A word in your ear - November 24, 2011

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I suppose it was the sight of my young lad proudly pushing a double buggy down the street which set something going off in my mind

Lad, it’s time to butch up. And butch up he did.

Well, given the choice of who he would shoot at point blank range I reckon a heavy-walleted Yorkshireman would probably have been up there somewhere.

I’m only sad I was not there to see it myself.

The back story goes my lad is five, is a really happy chappy, always singing, running around and making a racket.

The fineries of the offside rule, in fact the basic scoring system of football, he ain’t too sure about, but I have high hopes for next year when the Rhodes back lawn will be transformed into my version of the hallowed turf that is Prenton Park.

Anyhow, while he is a real little boy he is often swayed too much by his older sister who has him playing schools, shops and basically anything just short of him ending the day with toenails painted a vivid shade of cerise.

The other week we were out on the drive, me washing the car, him on his bike, or so I thought. He was actually parading up and down the pavement with a bright pink double buggy.

‘Right son,’ I thought to myself ‘ we’re off to buy a gun’. Not a real one, of course, but a toy. Now, it’s not that I am an advocate of pistol-whipping, drive by shooting, war or even armed heists (save for the Italian Job of course).

It’s just I remember vividly being his age and spending all my days either pretending to be Kenny Dalglish or carrying a stick around with me.

Oh, what fun a boy could have with a stick. You could use it as a toy gun, something to clout down a conker or simply to hit a tree with to make another stick.

Of course my desire to see my son ‘tooled up’ with a spud gun (can you still get them?) or a replica Colt 45 soon dissipated as the shock of the buggy diminished.

Then, last Saturday, me and the kids were out shopping and they demanded I take them into their idea of heaven – Poundland.

While my daughter selected some arts and crafts tat, and yet another keyring of a pig, I was stunned when my lad moved away from the Balamory toys and picked up a foam dart-firing gun and faux handgrenade. I paid and out we went. After putting the grenade down his mum’s top and a few firings of the ‘harmless’ rubber darts the kids went for a night at their grandmother’s.

How did I know he would turn into Charles Bronson gunning down everything he saw?

By the time he returned home the next day I was reliably informed the gun had been confiscated as he had ‘shot his uncle’’.

I looked worried, distressed, right up until the point I realised it was his Yorkshire-born uncle he shot. I gave him a little high five and told him not to do it again.

Boys, hey. I think I may just be the biggest kid of them all.