Well, it’s not quite how I envisaged home life in my dotage but, hey, two out of three ain’t bad.
The coffee I smell is instant, the crackling fire is a lukewarm radiator (beggars can’t be choosers) but, you may be pleased to hear (I know I am), that the face being pummelled is made of rubber.
Our kitchen has been turned into a mini boxing gym courtesy of the arrival of Bob. Bob, or to give him his official, and catchy title, the Everlast Everflex Free Standing Heavy Punch Bag Stand Sparring Partner Torso, was a present for our Isaac’s 12th birthday.
Bob, in short, is a punch bag … in the shape of a human torso. Which is great news for our Isaac because, like most younger brothers, he has spent much of his formative years as his older brother’s punch bag in the shape of a human torso.
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Now the pair of them can take turns beating the living daylights out of Bob.
Everyone’s happy ... except my wife, naturally.
She is irked that our 15-year-old son Bradley has now taken up boxing as a hobby. And, of course, I’m to blame. “Me?” I bleated, “How’s it my fault?”
“Because you watch boxing on the TV all the time.”
“I also watch science fiction movies ... does he want to be spaceman too?”
A brilliant retort, and her face would have been a picture, if I’d said it aloud instead of in my head. There’s only enough room for one human-shaped punch bag in the house.
Our Isaac does the martial art Tae Kwon Do. This is the acceptable face of violence in our house.
Boxing is a whole new ball game. Or should that be ‘bawl’ game given the vociferous opinions on the subject bouncing around our house?
I think my wife had more loftier aspirations for our eldest. She’s thinking Pulitzer, not pugilist prizes.
“I want him to do well at school,” she said. “He’s not going to be awarded the Nobel prize for beating up people is he?”
“Well, whoever wins the Nobel prize, Bradley could fight them for it,” was something I didn’t say out loud in reply.
The strangest thing about Bradley’s boxing is how it came about in the first place. When he first mentioned it, he was told in no uncertain terms (by his mother) that he wouldn’t be doing it.
A month later and he’s in boxing gloves jabbing away on a punch bag set up in our kitchen while I’m sent out to buy him a gumshield?
Kids are like wives. They always get their own way in the end.
Husbands? Well they’re one rung above the Everlast Everflex Free Standing Heavy Punch Bag Stand Sparring Partner Torso.
At least husbands can run when the punching starts!