3 Act Self-Help

3 Act Structure and How To Use It In Life

When you start to learn about stories and how to make them, one of the first things you’ll encounter is the 3-act structure. Although you may not know the ins and outs of 3-act structure, we all learn a little about it at some point in our lives. Remember in school when your teacher told you to write a story and she said “remember, all stories have a beginning, a middle and an end!” Well, believe it or not, that was 3-act structure:

Act 1: Beginning
Act 2: Middle
Act 3: End

Continue reading 3 Act Self-Help

The Problem

I’m a little tipsy. I’ve had a few pints. And I’m walking through the bus station. Smiling.

I don’t know why but when I’m tipsy it’s like I act as a magnet to every other person who’s reality is skewered. It’s like crazy can smell crazy, and everyone knows I can’t think straight.

I walk by a homeless man. He’s lying in a shop doorway, slowly licking a cigarette he’s in the middle of rolling. I’m still smiling to myself when I make eye contact. An invite. He stops licking the cigarette and stares back, shouting up into the doorway “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! CAN YOU SPARE SOME CHANGE!” and I know he’s really saying “you, can YOU spare some change” but by the time he’s finished his sentence I’m no longer looking at him and I’m pretending he’s not there and I can feel his eyes watching me as I walk by.

I sit down in the bus station. Wait for my bus.

I feel guilty. I ignored something in plain sight. A man looked into my eyes, I looked back. Then moments later I pretended he wasn’t there. I feel disgusted with myself. But I don’t go back and give him any change. I’m too ashamed. I wonder why I’m too ashamed to give money to a person in need. He needs the money more than I. But I feel like everyone would look at me, say “look at him, giving money to a homeless person.” I don’t have the guts.

I wallow in self-pity.

Then another man comes over. He wears a cream coloured suit, slightly dusty after what was obviously a good night. The good night is spread on his face in the form of a wide smile, each muscle of his face joins in on the activity.

“When do you reckon the bus is coming?”

I know when the bus is coming. He knows when the bus is coming. There’s a digital sign beside us, telling us when the bus is coming. I humour him anyway.

“About 10 minutes, mate.”

He’s not my mate, but I’m tipsy and he looks like the type of person that would make a good mate. He repeats my answer through his wide grin “about 10 minutes?” and he laughs loudly.

I get caught up in the laugh and I laugh with him, “aye, about 10 minutes!” I say. He laughs again. I laugh again. I’m laughing at a joke I don’t understand, a joke he probably doesn’t understand, but it doesn’t matter because we’re both happy and we’re laughing.

He skulks off a bit to talk with other people. But I know he’ll be back. Jovial people in white suits always come back.

He comes back.

“Hey mate!” he says. I turn to him, we make eye contact, but he says it again, just incase I’m looking through him. “Hey mate! I’ve got a problem.” I don’t say anything, but he knows I want him to continue.

As he tells me his problem he continues to smile, the happiest man alive. “I’ve only gone and got myself two girlfriends haven’t I?!”

He laughs. I laugh. We laugh. “Two girlfriends?! How’s that a problem?!” He laughs again. I laugh again. We laugh again.

“Well” he says “I love ’em both, don’t I!” His grin seems to get wilder, so happy about his problem. I grin back and my moral side speaks up “maybe you should own up?”

Stupid suggestion. He shakes his head. Walks away for a few steps, staring at the ground, mulling over the thought. He paces back “nah, I can’t man. I can’t!” He pleads with me, begs me to give him better advice, the wrong advice.

“How’d you get yourself into this mess?” I wonder aloud.

He runs his hand through his curly grey hair. His mouth still grins but his forehead wrinkles, deep in thought.

Well…she broke up with him didn’t she! Then when he was out the next week. You know, at that pub just around the corner. Just over there. He met the other one didn’t he, and she was amazing man, wasn’t she! Then a few days later his lass rang up didn’t she. Said she might have made a mistake, wanted him back didn’t she. Then he was stuck with both of them wasn’t he.

I sigh deeply. “I think you’ve got to pick one of them over the other, mate.” And he is my mate now.

He doesn’t even let me finish the sentence though. “You don’t understand man..” he brings out his hands, places them in front of him. “You see..” he shakes his right hand “..this one has a great house…” he shakes his left hand “..and this one has a great house.”

He looks at me as though it should make sense, but we both know it doesn’t, he swings his hands back down and sighs. He paces away again, but a presence stays in his place, a piece of energy holds his spot. He jumps back and tries to explain it again.

“You see mate, this type of thing…like…” his eyes dart about as he tries to figure out the words to tell me. “The chances of this happening are like, one hundred thousand to one.”

I tell him. He has to choose. One of them. He has to choose.

He shakes his head, continues to grin. “I can’t choose man. I just can’t. And this whole thing, you know. It tears me apart. In here.” He points to his chest, the grin still wide across his face. But he’s betrayed by his eyes. The eyes tell me the smile is a lie and the eyes turn the grin into a grimace.

I think of what to say, some choice words of wisdom and  but after a few moments he walks away. Gone.

This time he doesn’t come back.

Snow Day

Apparently Eskimos have 248 words for snow. Well, actually, I made up that number, but the whole point is that Eskimos have a frickin load of words for snow.

People throw this statistic around with wonder and admiration, no doubt thinking “those crazy eskimos and their snow.” In actuality Eskimos don’t have 248 words for snow. They have 248 words for snow in different contexts. For instance we call melted snow “water” and of course, so do they. But some idiot decided that water is one of their ways of talking about snow. Who can blame them anyway, they live in snow, they are at one with snow, they bloody love that snow.

I don’t blame them of course, snow is beautiful. The Eskimos (Inuits if you want to be politically correct) understand how beautiful snow is. They make films about it, make music about it and they write books about it. Probably not surprising really, with a language totally based on snow related topics, I guess there’s nothing else to talk about.

As it turns out the Eskimos have a little stat for the English as well, probably one you’ve never heard since you’re not an Eskimo (if you are, I’d like to know how you get wireless in an igloo.) The Eskimos say that “apparently the English have 248 words for breasts” and as it turns out, the Eskimos are right.

So why all this talk of snow? Unless you live under a rock you’ll know that today is a snow day. Even if you did live under a rock you’d probably know about it due to the fact that every person in the UK seems to be an amateur meteorologist. All we talk about is the damn weather, there is no escape. No matter what weather is coming up tomorrow there’ll always be someone around to pucker their lips and say “it’s going to snow tomorrow you know” or “did you hear, heat wave next week” or even just simply shouting “RAIN! RAIIIINNNNNN!” at you.

Never have I woken up in the morning to look out at the world and find to my surprise that the world is covered in snow. More often than not this is because I’ve been reminded of it’s arrival from multiple people, multiple times, days before the event has happened. Quite often I’ll be lying in bed and get awoken by the phone “hello, Dan? It’s me Matthew Beaty. We haven’t spoken in 6 years and I had to trawl the internet for your phone number but I thought you should know something really important: it’s about to snow!” Woah, really! Call back when it’s sunny…oh…and you’re dead. Stop reminding me of the weather, thanks.

And so it snowed and the world was happy, but I was a miserable bastard. Of course the first thing you do on a snow day is the annoying process of making a snowball. Snowballs are fun. Or rather, snowballs are fun to throw at people, but if you’re like me when you eventually get a taste of your own medicine, and a snowball flies full force into your face you’ll go into a week long sulk and refuse to speak to anyone. That’s how I roll.

As I left the house this morning I realised there are stages to snow, written in many an expert snow book, but thankfully you don’t have to buy “Snow – Those Crazy Eskimos Love It You Know!” to find out what these stages are. Instead I shall tell you right now with the power of THE INTERNET.

1. Soft snow stage.
Like candy floss but not as tasty, especially when it’s yellow. So beautiful, I love snow! Woo! I wish it would snow everyday!
2. Crunchy snow stage.
Lovely soft snow has settled, now it gives a lovely crunch when you walk over it and compress it. It’s like walking on biscuits but more romantic. I love snow! It’s so great! WOO!
3. Evil slush stage.
The snow is starting to melt. My feet are getting wet and cold. I hate snow. Why does it fucking snow?! NOBODY LIKES SNOW! GO AWAY YOU DAMN SNOW!
4. Water stage.
Not actually snow but the last stage. Goodbye snow, I shall miss you.

From time to time these stages are interrupted by the dreaded X stage. So named because it’s Xtreme of course. The X stage is random and can happen at any time, day or night. Sub-zero temperatures turn the snow into ice. Ice isn’t snow. Ice is evil! You shall slip, you shall slide, you shall lose your sense of balance and everyone shall laugh at you!

Now though I’m going to tell you a secret. You can replicate the X stage. There’s a certain method with which you can turn crunchy snow into a death slide. Here it is.

1. Find a large piece of path where noone has stood in the snow.
2. Push the snow down all across the path with your foot, savouring the crunch.
3. Slide your foot along the pushed down snow until it is smooth and slippery.
4. Take some snow from elsewhere on the path and sprinkle it across your death trap.
5. Hide a short way away and watch as an 80 year old slips in the snow.

I wouldn’t encourage making one of these so called death slides, I’m a nice guy after all. But if you manage to take down one of your fellow weather-obsessed Englishmen, I wont blame you.

(Yes, I see the irony in hating people that talk about the weather all the time and posting all about the weather, so sue me.)

Another Letter From The Past

Here’s another letter from my family history. The subject the same as in the last post: my grandmas brother. This time the letter to my gran, from her mother.

To help understand the letter: Sgt. Gaulette was a member of the crew in the same plane as my great-uncle and the letter is a description of his last flight etc.

The 50% towards the end means of the people that marched from the camps I imagine.

Sat afternoon.

My dear Martha,
It is with a broken heart I am writing this, as I recieved a letter from Mrs Biggane the same time I got yours yesterday and she said she had seen Sgt. Gaulette on Monday. He was one of those prisoners who were marched across Germany from that camp in Silesia. One of the few survivors who were found by the Americans at a camp near Leipzig. Sgt. Sanders was seperated from his somewhere on the way and nothing has been heard of him since.

Sgt. Gaulette told Mrs Biggane the whole story of their last flight, they were unfortunately half an hour late in starting, owing to their having to go in a different plane at the last minute, so when they reached Munich they were the last to go in and every available searchlight and gun was concentrated on them. They were hit over the target and one engine set on fire, but they managed to put the fire out, but they had to come home on three engines which of course meant that the plane was much less manoeuvrable and was an easy target for fighters.

As they neared Heidelburg they were attacked by an ME.109. and there was a running fight for 3/4 an hour then it broke off the fight and they thought they had shaken it off. But unfortunately it came in again from underneath their blind spot and shot them with its guns from end to end setting the starboard wing on fire. Then the pilot gave the order to abandon aircraft. They were by then down to 1000ft. Sgt. Gaulette went first, then Sgt. Imrie (but unfortunately his parachute did not open and he was killed), then Sgt. Sanders. Those were the only three who managed to get out.

Sgt. Gaulette landed in a field and saw the plane go down just above the tree tops. It flattened out as though the pilot was going to make a crash landing but on hitting the ground it blew up. The Germans told him next day that they had identified the pilot by the wings on his tunic.

Sgt. Sanders who had landed near a different village met the German pilot who had shot them down in the the Burgomasters office. He congratulated them on the splendid fight they had put up. When they told him they had been flying on 3 engines he could hardly believe it and he said they aught to be flying with the Luftwaffe instead of the R.A.F. He was a boy of 19 and they were his 15th victim. She said Sgt. Gaulette could not tell her anything specially about Dick but he hoped to see me later on.

It will be very hard for Mrs Sanders if her husband doesn’t turn up after going through what they have as Sgt. Gaulette said they were both in chains for a whole year in reprisal of Dieppe. But Sgt. Gaulette said that 50% of them must have died by the way and before that in the camp at Lamsdorf. She says we must be thankful that our dear boys was spared all that and the misery of the long seperation from those they loved.

They fought a good fight and by their courage and their sacrifice made possible the victory at which the world is rejoicing now. For if those boys had not done what they did in those days when everything seemed against us and evil so triumphantly strong this victory would never have been possible and when one sees all these miserable slaves released in their millions and that wicked evil system overthrown, however heartbroken one feels oneself one knows that the sacrifice – both theirs and ours – was worthwhile.

Susie and I are going to Church in the morning, I had so looked forward to seeing him again, but now I will have to console myself that God has taken him as he needs him moreso than me. It is my loss but Gods good gain, and I know he would not wish me to grieve too much. I can only remember his words. “Someone must do it, to save our country.” Therefore God has picked on us to pay the price for victory, and one day we shall meet again but in a better land and there will be a great re-union in the life to come.

I know he is not far from us, as all these long and terrible months I have suffered he has been close to me and I can still feel his cheek on mine from our last parting.

Don’t forget Martha just to offer a little prayer for him as that is all we can do for him now and I know he will hear you.

So cheerio dear.

From your loving mam, dad and sister.

Letter From The Past

Recently my mam has been clearing out my grandmas house as my grandma has moved out. During the clearing she found this old letter. The letter is from my grandmas brother to my grandma during the second world war.

For a little context it’s worth knowing my gran’s brother went on bombing runs during WW2 as a gunner in a Lancaster bomber. At the time my gran was also working for the RAF.

This was the last letter he sent to my gran as he was later killed in action.

1577367 Sgt. R. Cook
Sgts. Mess
R.A.F. Waddington

Mr Dear Sister,
At last I write to you. I’m very sorry my darling but you know what I am for writing letters. I can hardly find time to write to Mam and it’s a month since I wrote to Joan. Mam keeps telling me that you think I don’t care for you well my dear I don’t even want you to think that again because I do care for you very much after all you’re my sister aren’t you and I’m proud of you too. I’m always showing your photo to the boys. By the way I had mine taken when I was home but Mam will be sending you one as she has them all. Yes it was rather a pity you couldn’t have your leave a week later. You went back on the Saturday and I went on leave on the Monday so you just missed me, but I’ll be going on leave again on the 18th of January. You seen now that I’m on operations. I get 7 days leave every 6 week, not bad eh. But we need it. Since I got my stripes I’ve done 9 raids. I came back off leave last Monday and last Tuesday and Wednesday I went on both the big Turin raids. Yes my dear I’ve been around a bit since I start, I’ve been to

Turn – 4 times
Genoa – 3 times
Hamburg – 1 time
Stuttgart – 1 time

If i keep on at this rate I’ll soon have 30 done, then settle down for a nice 6 months rest as an instructor. Well now that Xmas is getting near I guess I’l have to be looking around for a Xmas box for you, I haven’t the faintest idea what to get you but I’ll dig something up. Mam told me you had got me a fountain pen and shaving stuff well the pen is just what I wanted but you needn’t have bothered about the shaving stuff as I’ve got plenty of that but never mind I’ll be able to use it and thank you very much my darling. Well I guess I’ve said about all I can now so with all my love to you I’ll say cheerio till next time.

Your Ever Loving Brother
Dick xxxxxxxxxxx

P.S. Give my love to all the A.T.S. girls down there. HA! HA!

Guilt Pie

It was a typical summers day at work, the type of day where you can’t wait to get back home and relax outside in the evening sun. After my stressful day I rushed back home and as soon as I walked through my door I knew there was trouble, I could smell it in the air. The smell of cooking swam into my nostrils as it always does and this time it smelt like pie. I know it’s got sage in it and if I know my wife, far too much salt. The salt isn’t a major problem in this case though, the pie is. You see there’s only one time when we eat pie and that’s when she’s pissed. She goes in that kitchen, she gets all the ingredients she needs and she makes dough. That dough gets pummelled and murdered. She strangles the dough, she punches the dough, she inwardly screams at the dough, taking all her frustrations and pain out on that mix of flour, butter and water. At the end she has a perfect lump of pastry, smooth and soft to touch.

The dough doesn’t go to waste of course. It goes into the pie. The best pie you’ve ever tasted. You take a bite and every tastebud in your mouth sighes with glee. Unfortunately everytime we have pie, the pie comes with something on the side. It’s never fries, it’s never mashed potato. Infact it’s not even an animal, vegetable or mineral. It’s “family discussion”, a polite term for shouting, crying and all around bad feelings. Jokingly we call it “Guilt Pie”, but NEVER when it’s being served. (I once tried to lighten the mood during a particularly bad “family discussion” by saying “damn, this is the best Guilt Pie I’ve ever tasted.” Bad idea.)

So I’m standing in my doorway and thinking about the Guilt Pie – listening to my wife humming crazily from the kitchen – and I contemplate just turning and leaving. Maybe she never heard me coming in? I could just sneak back out, call up and say I have to work late. A quick meal at Burger King could be followed by sitting in my car for a few hours until dinner at home is done. I know of course that I’m dreaming, sitting in a car alone is a dream that will never come true. If I put off the pie, it’ll just come back the next day, I know my wife. I accept my fate and shout ironically “Honey I’m home!” as I head into the kitchen.

Sliding into the kitchen I kiss my wife on the forehead and sniff my nostrils loudly. “Mmmmm, smells good” I say “what is it?”

She smiles back at me and winks “it’s a secret.” I laugh back at her and quip “oo, are you going to wrap it up for us?” but secretly I’m thinking. You. Bitch. It’s GUILT PIE, you KNOW it’s Guilt Pie, so just say it’s fucking pie! Of course that’s not how it works, that’s never how it works. Continuing to smile she pats me on the bum and says “go get ready for dinner. It’s the usual time, don’t be late!”

I leave the room to change into some comfortable clothes, pretending I can’t wait for dinner when secretly I’m dreading it. Fucking pie.

Not long later I find myself sitting in the dining room at our table. My 11 year old daughter, Jo, sits to my right at one end of the table and my 13 year old son, Tick (his choice, not ours, another pie for another time) sits opposite her. We pass pointless stories around the table about our day and finally my son asks “yo boy, you know what’s for eats?” I laugh back at him sarcastically and put on my hip old man voice “dawg, I aint got no clue yo!” He lets out a noise from his lips and rolls his eyes. In my head head I feel a little pity. Sorry son, we’re having pie.

My wife brings in the side dishes first placing them around the table and we gratefully sit back and thank her.

Then she brings in the pie. Except we can’t see the pie – she’s hidden it under the lid of a silver platter. I watch my children and cringe as they both lean forward in their seats and lick their lips. “What’s for eats?” Tick asks as politely as he can. My wife smiles back at him placing the platter on the table. “Oh honey, it’s your favourite” she says. He leans forward in his seat further, his eyes transfixed on the platter, just waiting for the first sight of his favourite meal – meatloaf. Jo leans back sulking slightly and as my wife sits down she asks “whats wrong honey?” Jo pouts “why is it HIS favourite and not MINE?” My wife unwavered smiles back “it’s your favourite too, baby!” and Jo grins happily leaning forward again – no doubt imagining pork chops. I stare over the table at my cruel bitch of a wife and she stares back. She’s evil, but I love her.

Stillstaring at me she asks “why don’t you do the honours Peter?” and I stand up and place my hand on top of the silver platter, my eyes never leaving hers. I begin to lift the lid off the platter as my children hold their breathe in anticipation. I bite my lip and yank the lid up quickly, a large billow of steam rising into the air, masking the meal for a moment in a cloak of mystery. As the steam clears I hear two sighs in unison coming from both sides of me and the creak of two chairs as my children collapse into them. Looking down slowly and back up at my wife I say with perfect execution “mmmm, pie…what a lovely surprise.” My children stare at me wondering why I’m bothering with this charade, but I have to, it’s just the way it is.

The pie sits in a china pie pot in the centre of the silver platter, a large silver spoon lies beside it and looking at it I know what I have to do. “Jo, pass your plate please.” I say looking over to her. She shakes her head slowly and mouths “no!” to me. But I nod slowly and sympathetically back at her with a lack of arguement. She hands over her plate and I break the seal of the pies crust, crunches filling the silent room. Scooping the pie into the spoon I put it down onto her plate, tapping gently so the pie slides off. I hand the plate back and continue with Ticks plate, moving onto my wifes plate before finishing with my own plate.

We pass the side dishes around the table, a few peas here, a few carrots there, the clatter of cutlery filling the air. As the last dish is passed around we all sit in silence and my wife says “Tick, why don’t you say grace tonight?” I stare at my wife, again she stares back. Our children close their eyes but we keep ours open, still staring. “Grace!” Tick shouts before pulling up his fork and stabbing it into a carrot which vanishes quickly into his mouth. Jo follows suit as they both attempt to eat their meals as fast as humanly possible. Still we stare and my wife tilts her head to the side. “What’s wrong Peter? Not hungry?”

Inwardly I sigh and I pick up my fork as my wife watches me slicing it through a piece of the pie that seemingly melts apart before forming perfectly on my fork. Looking at the succulent pie I can hear my tastebuds screaming for it’s flavour and I give in to them soon enough and bring the fork up to my mouth. As the pie reaches my lips my wife cuts in, her voice stern “Oh, before you eat can we have a little talk?” I nod “sure honey” and I put my fork down wishing I could have had one bite, just one little piece of pleasure before the pain.

Pre-empting my wife my children both put down their forks and stop eating. “Actually” she says “I think this will be a family discussion so we should all hear it.”

She looks at noone in particular and says. “Well…I just thought you’d like to know Peter, that Tick is now into drugs.” My son groans but my wife pretends not to hear it. She continues “I was doing his laundry today and guess what I found in his pocket.” Skillfully she pulls a small packet from her pocket and throws it into the middle of the table for all to see. Instantly I know what it is, but I play dumb. “Oregano?” I ask her. She glares back at me, her voice raising a few notes “no it’s not oregano, does it look like it’s oregano? It’s POT! YOUR son is a POT HEAD NOW!”

That was when it all came crashing back into my memory. You see, now, I’m a Conservative parent, but as a young man I was an extreme Liberal. I marched to stop the war in Iraq, I hated George W Bush and by God did I smoke some pot. Infact I didn’t just smoke it. I sold it. I sold a LOT of it. In my town the war of drugs was basically a war on me. Now my kid was smoking it and I knew there was only one thing I could do.

Turning to my son I ask “Tick, is it true what your mother says? Have you been smoking pot?” I know for a fact he has already, I can see it in his eyes and I can see the evidence on the table, but at this table his mother is the judge and I’m his prosecutor. Innocent until proven guilty. He responds typically with an unoriginal story that I probably used on my own parents “it’s not my pot dad! I was just keeping it for my friend Baz! I don’t smoke pot, I’m smarter than that.” Of course it’s a lie, the tremble in his voice tells me so, but maybe my wife will be sympathetic for once in her life. I turn to her and reiterate the story “he’s just holding it for his friend, it sounds reasonable to me.” She says nothing, not one little word, she just raises her eyebrow slightly. After 20 years of marriage I know everything about my wife, I know she has an extreme fear of mould, I know when she brushes her teeth she starts on the left side and a minute later moves to the right. I know about that eyebrow. That eyebrow means “listen Peter, if that kid doesn’t run from the room crying you won’t be getting any sex for at least two weeks.” I turn back to my son and give him one last chance to win her over. “So you were just holding it for Baz? Why can’t he hold it for himself?”

My child lets out a loud um, then screams out “I don’t know! Jesus! Stop harassing me!” I look at him until his eyes meet mine. I say calmly, not raising my voice “Terrence. Your mother and I are very, VERY disappointed with you. You have let us both down. I think you should have a long think about what you have done and realise how much you have hurt us.” Leaving it at that I wonder what my child really has done, but I push it to the back of my mind, it doesn’t matter now. Turning back to my plate I pick up my fork and again start to work on the pie, moving the pie filled fork to my mouth. Again I’m stopped.

Out of the corner of my eye I see something flicker and as I look up I notice what it is. My wifes second eyebrow. That’s a month without sex. The fork hangs in the air as I stare at her, her hands calmly lying on the table. She wants more, she wants crying. I take a deep breath and slam my fork down onto my plate to create a loud clink. Jumping up I push my seat back and scream down at my son who’s prepared himself for the coming onslaught. “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU BROUGHT DRUGS INTO OUR HOUSE! DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT THIS WILL DO TO YOU? DO YOU WANT TO END UP DEAD? DO YOU WANT A FUTURE?” I slam my fists down onto the table and he jumps as my daughter squeaks. “YOU’RE A DISGRACE TO THIS FAMILY AND A DISGRACE TO YOURSELF!” His face goes red and tears well up in his eyes. “IF THIS EVER HAPPENS AGAIN! EVER! WE WILL SEND YOU OFF TO A MILITARY ACADEMY! INFACT WE MIGHT DO THAT ANYWAY, BECAUSE WE ARE SICK OF YOU!” Tears roll down his cheeks and he sobs loudly, running from the room. A few seconds later we hear the slam of a door upstairs.

I sit back down as my wife stands up. “Did you have to be so hard on him Peter?” she says, leaving the room and going upstairs to comfort her child. It’s all part of the unspoken deal, I’m the angry dad, she’s the loving mother. It’s the way she likes it and it’s the way I hate it. Guilt fills me and that’s when I know it’s time to eat the pie.

I dig into the pie and it melts on my tongue, the buttery flavour of the pastry mixing with the meaty filling perfectly. Swallowing the pie hits my stomach, soothing me. Throwing another piece into my mouth I close my eyes and chew, allowing the flavour to destroy the bad feeling of guilt in my body. One more fork full and the guilt is gone entirely, I feel relaxed and at peace. The peace is disturbed slightly when a small voice comes into my ear a few moments later. It’s my daughter. “Daaaad?” she asks and I already know the question. “What’s pot?” I smile back at her. “It’s something naughty honey. Something very VERY naughty.” She nods back at me before asking to be excused, I hear her trundling up the stairs, no doubt going straight to her computer to find out what pot actually is.

Sitting for a moment I let the good feeling wash over me completely, before I rise from the table, palming the packet of marijuana. I shove one last piece of pie into my mouth and hope the next pie we have is a long way away.

Later that night my wife asks “what did you do with the pot sweetie?” Lying I tell her I’ve destroyed it and she seems convinced. For my monthly fishing trip with the guys this month I’d be making some pie of my own. Some good, old fashioned Pot Pie. Almost the best pie in the world.

Random thoughts on life and travel.