On Thursday 2nd of December 2004, Jake was 11 years old. As well as loads of cards and prezzies from the family, we celebrated in (grown up) style at our local Chinese restaurant.
Jake, in a fair rendition of a manic street preacher (his favourite band of the moment but I'm hoping to introduce him to the more up-tempo Leonard Cohen soon), talked continuously throughout the meal about "the scariest movies ever". In the process breaking the world record for the longest period without taking a breath – 1 hour 35 minutes.
We were treated to a dissertation on "The censors' classification of films in Britain and Belgium since 1920" and a further enlightening lecture on "Why Predator is a better movie than Predator II". All this liberally spiced with observations on the classification of film genres and "Psycho – the first true horror film".
This despite the fact that he has seen almost none of the movies featuring in these theses – which some people would consider to be a handicap.
I, on the other hand, understand the value of such ignorance, and took the conversational initiative by maintaining that the most disturbing thing ever seen on TV was the 1970s "Black Beauty" series – a point on which very few people disagree (at least of those that I have talked to). Jake nodded sagely, lulling me into over-confidence, while cleverly under-cutting me by noting "But that's not a film Dad, so it doesn't count".
"So now you're eleven you think you can take on your elders and betters in the noble art of wordplay eh" I thought. I responded in the only way I know how. With wit and gentle humour I sashayed into the fray: "Shut your face short-arse!".