Tuesday, 16 January 2018


"Okay, that's done," I said, handing over the printout of my tax return to my bookkeeper mother. "I've paid no tax and I won't get any tax back. That's a zero," I added, trying to make it sound like this wouldn't hurt. My dad, having painstakingly made lentil soup, sighed with something between braggadocio and desperation, indicating the bowls he had laid down some five minutes earlier. I put away my mother's laptop and scrambled around for spoons while she went to fetch the Guardian.

"Okay, but while we eat, can we do the quiz?" she asked, passing the supplement to my dad.

"Hmmm... okay, so... what did Julia Ward Howe write the words to, using the tune of a famous folk song?" he read out slowly and clearly.
Knew it. "That's The Battle Hymn of the Republic," I suggested, which he noted down.

"What's the Latin word for 'one'?" he offered.
Knew it. "Unus, I think," I offered. "Like uno in Spanish."

"Capital cities... what's the capital city of Tunisia?"
Knew it. "Tunis," I quipped. "The clue's in the name."

"Okay, one more. What links wood, glass, broken and..."
"...eclipse... excuse me?"
"What on Earth is an eclipse dildo?"

I reflected.

"One you can't see because of the moon?"

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