Dom Joly: You have to dig deep to fall this far

Share
Related Topics

Just back from the annual ordeal that is school sports day. I'm being unfair in some ways: my kids' school is beautiful – lovely grounds, happy children. The problem, as ever, is me, because I suffer from overly competitive parent syndrome.

I can't help it. It just takes me over. I start all calm by the long jump. I just lie by the pit and occasionally make faces at my daughter's main competitors, nothing that bad... certainly not a police matter. But then we have the picnic lunch and I announce to everybody how much I love picnics as I steal their bottles of everything fizzy.

After a boozy hour, I find myself sitting on the front row of the track events next to my wife who is rigid with tension at the thought of what I am yet to do. The races start and I am up screaming and shouting like a lunatic. I'm not just hurling encouragement, I'm abusing other competitors.

The moment a race is finished, I sit down and pretend that I was being ironic and that it was all a joke, and people actually buy that, for the first couple of episodes. The trouble is, I know that I am becoming a parent monster.

As I try to restrain myself during the next event, it must look as though I have been given a huge dose of laxative and am battling with my bowels for inner control. Finally I can contain myself no more, and I'm up again, actually running along by my poor offspring urging them to "feel the burn" and "dig deeper".

I am fully aware that the only digging they want to do is the hole in which to bury me. But I am out of control and not a little tipsy.

I sense that the headmaster is talking about me in a not entirely flattering manner on the public address system but I cannot make out much because I am making so much noise myself. I start to notice that other parents are moving away from me as I approach, stumbling down towards the finishing tape, desperately trying to get a blurry photograph on my iPhone of somebody who might, or might not, be my child.

I am now moving fast, very fast. I don't want to miss the climax in case it's a dead heat and they need my photographic evidence to prove that my child won. I speed up. I'm really moving now; I am an Olympian myself, every toned muscle working in beautiful conjunction as I power on. I marvel at the perfection of the human body... suddenly everything is upside down, the sky is blue and calm but I'm looking straight at it and my legs hurt, a lot.

I move my hand towards the pain and it gets all sticky. I am bleeding. I look around. I seem to be in a completely different field. It seems that I have collided with a fence and gone arse over tit and landed in a place of many cows... at least I think they are cows. One of them seems very big for a cow and is very near my face. I can see every detail of the drool on her/his nose. The nose is pierced... only bulls and Evan Davis are pierced, I think.

My head hurts a lot, and I can hear people laughing and shouting nearby, but I can't really focus. I try to stand up, but the bull/cow doesn't seem to be comfortable with this, and neither do my legs. I fall down again, and feel people picking me up and carrying me towards the main school building.

I cannot see my wife – I am fairly sure that she is not proud of me. I hear myself asking who won the race? My girl won, I am told. I don't care if it's ambulance-speak. I fall back into semiconsciousness, superbly, gloriously happy.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Women are working in some of the lowest-paid sectors such as cleaning, catering and caring  

Women's wages have gone backwards. Labour would give women the pay they deserve

Gloria de Piero
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?