My son takes an interest in Bear Grylls. Partly because he himself was almost called “Bear”; partly because Bear Grylls climbs big mountains and eats gross stuff on TV. But these days, it’s mostly because it has recently come to his attention that Bear Grylls proposed to his wife by pulling her engagement ring out from between his bum-cheeks while skinny-dipping.
My son thought this was awesome, because he is eight and it involves extensive discussion of the bum-cheeks of someone he admires, so of course he did. So awesome, in fact, that he decided to draw a picture of it.
He drew this at bedtime, while allegedly listening to me reading The Famous Five. I’m not sure why it’s meant to be read right to left, but maybe he was channeling his inner Manga artist.
As you can see, it comes in three distinct parts. The first part is the moment of the proposal:
There’s clearly some thought gone into this. It contains all the essential elements of a really good marriage proposal, as understood by an eight-year-old boy. Bear is down on one knee, because that’s the proper way to propose to someone. There’s some sort of disturbing phallic symbolism going on with Bear’s arms. The ring is gigantic (I bet Bear was glad to get that bad boy out from storage, Christ). His future wife is smiling, because she’s so happy to be proposed to. Naturally, she’s asking the question all newly-engaged women ask at such a moment: “Where did you get it!” And Bear, also smiling, proudly replies, “From my butt”.
I will admit that’s a much more memorable answer than “Beaverbrooks”.
By the way, my son and I are both painfully aware that he has spelt “Where” wrong. Sometimes in the white heat of artistic creation, these things slip through the net.
The next piece of the picture is a bit more mysterious:
My son’s best explanation of this is that it was “some of my homework that I had to cross out”, accompanied by the mysterious smile that means he doesn’t want to discuss it any further. As far as I can tell, it’s a picture of a pyramid with an eye on the top, and the inscription “50 gerfit” scrawled across the bottom. Maybe they were studying Masonic initiation rituals.
And now the final piece of the triptych, which shows Bear happily contemplating what he’s just achieved:
“I got my ring from my butt.” Well, yes you did, Bear. Yes you did.