Tuesday, 27 June 2017
You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you start making up your own scary nighttime stories.
I’m sitting on my 6 year-old daughter's bed, at reading time, with a pile of rejected books.
No. I want a story that scares adults.
I pull out a letter.
Okay. This is the kind of stuff you’ll read when you’re older.
"Once upon a time, Daddy received a letter from the energy company.
It’s the company we choose to pay for our gas and electricity.
Are there lots of companies?
Oh no. Only a few. They like it that way.
Do they have different gas and electricity?
No, not really.
It’s exactly the same gas and electricity that comes into the house.
Anyway, Daddy thought he is very good at fighting the evil Energy Company.
They try to steal his money all the time by charging a lot more for the same gas and electricity each month, even though it’s exactly the same house, and people.
They must really love the money.
And they need to rinse as much as possible from us.
That's not very nice.
No, it’s not their fault.
It’s just the way they are.
They spend a lot of money to get us to think that they are nice.
Like a witch in a mask?
Yes! Exactly like a witch.
A witch wearing lots of leaflets and emails and adverts on TV.
We fast-forward through those.
And this is why they do evil magic like this.
This one says that our Duel-Fuel tarriff ends next month and we must act NOW!
(LAUGHS) They make it sound urgent so they look kind about warning us about something.
But it’s about... the danger that they want more money?
They’re warning us that they are doing something not nice, so, we feel glad that they’re warning us.
That doesn’t make any sense.
I know it doesn't.
Now, all of this evil magic relies on us getting bored.
Whatever you do - don’t fall asleep - or they will take as much money as they can...
DAUGHTER pulls the covers up a little tighter.
Don’t fall asleep!
So first, the Evil Energy Company send this letter to say that our tariff is ending next month...
And we must act NOW!
Right, and if we don’t - this is the magic bit - our tariff becomes the highest tariff in the Kingdom.
What is the highest tariff in the Kingdom?
23 pence per unit for gas and electricity.
I don’t know what a unit of gas or electricity is.
That’s the first trick to get you to fall asleep.
Don't fall asleep.
(giggle) Don’t steal my money!
All you need to know is that you spend 12p per bit of electricity, and next month it will be double.
I know what DOUBLE is.
Right. It means your money is worth half as much.
So they say "give them a call or go online to get the best price".
Why don’t they just offer us the best price?
You’re drifting - stay focused - they want you to drift.
You’re not getting the best price, so go online.
What about Granddad, he’s not very good at that.
(energy company voice)
“Old people are weak and have got too much money.
If they can’t work this out, it’s their fault for being weak and having money.”
DAUGHTER pulls up the covers some more.
So Brave Daddy went online, and found their very best tariff.
Hurray! The cheapest one!
Yes. But. Here’s the thing.
The cheapest one has gone up from 12p to 15p per bit of electricity.
That’s not much.
That's what they want you to think.
Don’t fall asleep.
We spend over a thousand pounds on this, so we’ve just lost over 200 quid.
Is quid the same as pounds.
Yes. Daddy thinks it makes him sound more interesting.
200 quids is a lot of our money.
And it’s even more than that, but stay awake - that’s not the evil magic - look!
I pull out a laptop with the energy company “find the cheapest tariff” page.
They say they’re saving you money.
But we just lost over 200 quids.
I know - don't fall asleep!
Look harder and try to work out how we’ve lost over 200 quids.
It says you’ve saved your household £157 per year, that’s good, no?
But I haven't.
The price has gone up.
Don’t - fall - asleep.
It says it’s best to change it now so you can start saving money right away.
Eyes - Wide - Open.
But how is it "saving" if the price has gone up?
Keep going - don’t fall asleep...
The costs have gone up, how come you’re saving money?
I know you can do this.
I don’t think I can. It’s very late Daddy.
Don’t fall asleep on me.
I'm really tired. This is boring.
I’m losing you, stick with it honey.
I’ll see you in the morning.
She snuggles under the covers.
Don’t go, baby.
I love you.
She’s fast asleep.
I cradle her head.
(hushed) The "saving" is based on the made-up expensive tariff they’re moving us onto next month.
(in her sleep) They’re not savings at all.
They just put our cheapest tariff up by 20%.
I hug her floppy body.
I love you.
Umbrellas for Under 11s do the opposite of what you want and 148-154 other bits of #DadDirt
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Sunday, 25 June 2017
Thoughts, ideas and dreams for this week.
Monday 26 June
Umbrellas for Under 11's do the opposite of what you want.
Tuesday 27 June
I try to avoid news about terrible things like Terry and Thingy from the Likely Lads avoid hearing that football score.
Wednesday 28 June
Inset Day is based on a pagan festival where we would buy shoes and sit in cars.
Thursday 29 June
Think of it less as a Final Demand, and more of an extra Utility Bill for the next company.
Friday 30 June
At some stage, being late for the party is worse than not having that gift you're driving around for.
Saturday 1 July
The deepest and heaviest question about your relationship, is always best asked in that moment just before you’re going to sleep.
Sunday 2 July
Letting the other person win is the biggest curse you can put on them.
The other sticker album I havent yet finished #DadDirt
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Friday, 23 June 2017
My son is "not happy" about my Lego Sainsburys Create The World album card shortfall "solution".
My one at this age was a Panini Football Album.
Pete Middleditch had a pile of swaps so thick, he couldn’t get his hand round to hold it.
It had a rubber band in the middle, and he’d flick them - the duhduhduhduhduhduhduh would go on forever.
Loads of badges in there too.
They’re the silver stickers with the playground rule “they’re worth 2 normals”.
I didn’t have a clue about the hairy teams on them.
I just wanted to be part of it.
My parents couldn’t afford for me to get too many doubles, but they were probably earning the same as the players on them.
But almost as part of the compulsion to not complete that one, here’s the full lineup of the Lego Sainsburys Create The World cards.
I know I’ll be looking for it as a list some day.
Or someone else will.
And I don’t want the crossing my fingers at the checkout hoping it rolls over to a round £10 to qualify for another pack.
Because that’s how we earn our kids’ pride in 2017.
By running back to the juice aisle to knock the £38.75 subtotal over the 40 quid mark.
So it’s completely so that we get to do kid-like things again too.
006 Wacky Witch
007 Windmill (silver)
009 Cave Woman
010 Alien Avenger
012 Ocean King
014 Baseball Player
015 Moose (silver)
016 Holiday Elf
017 Kimono Girl
018 Fortune Teller
019 Ibex (no, I have no idea what an Ibex is either...)
021 Tennis Player
022 Tree (silver)
024 Surfer Girl
025 Lighthouse (silver)
026 Tiger Woman
027 Fitness Instructor
030 Flamenco Dancer
031 Letters (silver)
033 Chameleon (silver)
034 Alien Villainess
037 Sand Castle (silver)
038 Spooky Girl
039 Hot Dog Man
040 Lizard Man
041 Race Car Driver
044 Chicken Suit Guy
046 Mountain Climber
048 Disco Diva
049 Monkey (silver)
051 Square Foot
052 Banana Guy
054 Sea Captain
055 Dragon (silver)
056 Diner Waitress
057 Ghost House (silver)
058 Vampire Bat
060 Pizza Delivery Man
061 Skyline (silver)
062 Unicorn Girl
063 Frightening Knight
065 Jewel Thief
066 Sad Clown
067 Panda (silver)
068 Hollywood Starlet
070 Water Lily Flower (silver)
072 Asian House (silver)
073 Hot Air Balloon (silver)
074 Rock Star
076 Shark Guy
077 Evil Dwarf
079 Koala (silver)
082 Heroic Knight
083 Island (silver)
084 Crazy Scientist
085 Wolf Guy
086 Bumblebee Girl
087 Submarine (silver)
088 Skeleton Guy
089 Alien Trooper
091 Kangaroo (silver)
094 Robot (silver)
095 Deep Sea Diver
096 Snowmobile (silver)
097 Polar Bear (silver)
098 Skater Girl
100 Paintball Player
101 Small Clown
103 Toucan (silver)
104 Clumsy Guy
105 Gingerbread Man
106 Hotel (silver)
107 Plane (silver)
109 Traffic Cop
111 Dinosaur (silver)
112 Fairy Tale Princess
113 Parrot (silver)
114 Spider Lady
117 Saxophone Player
118 Lady Robot
121 Hot Dog Stand (silver)
126 Statue of Liberty (silver)
127 Spaceship (silver)
128 Lady Cyclops
130 Snake Charmer
131 Piggy Guy
133 Bear (silver)
134 Plant Monster
135 Motorboat (silver)
136 Pirate Captain
137 Hula Dancer
138 Ancient Ship (silver)
139 Lily (again)
140 Sam (again)
How my Mum would tell them it’s late. Again. #DadDirt
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