August 13th 2015
Today I became a man.
Since I was a kid I have always tried to play this “prank” on my Dad.
And I have never, not once got him to look.
If you don’t know what prank I’m talking about, then this video pretty much explains it.
I don’t know if it’s a common thing, or a thing that people often do, but it’s something that my Dad would always do to me as a kid. And when I grew into teenage years I’d always try and get him back, I’d start off trying to do it all the time, and hoping that one time he’d fall for it, but he was always vigilant, and he never did. Then I started to slow down the frequency with which I’d try it, only trying it every few months and hoping that his defense would slip. “What’s that on your shirt Dad?” and I’d point to an imaginary stain on his shirt, but he wouldn’t look down. He was smarter than me.
Then I slowed it right down, trying it maybe once a year, but still he was too quick for me. Instead of looking down and getting his nose flicked, he’d flick my own nose before I could even move my finger. I hoped that once a year would be infrequent enough that he’d let his guard down, that he’d forget, that he’d fall for it.
The closest I ever got was a half look, and this is how important this is to me, I could even tell you exactly where I was stood when it happened – in the kitchen, in the archway separating the kitchen and the dining room, his back was to the fridge and he was wearing a blue shirt – he half looked. He started to look down but he looked right back up. It didn’t count, it was a disallowed goal.
I couldn’t even tell you the last time I tried to do it. Probably two, three years. But I’ve been waiting. I’ve always thought, and this sounds cheesy and corny and cute as fuck, but the day that I landed that prank on my Dad was the day I properly became a man.
Today I became a man.
We were stood outside the front door, and my Dad was tightening my rucksack (I go travelling tomorrow, by the way) for me, making sure it fit, was comfortable and would stay up. He was flitting around me tying up the cables, and strings and whatever, and my Mum was stood in front of me. (probably in tears or something) Mum was wearing a white blouse (a woman’s shirt is called a blouse, right?) and we’d just had dinner (roast chicken, gravy) and Mum had spilled some gravy down her blouse. So I said to her “You’re a messy pup aren’t you?” and pointed to her gravy stain, she looked, I didn’t flick. Then I turned to my Dad, said “And you!” and pointed to an imaginary gravy stain on his shirt.
And he looked.
And I flicked his nose.
And today I am a man.
I ran off with celebratory arms in the air. I did a knee slide. I did a cartwheel. I did a backflip. I did none of those last three things but I felt like it.
The circumstances weren’t perfect, he was distracted, and I used my mum as a kind of assist, but It was the first and only time I have successfully landed that prank on him, and it happened the day before I leave for travelling. Perfect. Now he doesn’t have to worry about me, because I’m a proper grown up now. Proper.
Until tomorrow, that was the perfect sendoff.