The Mermaid Question

Seven year olds will always ask, at some stage when you are least ready for it, the mermaid question.

Granddad, Tina asks me, how do mermaids go to the toilet?

While you are grappling with this one, they ask another, THE BIG KAHUNA of questions, usually in the car while you are driving them to or from some event:

Grandad, where would I be if you and grandma never got married?

It’s the sort of question you need to pull over the side of the road for, but I kept on driving, hoping an apt answer would ‘pop’ into my head. Where’s the Muse when you need her? Surely she’d good for things other than poetry.

I don’t know what you would have done? I mean, how do you answer a question like that? There’s an obvious answer but that might depress the hell out of her, Who wants to be confronted at that age with self obliteration? And there’s the ontological answer but she wouldn’t get it.

I thought I’d go with the mermaid answer. That’d be the easier of the two …. maybe.

Colloquy with Self

Do I feel like a Venetian?

No, I do not feel like a Venetian.

How about a banana?

No, I do not feel like a banana.

Well you have to have something.

What then?

How about some raisin toast? bowl of cereal?


Ummmm, but no.

Have some coffee then. You can always have coffee.

Yes, but what to have with it?

Houston, we have a problem.

I know I want something.

Look, you just can’t flail on the lounge like a fish

on a jetty.

That’s it.

What’s it?

I’ll have fish then, that salmon left over from last night.

Deo gratias.