I have achieved Nirvana.
I’m in a sweltering jungle under an immense plastic dome. My T-shirt is soaked humiliatingly to me, dark bat-wings of sweat under each moob. I’m exhausted. My back aches agonizingly. My incredibly heavy son is sitting on my shoulders. He is eating strawberry jelly from a plastic cup and dropping most of it into my hair. I can feel it melting and sticking my hair together into sugary clumps. I am blissfully happy. Let me explain.
It turns out a pleasant family campsite in Cornwall in august can be a horrifying place. I booked it, so the monsoon-like august weather, a new meteorological phenomena apparently, is my fault. The mould covered tent really is my fault. I packed it away wet last time, and didn’t dry it out, despite my wife’s reminders. It is covered in foul smelling mould. We are hardly speaking now. She fantasises about punching me in the gentleman area.
At night it rains so hard it sounds like I’ve pitched us under a waterfall. We can’t sleep. So the next day we are all horrendously grumpy. I sit outside avoiding low punches, watching all the other miserable family men sitting outside their tents, batting away the amazing rain dodging wasps who somehow still find me.
It’s too wet to go cycling, or walking, or to the beach. We can’t stay in the tent because it’s covered in mould. I need to pull something out of the hat.
“Let’s go to The Eden Project.” I say brightly.
“Won’t everybody have the same idea?” My wife asks. I scoff.
Literally everybody has had the same idea. The whole place is one endless queue. I want to cry. I will not survive this.
Our children, grumpy, damp and tired, decide this is the moment to unleash ravening, psychotic meltdown hell upon us. Out of rage my son hurls himself onto the anti-slip paving which has the ironic alternate function of tearing open kids knees. He has a morbid fear of plasters. Blood flows down his leg, mingling with the rain. His screams are the loudest noise ever created. Take me now Lord.
Wife and daughter have had their fill of me. They abandon us. My son demands medication, but the ice cream queue is twelve miles long. I grimace, fighting back tears of dispair.
Then I see it. A tiny kiosk selling plastic cups of jelly. Top tip: it’s in the biome concourse under the walkway. Their’s no queue. Ever. Who wants a plastic cup full of jelly? Thank you God. Thank you.
“I think I dropped some more jelly, Daddy.” My son tells me.
“Did it land on my head?”
“Yes. But don’t worry. There’s plenty left.”
“Good.” I smile.
Happy son. Happy Daddy. Nirvana.