Note: Grant and Wendy are the friends Rhiannon and I stayed with in Toronto
Me: So, what do you want to do this weekend, honey?
Rhiannon: The Comedy Channel is having a ‘Big Bang Theory’ marathon all weekend long – morning, noon and night! I love Sheldon!
Me: We are NOT sitting in front of the TV watching ‘Big Bang Theory’ all weekend.
Rhiannon: Awwww – but you love Sheldon too…
Me: That may be so but I love you more and I came here to see you, NOT Sheldon.
Rhiannon [proudly]: I actually know what the ‘Big Bang Theory’ is. I bet you don’t, Daddy.
Me: I do so. It happened when Adam had sex with Eve after that duplicitous wench was seduced by a snake and ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge.
Me: After this Original Sin there were aftershock ‘Big Bangs’ which led to Cain and Abel being conceived. After Cain murdered his brother in a jealous rage it’s been all downhill and now we’re facing the prospect of another PQ government. One can only hope that in a parallel universe, the National Assembly is blown up in another ‘Big Bang’ and we can return to a natural state of grace.
Rhiannon [clearing her throat and getting on her soap box]: The ‘Big Bang Theory’ is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the creation of the universe about 13.75 billion years ago when the first particles of matter were created out of nothing. Despite all of your atheistic blasphemy, Daddy, physics basically proves there is a God.
Me: Is that so?
Rhiannon: Yes, the ‘Big Bang Theory’ supports Aristotle’s philosophical concept of the ‘Unmoved Mover’. Something can’t be created out of nothing so there must be a God.
Me: That’s not true. The inside of Grant’s head is an empty void. A vacuum of pure nothingness but he still manages to grunt occasionally, shuffle around and fling his droppings at passers-by.
Grant: Shut up, Andrew! Another ‘Big Bang Theory’, Rhiannon, is one that explains why I have to repair the bathroom roof after your Dad was in there this morning.
Me: Shut up, Grant!
Wendy [dryly]: Another ‘Big Bang Theory’, Rhiannon, would explain why your Dad is now single.
Me: Shut up, Wendy!
Rhiannon [switching on the TV set]: Whisper sweet quantum nothings to me, Sheldon. I am surrounded by savages.
Rhiannon [with Wendy, in the living room, staring at me outside in the front garden]: Why is Daddy stomping around an empty chair and shouting “C’mon – make my day, bitch!”
Wendy [sighing]: Your father shamelessly thinks he’s Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention.
Grant [passing by on his way to repair the bathroom roof]: I thought that idiot likes Barack Obama.
Wendy: No, no – he’s talking to Pauline Marois.
Me [my voice trailing in through the living room window]: What?! I CAN’T do that to myself Pauline, as much as I’d like to, you intolerant, racist cunt!!!
Rhiannon: Oh my God, Daddy just said the ‘C-word’!!!
Wendy: Rhiannon, why don’t you turn on the TV and go watch some ‘Big Bang Theory’?
Rhiannon: No way! I’m getting Daddy’s iPhone to film this so I can prove his insane potty mouth once and for all!
Grant [passing by with an armful of tools]: Is that asshole actually pissing on my garden chair?!
Wendy [shaking her head]: For the love of… there are children here!
Rhiannon [filming with my iPhone]: Hey Grant, Daddy just went into your man cave! He’s got your sledgehammer.
Me [my voice booming through the living room window as I batter the chair with the sledgehammer]: Take that!!! And that!!! And here’s one for good measure too! I should do what to myself?! That’s it Pauline. No more Mister Nice Guy!!!
Rhiannon [still filming]: Oh, this is awesome! Mummy’s going to love this. Hey, Grant – Daddy’s now got your chainsaw!
Grant: That’s it! That’s the limit! He’s not going to saw my chair!!!
Clint Eastwood [appearing at the side of Wendy and Rhiannon watching me and Grant wrestle with the chainsaw]: What a couple of amateurs…
Me [at the end of the weekend just before saying goodbye]: I’m sorry it’s going to be such a long time before I see you again, sweetheart.
Rhiannon: Why are you going to India for so long?
Me: Because I have work – you know that.
Rhiannon [grumpily]: Yeah, but then you just have to go traveling after, don’t you?
Me: Well, the traveling part is sort of half-work too.
Me: Well, I have a technical job and every time anyone here in the West has a technical problem of any nature, including how to most effectively remove navel lint, they get routed through a 24-hour call centre in India. So, you see, I’m kind of going to the source of all knowledge.
Rhiannon [eyeing me warily]: I don’t know…
Me: Really, it’s true! When Indians aren’t succumbing to cholera-induced fainting spells, wading through hip-deep human waste and fighting off plague-ridden rats the size of golden retrievers, they are busily solving all of the world’s most urgent problems – like how to plug in a PC and install the latest version of Windows.
Rhiannon: I’m going to miss you.
Me: I’ll miss you too but, I tell you what, I’ll bring you back a signed photograph of Raj from the ‘Big Bang Theory’.
Rhiannon: But I love Sheldon.
Me: I’ll do what I can. Bye, bye my love.