Talking about parental dispute over domestic obligation, I am reminded of another of my father’s – shall we say less admirable – examples of masculine sovereignty, although I feel compelled to point out here, that although we live in an age of enlightened liberalism there are still many men of my generation who yearn for the odious chauvinism of Dutch ovens (breaking wind in bed for the uninitiated), look with wonder as a woman wallops a pint pot of ale and are still trying to work out why they should be hated for merely exercising the courtesy of allowing a lady to go through a doorway before them!
Anyway, all this topsy-turvy car crash of ‘liberal’ wisdom aside, my dear old man and his insistence that he be the boss in his own home – for all his faults at least he didn’t go out discussing hairstyle curtains, eyelashes and the latest Fanta face embrocations with his pals, come to think of it neither was he into anal hair removing and nappy changing – another world eh! Damn I’m digressing again, my apologies.
So, being whiplashed into Greece. What on earth is the man going on about I hear you wonder, ‘Whiplashed into Greece?’ Idiot.
Well now, this is exactly what happened to me when I was a spotty, hormone exploding twelve-year-old and believe me in the early sixties there were not many people being whiplashed into Greece for a holiday, or even being flown in full stop for that matter. In those days Greece was reasonably unspoilt, credit cards, baseball caps, unisex tattoos and young girls with quick release switches on their knickers had yet to conquer the Mediterranean.
Now then, this sudden holiday had come completely out of the blue. I had been picked up from school by my father and the next thing, all I remember is sliding into the starched white sheets of a Pullman sleeper, a basket of in-flight hard-boiled sweets to stop the ears popping, and the sun ravaging my backside until it blistered.
And the ‘whiplash’? Well, as it transpired many years later, my father, being the man of the house and seeing to all things financial, had received the compensation cheque from my mother’s whiplash injury following a car accident and decided that he and I should have a little holiday on it. Bugger my mother was his view, there was plenty of washing up, cleaning, laundry……… to keep her occupied in our absence.
Thus my being ‘whiplashed into Greece’. It’s true too.