If you were to ask just about any of my teachers at school about my recall, they would have probably been surprised to hear my name and anything related to memory in the same sentence. Even now, I struggle to remember names and dates, (which as my niece and nephew will tell you frequently ends in forgotten Birthday presents (I’m so sorry)).
I do however have no trouble remembering events both significant and (usually) insignificant which took place in my distant past. My brain is also very good at reminding me of horrendous faux pas I have committed, many years ago which are of exquisite toe curling embarrassment.
Just so that you can share in my acute shame I’ll give you an example. I went to an all boys school and as you can possibly imagine, many of the conversations there were about our sexual exploits. I can’t say with absolute certainty, but I am fairly certain that a large proportion of the scenarios which were recounted, were imagined. I know for me they were.
Anyway I had this “friend” who when asked if he was a virgin, replied “No, not yet”.
But, I digress.
Another of the events which I can remember with almost crystal clarity, is my tenth birthday. There are two reasons that this sticks out in my mind. Firstly I received an eleventh birthday card from an elderly friend of my Mum’s. This made me feel very grown up, but I coudn’t understand why she didn’t know I was only ten. In retrospect this was my first sign,that actually the world doesn’t revolve around me. How disappointing.
Secondly, but perhaps more pivotally, I received a copy of the newly published Guiness Book of Records.
My brother and I pored over it for days, and conversations such as this were quite common for weeks afterward.
“Did you know that the longest car in the world is 149km long and has a swimming pool, a cinema and four shopping malls*?”
“No but did you know that the world’s tallest man was bigger than the Empire State Building?*”
Every now and again though, we would come across a record which really didn’t need to be broken. The person with the longest toenails for instance; isn’t that really just poor personal hygiene. I imagine listening to the holder of that particular accolade going for a walk, would be like a very unimaginatively choreographed tap dance.
Or being the world’s fattest man? Really, who wants to be the holder of that record (other than the second fattest man)?
For the most part though, the entries into this hallowed tome represent incredible dedication and human achievement.
I have always wanted my name mentioned in it, and recently both Fraboo and I made it.
You may recall from an earlier post, Team Fun play a game called “Sweet and Sour “( https://daddysphere.com/2015/06/04/sweet-or-sour/ ), and whenever we go for a walk we play it. A few nights ago, we went out for our evening constitutional, but Fraboo seemed to be finding the walk quite hard going, so we began playing Sweet and Sour like we’d never played it before, attributing points to different vehicles depending on weight and occupancy. It was even possible to get points if the driver flashed their lights or tooted their horn. I am in fact currently compiling the “Official Sweet and Sour Rule Book of New Zealand.” I hope to have it ready in time for Christmas (2016), and will soon be taking orders if you are looking for gifts for that person in your life who has everything.
On this walk, I regaled Fraboo with a number of Sweet and Sour tales, and introduced her to some of the international heroes of the sport. She is now familiar with household names such as Franz Karcounter (the Austrian car waving legend) and Prince Excelsior Nambutu who turned his back on his family’s Palaces in Tanzania to pursue his passion for greeting strangers on the highways of Africa. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that he was last seen on a dusty road heading into Senegal.
These are people who are as real as Father Christmas which means to a certain seven year old they are very real.
The end result of the walk was that I felt we would be in a strong position to make a bid for entry into the publication. If only we had someone who could verify our attempt. As luck would have it one of Fraboo’s school friend’s Dad, who is of a similar disposition to me (ie quite comfortable lying to his children) is an accredited Sweet and Sour referee (and is one of the last people to have seen the great Prince alive). He was only too happy to corroborate our endeavour and so last weekend Fraboo, her friend, and the two dads took to the streets.
To say that we beat the previous world record (a paltry 167 points) would be something of an understatement; we reached 281 points in a remarkably short period of time. My co-conspirator assured the girls that he would be firing an email to Norris McWhirter (quite an achievement, as the poor man has been dead for over a decade), and they are now awaiting a certificate and medallion in the mail for their achievement.
There are some who would argue that this is all taking things a bit too far. Lying to your children, really isn’t on is it? However, if I counted all of the time Fraboo and I have spent waving at cars, I could only conclude we have spent many blissful hours in each other’s company. Fraboo’s imagination has been fired up as a result of our latest venture, and hers (and the boy’s) self confidence has certainly grown as result of my idiocy. I would like to think that we also bring a little cheer to the people of our neighbourhood.
Except for those miserable gits who won’t wave back.
*These facts maybe slightly exaggerated.