Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Noah, Ham, Eggs, incest and Arne Naess.

We never go out as a family...well, barely ever.  Should it worry me, I wondered?  I asked one of my family-friendly friends about it and she laughed bitterly.  'Sure, we go out,' she said.  'But it always ends in tears. Someone has a hissy fit, someone gets drunk, someone sulks, someone stalks off and we all come back not talking to one another.'  
'But at least you try,' I said wistfully.

So last Sunday I watched people talk about trips to the beach, to the park, to the cinema, to the...well anywhere and everywhere really. Even church.  And I thought, well really, this is ridiculous. If you want something, you have to do something about it, don't you?  You can't just sit and wish. Adrian was in Amsterdam, so he was out of the equation.  But surely James and I could do something?  So, when he came home from work, I smiled brightly.
'What's going on?' he said, suspicion etched across his face.  'What do you want me to do?'
'Nothing,' I replied.  'I just thought we could go out.'
'Go out where?'
'Taunton.  Grab a pizza and then see Noah at the Odeon.'
I shrugged. It seemed pretty self-explanatory to me.  'Well?'
'Not today.'
And he switched on his XBox.  I shrugged, lit the fire and sat and watched The English Patient until it got just too sad and so I switched off and just watched the flames instead wondering which would be worse - to be dying in the dark in a cave or to be unable to rescue the person in the cave.  And I figured the latter was definitely the worst.  By a long shot. 

Then, suddenly, on Tuesday.  
'So, are we going to the cinema tonight, Mum?'
'Yeah.  Y'no, Noah. Pizza. Pizza.  Noah.'  

It felt weird.  I haven't been to a pizza place for years.  Literally.  I don't even eat pizza, for pizza's sake.  But it was fine.  And Noah?  Well, having booked the tickets, we read the reviews. Yup, wrong way round, I know.  Dire. Really dire.  

But, you know, it wasn't that bad.  Okay, so every time someone shouted 'Ham!', we whispered 'Eggs!' to one another.  And I can't remember the Bible saying The Watchers helped Noah and Co build the ark, nor that they looked like stone giant transformers, but hey.  And it was quite a neat idea to turn Noah into a sort of deep green eco-warrior (Arne Naess might have approved) - though, again, not terribly Biblical.  And, of course, you have to suspend disbelief at...well, everything really.  But hey...
'You know they've still got a problem,' said James as we left the cinema.
'I mean, they'd have to wait for the babies to grow up and, even then, it's still incest, right? Pretty much.'
And then we fell to thinking about the animals. Whether the moment they woke up from their incense-induced sleep and got off the ark, the meat-eaters would just go nutty and decimate the herbivores or whether they would give them some kind of headstart.  And how would the carnivores survive if they were expected to wait for their food sources to get up their numbers?  
Not to mention the fact that, having been asleep for all that time, none of them would be able to move anyhow, cos of muscle wastage. 
'Why are we even doing this?' I said. 'You can't take the Bible literally.' 
'You can't take the Bible at all,' said James.  

Anyhow.  We did it.  Half a family outing.  In fact, we even managed to tie up all the ends very nicely and pick up Adrian on his return from Amsterdam.  And the fact he hadn't seen the film didn't make one iota of difference.  In fact he had far more opinions on it than we did.  *smile*

What about you?  Do you do family outings?  Are they a generally 'good thing'?  I mean, you could argue that there's Noah and his family off on a boat trip (with the family pets).  And how does it end up?  Bonding exercise?  Or... someone has a hissy fit, someone gets drunk, someone sulks, someone stalks off and they all come back not talking to one another?  :-)


Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

That looks like a big deckchair on the hill behind Noah and his family who are presumably out on an outing…and if I remember rightly wasn’t Noah the first drunk?

Anonymous said...

Our next family trip is to the Viking expo at the British Museum.
Could be...interesting.

Ashen said...

Amusing :) and well framed: Noah is obviously a comedy, in the way that family-outings are :)

Anonymous said...

'Cham' means 'a lout' in Polandish.

@completelyjane said...

I love the idea of family outings and now the kids are all grown up they happen very rarely....but often our trips would end in tears. But it never stopped me planning the next one....I must be a slow learner!

Alison Cross said...

We went to a lodge last week (hot tub is closest thing I'll get to a spa!) and we went for walks together as a family. It was lovely. Mostly. ;-D

Ali x

Kate said...

I have just discovered you! In a search for 'fairy well exmoor images' ... Enjoyed the blog, envious that you live in Exmoor.

This post made me laugh. I thought longingly of family outings on Easter Monday. Glorious weather - when the kids were little, I'd have made plans and picnic lunches by 10am. As it was, there was AS Level revision, Year 9 homework, grown-up husband work and me on the allotment because that way I could justify being out in the sun and not working too. At least we all had lunch together ... and no one got drunk, sulked or stalked off.