More darts dough keeps wagon rolling but King is new focus
The parenting game doesn't get any easier, does it? The only time you will get any respite as a parent is when your offspring is sleeping or watching something on a screen which has sufficiently captured their interest.
You have to be careful what you put on that screen though, because there is plenty of unsuitable material knocking about that has supposedly been produced for children.
Take The Lion King, for example. I put that film on for my daughter on her Kindle to keep her quiet while I watched the first round of the Abu Dhabi Championship early on Thursday. It has a U certificate (Universal – suitable for all), so I assumed I was on safe ground.
The Lion King was doing its job and allowing me to absorb the action from the United Arab Emirates in peace, but when I glanced at the Kindle during an advertisement break I could not believe what I was witnessing.
The Lion King's brother was in the process of murdering the Lion King, who plummets to his death from a cliff edge. Then, moments later the Lion King's young son discovers his dad's carcass and mistakenly thinks his old man is sleeping, before coming to the horrific realisation that he has, in fact, perished.
U? U ruddy what? Murder scenes, dead bodies, grieving kids? I might as well have stuck her in front of Pulp Fiction. No wonder Grace was being so quiet – probably in a state of shock and coming to terms with what a miserable planet we live on.
The Lion King should be an 18 certificate. Or a 39 certificate. I certainly couldn't handle it. I was in floods of tears by the time the bereaved cub was forced into exile by his evil uncle. Do we really need to subject youngsters to such dark material? Adult life is generally dire – that's just fact – but let the little ones get a few years of untainted happiness under their belt before they are thrown in the choppy waters of adulthood.
I am now officially campaigning for whoever made The Lion King a U certificate to be sacked from his or her position on the British Board of Film Classification. I formed an anti-pesto protest group with colleague Alastair Down last week called BAP (Blokes Against Pesto). My life's work from this point on is to achieve Lion King certificate justice and to rid the world of the absolute filth that many people call pesto. I want my epitaph to read: He protected children, he destroyed pesto.
My other ongoing battle – to overcome 220 bags of debt – was aided by a monkey from the BDO World Darts Championship. I had £265 ante-post on Glen Durrant at 2.9 on Betfair. Sadly, Durrant's heroics were just covering golf losses, with three-ton on Jordan Spieth for the Sony Open my biggest investment. Justin Thomas secured back-to-back Hawaii titles, leaving Spieth carrying my money in third place for the second week running.
I followed my man to the bitter end, having £60 on Spieth in the Sony betting without runaway leader Thomas at 8-1 with Stan James prior to the final day. Spieth charged up to second place and another monkey was leaping towards me, but Justin Rose ended his round by making birdie at three of the final four holes, pipping Spieth by a shot and sniping the monkey from the money tree.
I must stick to darts and golf. I managed it for a few months, but have fallen off the wagon over the last week or so. I backed a horsey, a Celebrity Big Brother contestant and a snooker player.
The horsey bet was pitiful. I fell for the usual yarn. The jockey had apparently told a mate of a mate of a mate that this horsey was unbeatable. Unfortunately, nobody told the horsey, who behaved in an extremely beatable manner. It was Curbyourenthusiasm for the 3.05pm at Meydan and I had £60 at 6-4 with Power. It certainly appeared to have curbed its enthusiasm for running fast.
When Jessica Cunningham was added to the CBB house, I rushed to support her, having been dazzled by her warmth and sparkle in The Apprentice. I had £70 each-way at 7-1 with Power before she drifted like a barge in the betting.
And I could not resist £50 on Ding Junhui to make the final of the Masters snooker at 4-1 with Betfred, placed after his round-one victory. The snooker bet was still in the balance last night, but the horsey definitely brought no joy and Jessica has put me in Big Bother. I must reboard the wagon for everything but darts and golf. Maybe I will chain-eat Wagon Wheels to serve as a permanent reminder of the need to stay on the wagon.
Hearing my daughter shouting "One hundred and eighty!" Teaching words to your children is great fun and a huge responsibility. If I ever need a chuckle these days I ask Grace to call Mum a knob. I will probably regret these juvenile actions when she gets disciplined on her first day at school for calling her teacher a knob, but at the moment the entertainment is irresistible.
The funniest words of all, though, are those used to greet three darts landing in the treble-20 bed. I do my best Russ Bray impression and Grace repeats in awesome fashion. I expect my proudest moment as a dad will be when the women's liberation movement reaches a peak and Grace becomes chief referee for the Professional Darts Corporation.
Adults who take computer games too seriously. As a kid it is easy to get sucked into the safe world of computer games, and I had many spells of being addicted to them in my youth. NHL Hockey on the Sega Mega Drive and Championship Manager on the PC were particular obsessions. Adults, though, need to get a grip and deal with reality.
I was forced into a round of 'golf' with three others on a Nintendo Wii at a family function over Christmas and it took an age. One man, in particular, had three (yes, three!) practice swings every time it was his turn, before swaggering off when he hit a good 'shot' as if it was an actual achievement. You haven't hit a good golf shot, pal – those are just a load of pixels and you're playing pretend, much like a little girl messing about with her dollhouse.