It’s 11.30AM and the party’s in full swing and the sky is a clear blue and as I watch a balloon sail over the fence into a neighbor’s yard I realize quite suddenly that I’m drunk. I have been volleying balloons back into a trampoline full of screaming children for over fifteen minutes and casually drinking from a plastic cup that is being constantly refilled with wine.

‘I am now the drunk Dad at the two year old’s birthday party,’ I say to Reservoir Mum as I meet her at the refreshments table.

‘Somebody’s gotta do it,’ she says.

‘I’m pretty sure I’m going to include the party in this week’s Wednesday’s From The Womb,’ I say, ‘but I don’t think anything extremely outrageous is gonna happen. It could be a lame one.’

‘Have another wine then,’ she says. ‘That should fix it.’

I pour myself another one before she can tell me she’s joking.

‘Look at this dude,’ I say. The party girl’s Uncle has just arrived late. We listen to his introduction and watch him swagger up to the food and beverages table. It occurs to me that he looks almost exactly like Jim Morrison and for several moments I find it hard to concentrate. He nods and introduces himself but I miss the name because I’m so transfixed by his movements – the way he double-dips the water-cracker, the way he fingers the cheese like he just don’t care… he’s rockstar nonchalance in the suburbs. He’s the dead before your time version of cool.

He reaches in to the beer tub, pulls out two Boags Drafts and offers me one.

‘Yes, thanks…’ I say, breathlessly, before fake-scratching my nose and whispering, ‘…Lizard King.

When he looks at me quizzically, Reservoir Mum says, ‘He’s been a Doors fan since conception.’

Jack-Ellis-Rock-Star_copyWe’re interrupted by Jack who shouts, ‘Hey, RD,’ as he waddles up to us, pushing his daughter on a scooter, ‘…Josie made her first pun yesterday and you were in it.’

‘That’s crazy.’ I say this because Josie’s only four.

‘We were giving the girls a bath after Dad’s Group yesterday and my wife said you girls are all razzled up. Has the Dads group got you all razzled up? And then Josie said, ‘Yes, because they are RAZervoir Dads…’

‘Get stuffed!’ I say, ‘That’s insane.’

‘Yes,’ Jack says, with a chuckle.

I look up at Jim. He hasn’t shown any signs of mirth. He’ll most likely be snorting coke of a porn star’s back later and is probably beyond this domestic-style humor. ‘I’m Reservoir Dad,’ I say to him, ‘So…’

‘Alright,’ he croons.

Clara, the party girl nudges my leg with the front wheel of her tricycle and drifts off the concrete path. When I bend over I notice she’s dropped her balloon poodle. I put it in my back pocket as I straighten her up. By the time I’ve made eye contact with Jim Morrison again he’s accumulated six empty stubbies.

‘I just took a photo of you bending over,’ Reservoir Mum says.

BentoverRD‘You naughty wabbit,’ I say, snatching the camera from her and scrolling through to the pic. ‘Oh my lord! I look like I’ve got hemorrhoids.’

When I hold the camera up to her she sees the balloon poodle hanging from my back pocket and snickers into her hand.

‘I thought I looked much cooler than that,’ I say.

‘I really should get some cream for that,’ Reservoir Mum says.

‘Yes,’ Jack says, with a chuckle.

‘For what?’ I say.

‘My hospital bag… in case there are difficulties…’

For a moment my mind draws a blank but then it hits me, ‘Oh, in case you get balloon poodles?’

‘Yes.’

‘You really think you’ll get hemorrhoids?’

‘Doesn’t hurt to be prepared,’ she says.

‘Okay then,’ I say, punching the air and taking another beer. ‘We’ll pull over at a Chemist on the way home and I’ll buy you some…’

‘You wouldn’t,’ she laughs. ‘Would you?’

I wink at Jim, twist the lid off the stubbie and say, ‘I am the Lizard King. I can do anything.’ I note the look of horror on his face and realize that we’re talking to a man who is this side of twenty-five. He is unwise in the ways of women (who have experienced the traumas of birth).

‘During pregnancy,’ I say to him, ‘there’s a hell of a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor area.’

‘A lot of bearing down,’ Jack says, motioning towards his groin excessively with the palms of both hands. He looks like he’s doing some kind of freaky tap dance.

‘It can really do some damage,’ Reservoir Mum says, a cheeky glance in my direction before suggesting, ‘Pregnancy tip for week thirty-three?’

‘Yes,’ Jack says, with a chuckle.

(Note – If you are thirty three weeks pregnant and are suffering from hemorrhoids the babycentre website suggests soaking your bottom in a tub of warm water for ten to fifteen minutes a day. For those who don’t have a tub it suggests a sitz bath, which sounds even more disgusting then the hemorrhoids themselves.)

~~

As I join several other customers at the service desk I realize that I’ve probably just reached my drunken peak and it helps me to contrive the swagger of a rock star. When the Chemist Assistant RD-ROCK-STARsmiles at me and lifts her head I say – a little too loudly – ‘My wife is heavily pregnant and I’d like to get her some Anus-hole.’

After a brief look of shock she recovers to correct me, ‘Anusol?’

‘Yes,’ I reply, slightly embarrassed despite the state I’m in. ‘It was only one minute ago that I promised myself I wouldn’t say that… can I please have some An-you-sol.’

The other customers seem to have become simultaneously focused on the small details of the walls and floors and any product in close proximity. It’s possible that I’m making a complete dickhead out of myself, but that’s tomorrow’s problem. ‘Hey, it’s Medusa here,’ I say to the room, ‘Don’t look at my snakey hair… or I’ll turn you in to stone! ’

The assistant talks to the Chemist who says, ‘Is this your first baby?’

‘No,’ I say. ‘This’s number four.’

‘Number four!’ he says.

‘Yeah, this would have been a much more embarrassing task the first time.’

‘So I guess you won’t need any guidance on the application then…’

‘No,’ I say, wiggling a finger in the air. ‘I’m RAZ-ervoir Dad, Baby. Razzle Dazzle!’

Okay,’ he laughs.

‘Okay,’ I laugh back.

And we all just stand there looking at each other, laughing.

Balloon Poodles!