My Weekly

Chris Pascoe’s Fun Tales

It seems Chris isn’t the only hapless chap – he can always blame his genes…

- Chris Pascoe is the author of A Cat Called Birmingham and You Can Take the Cat Out of Slough, and of Your Cat magazine’s column Confession­s of a Cat Sitter.

If there were ever any doubts that I’m my father’s son, we’ve definitely managed to dispel them over the past week. Our joint ability to turn normal everyday situations into personal credibilit­y disasters was proven in two separate, but equally silly, situations.

First up was Dad, in a very unfortunat­e case of mistaken identity. I’d asked one of my catsitting clients, Colin, to put his front door key in an envelope and pop it through my parents’ letterbox prior to his forthcomin­g holiday.

The problems started when Dad spotted Colin walking up his drive and immediatel­y mistook him for his former next-doorneighb­our, who had left the area some years back and, not surprising­ly considerin­g his neighbours, had never been seen since.

Dad rushed to the door to greet him only to see the envelope appearing slowly through the letterbox. Astounded that he was just going to post something and leave without saying hello, Dad grabbed the envelope and hauled it through the letterbox with Colin’s hand still attached, before swinging the door wide open and causing Colin to stagger forwards, throwing his arms around Dad in an effort to stay upright.

Dad took this to be a “long lost neighbour” hug and, returning the hug, happily blurted out, “You didn’t think you were getting away that easily, did you?”

I should think Colin was very happy to get away at all after that.

Meanwhile, I was keeping up my part of the family tradition down at the local rubbish tip. Where else would I be? I don’t know what it is about the place, but the presence of so many tough looking skip attendants in hi-viz clothing and hard hats makes me feel I should act extremely cool and “salt of the earth” in an attempt to fit in. So I speak gruffly in a Mockney accent and try to do everything nonchalant­ly.

“Grass cuttings, mate?” I grunted to a huge shavenhead­ed tattooed attendant leaning on a skip.

Without looking up he motioned a thumb over his shoulder at the very skip he was leaning on.

I manfully swung my big bin bag of grass in the direction of the skip. Never buy cheap bin bags – anyone who says graphite is the thinnest substance known to man hasn’t tried our local discount store’s bin bags. The bag split mid-swing and a deluge of grass cuttings engulfed the skinhead sitting on the skip. He was very good about it given the circumstan­ces – and I even learnt new swearwords!

Talking of father’s sons, try to work this riddle out… Imagine I’m looking at a family photo and pointing at one particular person, and I say, “Brothers and sisters have I none, but this man’s father is my father’s son.”

Which family member am I pointing at?

The puzzle has been in our family for generation­s and we’ve still yet to satisfacto­rily agree on the answer.

OK, that may say more about our family than the riddle. There are moments I think I have it solved, but then think… wait, no.

There were tough looking skip attendants in hi-viz clothing

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