Bridget Jones's Diary

`Daddy and I want you to kill us!' Mum said gaily. `Isn't that an honour! You have to get a special kit'
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The Independent Online
Monday 21 July

9st (excellent), alcohol units 3 (vg) cigarettes 13 (vg)

6.30pm. Goody: answerphone message. Dermot? Daniel? or maybe Mark Darcy from Japan asking me to go on holiday in Bali or similar near-Japan-style long-haul destination. Hurrah!

Humph. Answerphone just said. "Bridget Jones' Father." Why does he do this? As if he were a powdered-wigged footman announcing himself at the start of Cinderella's ball, or like I have a PA sitting in the flat all day taking answerphone messages.

Was just preparing to go into emergency disappointment treatment with glass of wine, and tiny morsel of edible cheese carved from centre of hard yellow lump in fridge when answerphone, instead of spitefully going, "End of final message," gave another beep.

"Bridget. It's Simon. I have to talk to you."

Oooh. Wonder what's that all about? Simon, as friend rather than romance, is obviously not top of league of answerphone message leavers, but still he is boy so vg. Also maybe he can explain why Shazzer has gone all huffy on me. Tom says Jude, me and Shazzer are pathetic as are looking not so much for romance as incident - so we can ring each other up about for days giving advice and alternately being smugly superior or insecurely jealous of each other, but that is not true. Ooh doorbell.

Was Simon. He came in flopped his face on my neck and wailed, "I'm going out with Shazzer." Fortunately the phone rang. Was Dad. "Ah, Bridget," he said. "Your mother and I have something to ask you."

I looked around wildly. Maybe they wanted me to have Granny to stay for a week who would spend her entire time taking her clothes off and running into 192 asking for biscuits ...

"Give it to me, Daddy, I'll tell her," hissed Mum, snatching phone in an undermining-instead-of-smoothing-of-male ego manner which would make author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus turn in his grave if he were dead, which he is not. Honestly if she goes on like this he will go into a rubber band and withdraw.

"Daddy and I want you to kill us!" she said, gaily, "Isn't that an honour! You have to get a special kit with some pills and a polythene bag. It's opaque, of course, but you can see what's going on and then you go into a coma and suffocate gently. We thought you'd be better than Jamie because he's in Manchester."

There was an expectant pause. Simon looked at me with weird watery eyes. "Daddy wants a word," she snapped.

"Ahm, one tiny point your mother was no doubt coming onto, was ..."

She snatched the phone again. "Not until we're absolutely geriatric and dying of a painful incurable disease, and Daddy will have to get a mistress to be at his bedside with me or he'll be totally square!"

"Anyway," said Dad. "Better get on in the shed."

Yes, you see, it is proved by surveys that married men only have their sheds because of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, so when they want to be rubber bands and withdraw they can go into the sheds, instead of just not calling like Singleton Martians.

"What do you think, darling? Isn't it a modern idea? Geoffrey and Una want to ask you as well, and Malcolm and Elaine - if Mark's still in Japan.

A vision loomed up of me forced to murder all six of them in polythene bags then dig holes in the garden and build a patio on top. Just then Simon came up behind me and started kissing my neck. I mean, what did he think he was doing?

"So you'll have to get hold of the kit from work - say you want to do an item on it then we can practice. We're going to have a euthanasia evening! Imagine! We're serving bowls of mixed Smarties and peppermints and everyone's going to act out their last wishes! Una says she wants to sleep with Wellington! She's just being silly daft, of course, but ..."

"Yeah, right," I said sarcastically, trying to get my neck away from Simon without hurting his feelings at which he threw himself onto the sofa with his head in his hands.

"You will? Oh darling," said my mother - on whom sarcasm is invariably wasted - "How perfect. I gave you the gift of life, and you will give me the gift ... of death. Anyway, must whiz, my butterfly buns are burning."

Oh God. While think I agree with voluntary euthanasia in principle, what if old people start feeling they have to have it so as not to be a burden? - though obviously that would not be the case with Mum. Knowing her, if Una decided she wanted to do it then Mum would too, just to keep up, then change her mind half way through and start telling me off.

Glancing nervously from side to side so as not to set anything else off, I made my way towards the chardonnay at which Simon sprang up.

"What's the matter?" he said, tenderly. There is nothing like someone being sorry for you to make you sorry for yourself, so I let him put his arms round me and told him about the euthanasia.

"But by that time the whole ethical debate will, surely, be resolved," he murmured throatily and started kissing the top of my head at which the door burst open: Shazzer! She has got key but only for when I lock myself out. She stared with a horrible expression then said, in a flat, dangerous monotone:

"Bridget. I thought you were my best friend. I am never, ever, ever going to speak to you again." Then she just went out and shut the door

Must buy Bridget's VG novel, `Bridget Jones's Diary'. Available from Picador direct on 0181-324 5707: paperback at pounds 4.99, audio tape at pounds 7.99 + 99p p&p.

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