AKA - Daddy the Pooh
We’re driving to Mila’s weekly swimming lesson and as usual, we’re late. As a result I’m weaving through the Budapest traffic like Herbie the Love Bug.
“Slow down honey!” pleads Zsuzsa.
I glance at the sat nav. Our estimated arrival time is 10:31. That’s one minute late! This simply will not do. Not on my watch!
“I’m fine honey. I’m driving perfectly safely.” I reply.
It’s true. I am driving perfectly safely, but unbeknownst to Zsuzsa, I’m also racing the sat nav. This is a classic case of man vs machine. This is Rocky vs Ivan Drago. This is Sarah Conner taking down The Terminator. This is Garry Kasparov battling it out with Deep Blue in a brutal game of action chess.
“Okay, okay, okay.”
I apply the brakes, but just enough that I’m only going one or two miles an hour over the speed limit. I think I can still whittle a precious minute off our journey, defeat this soulless electronic son of a bitch and laugh in its LCD face.
Mila decides to chime in.
Oh yes. Mila has started to call me Daddy. The only issue is that it often sounds more like “Kaki” which is Hungarian for ‘pooh’. Basically she calls me ‘Pooh’. I’m hoping it doesn’t stick.
We pull up at the sports centre. It’s 10:32. I’m disappointed, but equally determined. You may have won the battle sat nav, but mark my words, you will not win the war! I will have my sweet revenge when you least expect it. I will serve it cold and embarrass you in front of your electronic peers. You just wait.
“Bring Mila in. I’ll go and pay!” barks Zsuzsa as she darts out of the car and across the car park like a speedy Hungarian corgi in full flight.
I move to the back seat, pick Mila up and carry her inside the leisure centre.
I meet Zsuzsa at the entrance to the pool. She is already in her swimming costume and I hand her our baby daughter. But I can tell instantly something is wrong.
“Honey, I forgot my knickers!” she says.
“Oh. Okay.” I say and shrug. I mean what can I do?
“They’re in the glove box. Can you go and fetch them for me and hide them somewhere in the ladies changing room while we’re swimming?”
Before I can respond, Zsuzsa runs off to the pool with Mila. I stand there for a moment and process what she’s just asked. I play the scene out in my head.
I imagine myself approaching the ladies changing room clutching a pair of ladies knickers. I put my ear to the door and listen for any sounds. All seems quiet so I slowly open the door. I look around. Empty. Still clutching the knickers I sneak in to the changing room in the style of a cartoon character. I’m about to place the knickers in to a shadowy corner when I hear footsteps. I spin around and our eyes meet. It’s a naked old lady. Her face is a picture of fear and rage. She shouts at me in Hungarian. I mumble in a vein attempt to explain myself, but the Hungarian for “I’m not a pervert. I’m just hiding my wife’s knickers in a dark corner.” escapes me. The door barges open and a burly security guard stands there. He glowers at me. I hold my hands up, but it just looks as though I'm waving ladies knickers in the air. It looks as though I'm bragging! He pounces, twisting my arm behind my back. Before I know what’s happening I’m shepherded into a dingy room and the door is locked. I’m held captive until the police arrive. I’m charged with being a sex pest and sentenced to imprisonment in a remote part of Hungary near the Ukrainian border. I’m left to rot, floundering in my own kaki.
I decide that there are worse things in life than wet bikini bottoms.