The Conversation

A miraculous recovery. Sat on the couch, a bowl of Doritos balanced expertly on my lap, remote firmly in hand, I marvelled at how I escaped, like a stricken and filthy Hobbit, from the haze of lights and chest-tightening cooing by middle-aged women. A couple of weeks had passed since the baby store incident and nothing more was spoken of it. More than enough time surely. So here I was, sitting on the couch stuffing chips down my gob, blissfully ignorant of any possible ramifications.


"Honey, I've been thinking".

Any time a man hears these four words, he knows that his world is about to crumble into a steaming pile of dog poo. Aghast, I stared blankly as my wife eased the remote from my weakened grip and with a simple touch, shut off the telly, silencing the soundtrack to what remained of my content, comfortable, responsibility free existence.

"It's time", she said, frankly. I continued staring blankly, my stomach chewing on itself. "We've been married three years now, and while I like our happy little lives...I feel like something's missing".

"I think I know where this is going", I responded, without a clue of what she was talking about, but aware of the urgency and seriousness of her tone. And from experience, neither was a good thing. "That space in the front room has been crying out for a big screen telly for ages".

"Be serious Ed. You know what I'm talking about." Obviously not. Aside from the telly, I was fresh out of ideas. "We're getting older Ed. I'm getting older. My's ticking". Clock? What clock? All of our clocks were digital and none of them ticked. Hell, none of them made a sound, other than that dodgy one that speaks the hour in some weird mechanical Chino-American accent.

"Ummmm", I uttered, trying to buy some thinking time. Fat lot of good that would be.

"Ed, I want a child". Eep. "I want a baby". Double eep. I turned away from her and gazed longingly at both the neglected packet of Doritos, nestled comfortably in my lap and what I recognised as my life.

"A baby?" I stammered, visions of that giant baby from the Looney Tunes cartoons smashing shit up, pounded at the inside of my head. "Are you sure?". A sour look. "I mean, I can't even look after myself. You say so all the time. How can we expect to look after a baby?" I fumbled for words that expressed what I meant, but sadly, this was all I could come up with.

"Ed. I don't care whether you're ready. I am. I'm ready", she stated defiantly. Her voice reminiscent of someone ready to leap into battle and die for their country. "I want a baby".

I took one long, lasting gaze at the Doritos, at the blank television screen, at the remote that seemed ever so far away from my grasp and against any form of good judgement, uttered the most stupid, moronic and completely redundant thing I could.

"Okay, let's do it". As if I ever had a say in it.