Yesterday evening my three year old son was sat on the sofa eating his supper. Upon finishing he leaned back, rested his hands on his tummy and like a post-Christmas dinner flatulent elderly uncle, let out the most enormous, self-satisfied belch. There was a stunned silence as we took in its melodious resonance, and after prompting the requisite “Excuse me”, I could only admire my son’s precocious talent with an enthusiastic high five.
It got me to thinking about my own personal inadequacies as it is a quirk of mine that I can’t burp. This is surprisingly a recurring source of disappointment as there are many instances in life when a burp serves as appropriate punctuation or emphasis in the conversation – it can be appreciative, disgusted, contemptuous, insulting, entertaining, distracting….the list goes on. Burping is something you probably don’t give much thought to if you are adept at casually discarding your excess wind, but to belch-free me it is an ability I am actually quite jealous of.
The same goes for the other skills and talents I do not possess. For example I am bitterly disappointed that I can’t whistle, that I can’t play a musical instrument and that I can’t speak more than basic Del-boy French; “Mais oui, mon petit fromage frais” - see what I mean?
I’m sure at some point most of us have indulged in a few moments of idle daydreaming, casting ourselves as the star in the movie of our lives, sweeping in and amazing all around with beauty, wit and intellect. Possibly as an immaculately kooky Holly Golightly-type, hosting a debauched house party a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Or inspired by Mad Men, a Joan Holloway-type. Queen bee of the office in a sexy pencil skirt and mistress of the sassy riposte. Or possibly a kickass, wise cracking heroine such as the long lamented Buffy the Vampire Slayer (was there ever a better role model for teenage girldom?).
However my movie fantasy goes something like this;
In a Parisian back alley I stumble upon a dimly lit, smoke filled café. I wander in and am quickly dismissed by the uber-cool, black clad inhabitants who are all too busy smoking their gitanes, drinking rough red wine and discussing Sartre to pay me any attention. I go to the bar. In immaculate French I order my drink and casually enquire about the little piano hidden away in the corner. The barman shrugs his shoulder and motions to me to help myself. I sit down at the piano and proceed to stun the insouciant clientele with a perfect rendition of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumble-bee (yes, a scene stolen straight out of the movie Shine) whilst whistling along in perfect harmony. Upon finishing I graciously acknowledge the crowd's standing ovation and then respond with a perfect, full-bodied, 10 second burp……….the crowd goes wild…….and fade to credits.
It'll never happen of course, but it has happily filled a few daydreaming minutes.