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One For My Baby

Tony Parsons

Protagonist's father was a journalist who struck it rich with a book called "Oranges For Christmas" about his own childhood. The book dropped like a bombshell among my father's family - specifically, his eldest sister Jane, who did not appreciate my dad telling the world about the time her dad caught her jacking off a GI during a WW2 blackout. In the book it was told as a lovable farce, but it caused a sensation at Aunt Jane's branch of the Woman's Institute, where today she remains chief jam-maker.

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His parents separate spectacularly - the old joke about a surprise birthday party when the assembled guests turn on the lights to see the au pair giving the husband a blow job on the diving board. Son later asks father why he did it? "At the time I felt like the luckiest man alive. I had the perfect wife and the perfect mistress - isn't that what every man wants? A wife and a lover? We want stability, support, a quiet life. And we also want romance, excitement, passion. Why should it be wrong to want the best of both worlds?" "Because it's too much. You ruin other people's lives by wanting too much ..."

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Learning Tai Chi from an old Chinese guy - "I wanted to be like him ... Calm without being passive. Strong without being aggressive. A family man without being a couch potato. A decent heart in a healthy body."

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