There is a long pause.
“I think,” I begin, speaking slowly and softly as I collect my thoughts, “I think that it’s a fairly common thing for father to feel… to feel as if they take last place in the family unit. It’s not jealousy as such – it’s just that the man often gets overlooked and ends up – illogical as it might seem – feeling a bit neglected. And that’s just a bit poignant today of all days.”
There is a sigh from the end of the telephone wire. “I’m sorry we’re not there,” admits the LTLP, who is away with the Toddler. “Have you made yourself some breakfast?”
“Yes,” I reply. “And thanks for leaving the card. It was nice. It would just be good to… I… well, anyway. I’ll see you when I see you.”
I ring off.
“It’s brilliant!” I say to Short Tony in the Village Pub, 0.00001 seconds later. “I had a really nice breakfast, get to go to the pub AND get the sympathy points. Could I have another pint, please? And later on, I can watch the cricket and motor racing and then perhaps listen to some Jethro Tull.”
“Even though motor racing is shit,” I add, taking a roast potato from the bowl on the bar, and passing them to Len the Fish. “But it’s the principle of the thing.”
We sway down the road some time later. Father’s Day!!! I am feeling particularly manly after beer, roast potatoes and several large Martini Rossos. Time for more man-stuff.
“Mmmm – that’s good,” I breathe, as I roll the soft texture of Len the Fish’s tongue around my mouth.
“I’ve cured a huge batch,” he says. “Would you like me to cut you some to take back with you? And I tell you what – I brewed some elderflower champagne.”
Most of the elderflower champagne has exploded, but he gives Short Tony and I an unexploded bottle each. I look at it, very impressed. My bottle erupts almost immediately, the cork narrowly missing my face as it shoots skywards in the direction of Fakenham.
“It’s a little lively still,” he admits.
We drink elderflower champagne and munch on tongue. It is a shame that we have been neglected on this, our special day, and sad that I have been forced to spend it alone and miserable.