How I Met Your Father – Episode 1

1book

Chapter 1.

It was 31st October 2014, 7 years before you were born and 11 years before North West went into rehab for the first time. I had had a particularly dull week at work and was looking forward to the Halloween party your Auntie Tess was throwing at her new flat.

Tarquin, will you please put your hologram down, I’m trying to tell you a story.  

Life in 2014 was very different from what it is now. For a start Katie Price was only 83% Teflon and Kris Jenner was still your average momager not the leader of North Korea (or North Kardashian-Korea as it is now known).

I know it is hard to believe because we have lived in LA for the majority of your life but before I achieved fame and fortune as a writer on my own sitcom I was simply your “average Josephine” living and working in Manchester, England. I had just moved back in with Grandma and Grandpa and at 29, was starting to consider whether I should have Botox or not.

In case you were wondering I decided to put it off until I was 33. Good job really as two years later Apple invented the iLift and all I had to do was look at my phone and the wrinkles instantly disappeared.

Beyoncé please be quiet! Give your sister back her Eric Cowell pencil case!

(Yes, it is lucky he doesn’t look like his father. He was probably swapped at puberty like a child actor who turns out to be uglier than expected).

Still not over that he was called Haley.

Still not over that he is called Haley.

Where was I?

Yes it was Halloween 2014. I was about 5 months into writing my blog, my book deal and TV career were still pipe dreams. It was the stage where people found me more annoying than anything else but frankly I didn’t seem to care.

I’d recently decided I wanted to write comedy. This was mainly based on the fact that I found myself hilarious even if other people didn’t, plus it was a legitimate reason to stay in bed watching TV which is something I adored doing before you and your sisters came along.

I loved staying in bed watching TV so much I had even considered putting it on my “hobbies and interests” section of my internet dating profile. The only reason I didn’t was that I didn’t want to attract dull fat men so I did what every self-respecting online-dater does and put “snowboarding” and a picture of a snowboarder wearing a helmet so you couldn’t see it wasn’t me.

Me. Obvs.

Me. Obvs.

At 29 I was finally starting to feel comfortable with myself. Sure I was living with my parents again (which you are NEVER allowed to do by the way), but I was happy, life was good. Remember this was before the civil war of 2017 when Russell Brand seized control of the country, realised he had no other policies aside from legalising heroin, and the whole thing fell apart in 45 minutes.

This man was incapable of running the country. Who'd have thought it?!

This man was incapable of running the country. Who’d have thought it?!

As we are talking about politics I have to say I am slightly concerned about the results of the recent Prime Ministerial election. Don’t get me wrong I like Romeo Beckham as much as the next guy but I’m not sure we should give so much power to someone who wears so much Burberry.

Moving on.

It had been your pretty standard week as far as things went. I was a teensie bit hungover from a night in at your Auntie Jade’s the weekend before. Word to the wise – now that you are old enough to drink, I probably wouldn’t do it with your Auntie Jade. It all starts out very innocently but before you know it you’ll be doing forward rolls and cracking open the mulled wine because you have drunk everything else in the house. She is a hoot and a half but she is also the reason my liver is shaped like a wine glass.

Other than Ebola doing the rounds, and Renee Zelwegger getting a haircut (shock horror!) nothing much dramatic happened, so I was looking forward to having a good night on Saturday.

We had been told about the Halloween party a few months before and I had instantly panicked. It was fancy dress. Not only that but it was a Caribbean-themed Halloween party (or Caribbween as they had ingeniously called it). It was also the hottest Halloween since time began so that worked out pretty well.

Now this may shock you Tarquin dearest, but I haven’t always been the svelte size 10 that you see today. Back in 2014 I was a little bit shall we say, plumper, around the edges. It wasn’t until 2015 when I got stuck in the window of McDonald’s drive-thru that I decided to lose weight.  

This threw up a world of problems. I basically had three choices: hula girl, Hawaiian man, or a pirate. Today my bikinis are delicate pieces of fabric. Back then, however, they were over the shoulder boulder holders with 3 bra hooks at the back and straps the width of the Thames. Safe to say I couldn’t pull off a coconut bra. I was still single, and Grandma had already questioned me about my sexuality, so going as a Hawaiian man may have pushed her over the edge. I was also too cheap to buy the necessary accessories for the pirate outfit.

This would not have gone well in 2014. now I have 3 of these outfits!

Now I wear this to do the housework.

In a moment of madness/sheer genius I went a bit left-field and bought a full-on foam banana costume. I adored it. I put it on at work and walked round the office wearing it to a chorus of “oohs” and “aahs” and the gentle whispers of colleagues wondering if I had lost the plot.

At first my friends thought I was joking. Grandma thought I was an idiot.

“You’ll never meet the love of your life dressed like a banana!” they said.

Oh how wrong they were!

To be continued…

14 thoughts on “How I Met Your Father – Episode 1

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