EDitorial ± 28-Jun-2010

Lights Out

Bedtime checklist. Fresh air – tick, two kickarounds today. Food – tick, if you counted those chips. Teeth – no, but had an apple. Toilet – tick, though it had felt a bit weird going in the flowerbed. Dad said a downstairs loo would cost too much, but Mum was right – it would be dead handy.

Mum had been going on about the upstairs loo since Year 3. Not the loo, the lights.

Becky said she could remember when all four lights worked, but she made things up. When Mum washed my hair in the bath, I could see the loose wire in the ceiling. Another light popped when we got back from Ice Age 3, so Dad left his really powerful torch on the ledge. The last light went this morning. Mum went mad.

Crazy, she said. She threw her phone into her bag. Me and Becky are off – I'll ring later from Mum's. You've got until tomorrow to fix those blooming lights. But she didn't say blooming.

The door slammed. Dad said OK, better get moving. I looked up. But, he said, there's time for a Ben 10 or three first. We jumped onto the sofa in the nice room.

When the DVD finished, Dad said right, I'm Juventus, you're Arsenal. Last one out the back's a sissy.

I was 7-5 up when the ball flew into number 9's garden from Dad's overhead kick. We live at number 17. Don't worry, he said, I'll pop round later.

I was hungry. Dad said stay here while I nip out. You know the drill: don't answer the phone, don't open the front door, don't burn the house down.

We ate our chip butties and listened to the Liverpool game. I couldn't finish mine but I made room for an eclair. Right, said Dad, you find something to watch while I sort these blooming lights. He really did say blooming.

I put on Home Alone 2. Dad made a face as he carried the stepladder from the shed upstairs. I'd just turned up the TV – Dad's drill is really noisy – when the screen went black. Even the little clock had gone out. I went outside. Sitting on the grass was our ball. Dad must have got it when he got the chips.

Later I needed the loo but the door was shut. There was a funny smell, not like the one Dad normally makes. It's Do Not Disturb when Dad's in the loo. It's the only peace I get, he says. In the end, I had to go outside.

When it got dark, I knocked on the door very quietly. No answer. None of the lights worked. I used my Hulk torch to find the chips in the bin. They were OK with lots of sauce. When the little hand on Mum's clock pointed to the eight, I got into my PJs. The phone rang a few times. I didn't answer it.

It's dark in bed. My torch needs new AAs. Hope Dad gets those lights fixed soon.

(C) Ed Broom 2010