I once watched a Billy Connolly sketch that, as does most of his comedy, had me clutching my love handles, laughing like a drain and snorting tea out of my nose.
I don't remember the details but the basic premise was the creation of innocent fantasies for kids. He and his wife had collected a few twigs, piled them up into a basket type affair, stuck in three water melons and told the kids they had found dinosaur eggs at the bottom of the garden.
Billy Connolly has one main advantage over me when it comes to such story telling. He isn't married to a German. Don't misunderstand. I love Germans. Of course I do. My husband happens to be one as is the product of my loins! And I simply won't have it that they don't have a sense of humour, as so many seem to believe. It doesn't match up to the, well let's face it, supremacy and superiority of British Humour, that's simply incontrovertible. They can't help it though. They are fettered by their genes. One specific gene to be precise:
The Gene of Seriousness.
I think they've all got it. Even my lovely husband who also has the ability to have me shrieking with laughter is plagued by his Gene of Seriousness and I fear Finje may have inherited it.This became all too apparent on a day out on the river.
Finje loves to paddle in a canoe. The river we frequent is peaceful and beautiful. Lily pads, dragonflies and ducks-a-plenty. In addition to the wildlife there are many floating branches and other frankly unidentifiable objects perfect for the fantasy of a small child.
Or, indeed, a 39-year-old woman.
Determined to jolly up the trip a bit I started to wonder-out-loud what manner of creatures could be living in the swamp-like river banks. Not wishing to be immodest, I believe I was convincing in my theatrics. I received no back-up from my husband or his brother. They remained quiet whilst presumably attempting to conquer the mighty power of The Gene of Seriousness.
I struggled on, solo.
"Look Finje, A CROCODILE! There under those branches! I think I saw it move! Quick, where's the camera? Don't put your fingers in the water whatever you do, it'll have 'em! Can you see it? Can you? WOW!"
"No mama, that's a stick"
And, I think I even heard her tut!