Recently, Alice and I went to a nearby helicopter museum. It was one of our Daddy-Daughter Days, and I was bereft of any better ideas. Seeing as we’d never been there before, I thought it was worth a try. Because… well… Helicopters, yeah?
It was raining, so we were going to have our usual picnic in the boot of the car in the car park. As we were leaving Tesco’s, Alice dropped the big one.
“Daddy, what are drugs?”
The trip to the helicopter museum isn’t terribly long, about 45 minutes, but in that time I managed to cover drugs, addiction, the drugs trade, the legality debate… and then for some reason, I ended up explaining World War II, the Nazis, Hitler, the Final Solution, the Cold War, 9/11, Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
To be fair, it’s a lot to take in.
So after our conversation and our car-boot picnic, we went into the museum. At the till was a nice old lady volunteer. Alice’s speciality is middle-aged-to-elderly ladies, preferably those who volunteer at tourist attractions. They tend to make a fuss over her – because Alice is bespectacled, curious, chatty, and usually wearing a multitude of rainbow-coloured clothes and a hat – and they pretend to be interested in whatever Alice has to say (and Alice tends to say it in a piercing voice that echoes around the entire museum).
Old lady: “Oooh, you look nice dear. Are you having a lovely day out?”
Alice: “YES! We’re on a DADDY-DAUGHTER DAY and we had A PICNIC!!”
Old lady: “Ooooh, lovely. Was it yummy?”
“YES! And Daddy told me all about DRUGS! And NAZIS!! And HITLER!!!”
Old lady: “…lovely!”