The Holiday – Return of the Natives and a theological argument with a cynical 10 year old

The mad boy, my eldest boy, the lad, invited a squad down tonight to play pool in the basement – and consume copious amounts of lager and fortified wine. Some Russian Standard Vodka too (oh how I love Russian Standard – though it does not love me).

They left at 9pm to go to the clubs and pubs.

Four of the many will return much later to own the sofa bed and spare room. Or so I was informed, as the lad jumped into a taxi.

Baby giant returned from his friends at 10.45pm and is sitting with me as I type – and as Jaws plays out its gory suspense on terrestrial tv, yet again (I want to resurrect Roy Scheider and have a good time).

All this partying and the lad populating the house with his pals… I am reminded of my return from The Holiday… Thing is, this would ideally be the final installment in what I think of as my Holiday series. On the other hand, it seems mean to deny you the denouement, given I’ve been a bit slow with the in-between bits… 

The Holiday – Return of the Natives 

The journey back was unexpectedly quick. On reflection we agreed that this may well be due to the fact that on the way there we a) had literally no idea where the hell that single track road through the moors was taking us and b) had got lost despite the satnav anyway.

It started pissing with rain the minute we crossed the Anglo-Scots Border. We had the  customary small cheer from the kids as we passed that massive, squinty, Border Saltire emblazoned with SCOTLAND and Cead Mile Failte and then the rain came down in sheets. 

Thats God pee-ing on us stated Ana, quite matter-of-factly, Mamie told me.

I held my breath and glanced at R. We could sense Jamie pausing. His acute sense of dramatic timing pushing him to weigh his retort-options quickly. On the one hand he had patronising nonchalance and on the other, he had plain, outright, old scorn – though we knew he also he had a fine repertoire covering all the in-between options.  He discarded nonchalance, this was not a time for nonchalance. He went straight to the main artery and struck.

Dont be so stupid. You are just so stupid. Duhhhhhh. You just know nothing

There was a brief silence.

In the rear view I could see Ana begin to wind up to a whine. But Jamie had not finished yet.

God! God!! God doesn’t EXIST!

Yip.  There     it      just about      was   …Yip…    Ana whining

Muuummmmmm Jamie’s annoying me. Hes annoying me. He said I’m stupid. I’m not stupid. If I’m stupid then Jamie thinks Mamie’s stupid too. Mum, Mum, Mum, Jamie said Mamie was stupid too.

Jamie played his top trump card. Smugly.

Go on Mum. Tell her then Mum. Tell her that God doesn’t exist. You don’t believe he exists. Do you Mum. 

Jamie and I have been here before. Debating God and world religions and the bible and why I studied Religious Studies at University. He knows the answer to that question. He is being a smart-arse. I decide I am going to be an annoying smart-arse.

Well, Jamie. What if I ask you a question first, before I confirm or deny anything.

He is all ears.

Imagine, Jamie, that you have just landed on Planet Earth. You are walking along a beach and see something at your feet. You bend to pick up what appears to you to be an intricate object. The object is a watch (but you don’t know that because you’ve never been on earth before and never seen a watch). You study it closely. You open the casing and study the mechanics. 

He was hooked. Round-eyed.

Do you think if you found a watch like that that you would believe it just appeared? Or would you think it had been made? Would you think someone or something had MADE it? That they had created it?

I could see him mustering all his powers of cynicism. And feigning nonchalance.

Well. Of course I would know someone had made it.

I hated this argument but felt compelled now to finish it.

Right. Now, just think about the human body, Jamie. Or the animals. Or all the plants and trees. Just think how complicated they are. How complicated your own body is. Your asthma. All those little villi in your lungs. A watch is really simple when you compare it to your body.


So, don’t you think someone MUST have created your body. Someone we could call GOD, Jamie.

It didn’t take him long. He was truly disgusted that he had allowed himself to be taken in in this way. And without weapons with which to beat me. 

Thats a STUPID argument. You KNOW that God doesn’t exist. I don’t CARE what you say.

(to be continued…cos we have still got 74 miles to go to find out whether we have a habitable home to return to or whether the lad and Baby Giant have managed to trash the place)

12 thoughts on “The Holiday – Return of the Natives and a theological argument with a cynical 10 year old

  1. As I have absolutely no idea where this is going I await the next instalment with interest.

    What, of course, is really fascinating is that there are millions of people out there who will immediately say 'Of course God must have created us. We KNOW that. We just KNOW that. Just as he put dinosaur fossils into the rocks. Just as he made carbon dating fool us into thinking that there was something before 6000 years ago. Just as he was there before there was anything there. Sorry? Pardon?' I despair. I truly despair. It's OK I'll be fine. I just met a creationist the other day. I'll go and have some chocolate and a brandy and I'll be ok. You see what you've doen? You triggered an attack of atheism.

  2. Long car journeys are such fun…

    The other Wednesday I had 8 15-yr olds in my tiny house lounging all over my sofa playing XBox and eating me out of house and home. Amazing!

  3. e.f. – now that makes strong sense to me! (stronger sense than God pee-ing on us…)
    GB – haha – yip had much the same effect on my son – the boy who at the age of 5yrs told the Chaplain at school that God didn't exist… We actually had a phone call that time, to “alert us” to his behaviours…
    Sp – thanks. You know what us parents are lije…practitioners of the child-bamboozling story!
    Sarah – yes, I understand that sentiment soooo well. Personally I love having their energy around – even if they do eat me out of house and home!

    PS – GB – moderation started after I got a naughty comment – was tempted to leave it for everyones entertainment – but good taste won in the end! I thought moderation might be a good idea…

  4. There's no arguing with an articulate 10 year-old, you know. Been there, done that and still have the scars. But I bet you made him think a bit nonetheless…

  5. Perpetua – yes, this child, aka “the Tricky One”, drives us batty with his black and whiteness – my goal is to get him seeing both sides (and only after consideration of the sides is he allowed to reject one in favour of the other!).
    e.f. You will need to try soooo much harder!! My standards are amazingly low…lol

  6. That sounds like a challenge.

    Yeah but you only know the mellowed Erik…the one that has very little interest in being argumentative and nasty.

    He's been Martharized (the Mrs.) and he's a lot easier to contain now…but, the pesky old Erik's still there.


  7. Great stuff and an important lesson for them both- learning how to argue.

    I have just the one so was usually spared the backseat sparring.

    Nice to have The Holiday back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s