The rural welsh countryside is where we lay our scene for this most awkward of debacles. Tuesday night, roughly six miles outside of Abersoch, my parents and I find ourselves at a loss for how to pass the time. Welsh freeview offers a total of twelve channels to choose from and you’ve guessed it, nothing sparks interest. I can feel my bum going numb after sitting on the floor for too long, whilst Dad is stretched out on the sofa behind me. My phone pings. It’s Facebook: Phil Eccles has tagged you in a post.
I swivel around. His face is hidden by his iPad. I roll my eyes. Turning back my phone I click on the red symbol.
Get the kettle on – with Emily Eccles near Abersoch, Gwynedd.
“Ooh, why don’t we watch one of those films we picked up from Tesco’s?” My mum suggests from underneath a Slanket.
“Sounds good!” I reply, grateful for any form of evening entertainment. I scramble over to the DVD cupboard and read out the choices. “Let’s see, we’ve got Anna Karenina, Unknown, Sherlock Holmes…”
“Something with machine guns,” Dad declares. “None of this moody, Pride and Bloody Prejudice bollocks”.
“What about that one with Danny from Spooks? The Postman, was it?”
“The Paperboy?” I say as I spot it and wrench it from under the 20 year old Monopoly.
“That’s the one, let’s watch that.”
…Oh, we watched it alright.
You know that awkward moment when you’re watching a film with your parents and suddenly two characters start, um…canoodling, so to speak?
Ok fine, they were shagging. Relentlessly shagging. I didn’t even know what hit me and then BOOM it’s all over the screen on top of a washing machine.
And it doesn’t stop. Oh good god, make it stop. My eyes widen, my brow furrows. Oh sweet baby Jesus no.
I can sense my dad shifting uncomfortably behind me. I hold my breath, unable to react in any way. I choose to simply remain with my eyes in the screen as if nothing is happening, as if they are having a cup of tea rather than causing a warrantee-breaking amount of damage to a washing machine.
“What the hell are we watching?” Dad mumbles under his breath, reaching over for the DVD case to examine the blurb more carefully. I steal a glance at my mum, who seems engrossed in something happening outside the window. I want to sink down in my chair but I’m already on the floor – there’s nowhere to sink down to!
It would have been alright if it had stopped there. It didn’t. It carried on for what felt like a FREAKING ETERNITY. And there we sat, all of us too stubborn to move or make a sound whilst John and Nicole went at it like rabbits. The awkward balloon, turtle, whale and starfish were all present that night, and the whole time I’m mentally screaming WHY IS THIS HAPPENING HOW DID I LET THIS HAPPEN OH MY GOD.
As the film ended and the credits rolled up the screen, silence descended upon the caravan. I realised I had to be the one to break the tension otherwise we’d never look each other in the eye again.
“Does anyone want a cup of tea?!?” I asked, a little more hysterically than I’d meant to sound. I ran to the kitchen.
“Well, that was…that was um…” My mum attempted.
Yes it was, Mum. That happened. And we shall never speak of it again.
…until obviously, they both read this blog post later today. Hi Mum and Dad.