MY CAR, INT, DAY. I AM TAKING DAUGHTER AND DAUGHTER’S BEST FRIEND TO THE CINEMA.
DAUGHTER: I love horror films. But I hardly ever get to watch them.
ME: (listens quietly, safe in the smug knowledge that daughter has never actually seen a horror film)
BEST FRIEND: This might sound babyish, but horror films give me nightmares.
ME: That’s not babyish at all, pet. Lots of people feel like that.
BEST FRIEND: What, even grown-ups?
ME: Yep, even grown-ups.
DAUGHTER: I saw a horror film once and it gave me nightmares.
ME: (first tinge of unease)
DAUGHTER: My Uncle showed it to me.
ME: (experiencing that curious state where you both know for sure this would never happen, and simultaneously have the faintest nagging feeling that it just possibly might have)
DAUGHTER: It gave me nightmares for weeks.
ME: (mentally reviewing contents of my brother’s extremely extensive horror collection)
DAUGHTER: It was about this boy who kept dying, over and over again. It was awful.
ME: Oh, right – ! No, that wasn’t a horror movie; it was a public information film.
DAUGHTER AND BEST FRIEND (incredulous): A public information film?
(Appalled silence in the back of the car)
ME: Now I come to say that out loud, it sounds quite bad.
DAUGHTER: No wonder Uncle Ian is the way he is.
ME: Yeah, that sounds about right actually.