His belly was starting to resemble a laptop tray, squidgy and wobbly underneath with a solid surface for the laptop to rest on.
So, in my great wisdom I decided to take him to an Archery shop.
Let’s go back a bit just for a minute. Way back when Mandy was a little girl. We were driving through the countryside when the red fuel light came on.
“What’s that?” Mandy asked.
“It means we need petrol.”
We were in the middle of nowhere but I was confident we would reach home.
“I’ve got a Ficky pea,” she declared.
I must have given that silent look that parents give their children, that says, “What the hell are you on about?” look.
“Ficky Pea. I wanted to buy some sweets, but you can have it for the car, to make it go. I’ll borrow you it.”
“Lend it.” I automatically corrected her.
“Lend it,” she repeated.
Still perplexed I had to ask. She was fiddling with her tiny pink handbag and trying to pull her Micky Mouse purse out from the stiff plastic bag that she was so proud of. There’s just something so cute about a little girl, with her first handbag.
“You, know, you can put the Ficky pea in the slot and make the car go when it stops.”
It was like the dawning of a whole new age, and one taken on by the entire family. ‘The age of the Ficky Peas’
I cannot to this day go past a Kiddie Ride outside of a Supermarket without a big grin on my face.
And so, it began. the Ficky Pea saving bug. My brother has a savings pot for them, and the money goes towards our annual holiday to Scotland.
My daughter has one that pays for her over indulgence in boots, and I have a cheese Fund.
Yes, I’ll admit it, I’m a cheese fiend, but that day Mark’s need for a new hobby was more pressing than my cheese fetish. (Strange erotic image of Gorgonzola and Stilton in silk sheets comes to mind) forget I said that.
I’d exchanged the Ficky, I mean fifty pence pieces two days earlier having made up my mind to treat Mark to a new bow and arrow and introduce him to the local Archery club. Mark needed a hobby. Have I already said that, anybody would think I was desperate to get him out of the house?
He got the bug, well at least for two months, he’d tell you it was six months and that he was just waiting for the right time or looking at a club closer to home, rather than saying he had given up.
Whatever the excuse, I now have a very expensive carpet warmer in the cupboard under the stairs, A big bloody heavy, very expensive awkward bag.
The laptop belly is still in place and he still spends hours staring at a screen. OK he works with super charged computers for a living, but he still needs a hobby.
Needless to say, that this year I’m buying cheese.