How were your holidays/Christmas/New Year? I know it seems a long time ago now. I take a week off and some scary/bizarre events have already forced themselves upon an unsuspecting 2021. Yeah, 2021. The year we were all earnestly wishing would be a lot less eventful. If I knew the fragile skeins of democracy were dependant on my discussing pot plants and Warmcore I would have remained at my station, ever vigilant.
As for me (let’s get back to the really important subject) I entered the new year with an entirely new persona. Gone was the pale, feeble, self-deprecating Andi Watson of 2020. In his place the strong, fearsomely capable Wolf Watson of 2021.
What inspired such a radical change in outlook and personality? A blow to the head, a near-death experience, a mid-life crisis manifested over Christmas pudding? No. It was a stocking filler from Phil.
You see she gave me an item called a Donkey Friend.
No, not that sort of donkey friend.
A Donkey Friend boasts of eight powerful functions. It is a harpoon, bottle opener, fish scaler, knife, spoon, fork, sports a rope hole, and, most important of all, a whistle. It is your one-stop shop for beer-swillin’, fish harpoonin’, whistlin’ outdoorsy types like myself. Time to chuck out that classy Habitat cutlery, I have all the utensils I need on the end of a piece of string hanging from my neck. I just have to be careful when I bend over not to accidentally stab myself in the carotid and bleed out while blowing the whistle to attract the attention of the emergency services.
This new me promised to be more rugged, independent, anti-government and beardy. Wolf Watson kicked sand in Bear Grylls’ muesli, gave wedgies to Ant Middleton and lived off the grid, harpooning fish from the canal at the back of his house. He stormed home (Wolf never walked, he moved with purpose) around teatime with his daily catch wrapped in an old newspaper, dumped it on the kitchen table, blew his whistle to notify the breadwinner of the house (Phil) and ordered her to cook it up into a hearty meal, pronto.
At which point the breadwinner confiscated the Donkey Friend and reminded Wolf that he was making a fool of himself. Arctic camo pyjama pants are not tactical. He has never been and never would be ‘special forces material’. He is a cartoonist. A milquetoast. A man who cried so ugly when his daughter’s guinea pig had to be put to sleep that the vet sent him a handwritten note of condolence. He couldn’t harpoon a living thing to save his life, nevermind gut and de-scale it.
Also, he cooks dinner.
“All right, all right,” Wolf cried, putting on his camo apron to prepare a meal that wasn’t oozing fetid canal water onto a week old copy of The Sun. “Don’t rub it in.”
The Wolf Watson persona did not survive long into the new year. But if he is very good he will get his Donkey Friend back. Just as long as he promises not to play with it at the dinner table.
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