It’s all about the drama


I accidentally tuned in to Eastenders this evening. I promise it was accidental… to cut a long story short, we were waiting to watch X Factor. Yes, I’m aware that’s as bad – perhaps it’s worse- anyway, I’m digressing. Eastenders (the 3 minutes I was subjected to was completely miserable. Someone was shot (that same person, I’m sure was shot a few years ago) lots of shouting and a hysterical blonde lady wailed her lines. I couldn’t hear what she said. She soaked up the blood with a cushion (really? Is that advisable?) and it went on… I stopped watching. It did get me thinking though, could we do the same in our family? Not shoot each other obviously, but I mean write a soap. I feel like my life is full of drama some days – albeit a different kind of drama, but bear with me.

For those of you who don’t know Eastenders, it’s a soap about the East end of London. It’s often gritty, with lots of serious storylines and characters full of secrets, lots of shouting, revelations, iconic cheesy lines and dramatic music at the end of a climactic episode: e.g.

“Get outta my pub!!!!”
*Cue music, a drumbeat*
duff duff duff, duff duff duff duff duff…
*Roll end credits*

Usually a year later, we find out why someone got thrown out of the pub, who someone was having an affair with or reveal the murderer, of a character we can now only vaguely remember. To work on Eastenders, you have to be prepared to do ugly, snotty, drooling crying.

Now that I can work with.

Episode 1:
Camera rolls in on a dishevelled looking kitchen, there are 2 harassed parents trying to complete separate tasks, they keep bumping into each other and getting in one another’s way. Every cupboard door is open.
Dad: Do you have to empty the dishwasher like that?
Mum: Like what? Putting dishes away? Yes, I believe that’s important.
Small boy: Can I have some milk
Dad: Leaving every single door open! I feel like I’ve walked into that scene in The Sixth Sense
Mum: It’s quicker this way!
Small boy: (louder) Can I have some milk
Dad: I always bang my head
Mum: That’s because you don’t watch what you’re doing!
Small boy: (shouting now) Can I have some milk
Mum: You do realise if you helped it would make the job quicker instead of standing there and criticising?
Dad: Fine. Let’s experience the wonder of your dishwasher emptying skills: look at me everyone I’m sooooo speedy with my cupboard doors open and my dish throwing skills it’s so quick I can barely see what I’m doing…
Mum: There’s no need for sarcasm
Small boy: (Screams) Can I have some milk?!!
Mum and Dad: NOT YET!!!!
Dad: (Bangs head on cupboard door)

Episode 2:
A car, the Mum is driving, small boy is on a booster seat, 2 toddler girls are in the back in car seats.
Small Boy: You know they’ve taken their socks off again.
Mum: Bloody hell…
Small Boy: Don’t say bloody hell. It’s worse than oh my God and not quite as bad as sh-
Mum: Thank you!
Older girl: Bloody hell…
Small Boy: Don’t say bloody hell. It’s worse than oh my God and not quite as bad as sh-
Mum: Again, I appreciate your input, love, but no one should say bloody hell.
Small Boy: You said bloody hell!
Mum: I realise that. I am sorry to everyone in the car –
Small Boy: And the world?
Mum: – and the world. I am very disappointed with myself. *clips curb parking the car* Oh bloody hell!

Episode 3:
The dramatic first birth:
Mum: *Waters break* Oh my God I’m in labour!
Dad: Seriously?
27 and a half hours later…
Midwife: (Mildly panicked) Where did you say your husband has gone? You’re fully dilated.
Mum: He’s gone for some fresh air and a full English in the café. He’s tired.
Husband: Hello… how are we getting on? I got you a paper…”
*Baby flies out at 100mph*

Episode 4
The dramatic second birth:
Mum: That’s definitely a contraction… here we go!
14 hours in…
Dad: There’s an amazing documentary on Swindon Town I think we should watch on YouTube.
33 and a half hours in…
Mum: Seriously, I’ve had enough!! Go and get your bloody breakfast so this baby can get a bloody move on!!!!
34 hours in…
Dad: (holding new daughter) I bet you kind of wish you’d sent me to the café 33 hours ago.

Episode 5:
The dramatic third birth: see Morphine is off the menu.

Episode 6:
Dad is cooking in the kitchen at the back of the house. Mum is sat on the sofa, in the living room, between the kitchen and the conservatory. She is reading a story to the Small Boy.
In the background, we see a scraggly looking black and white cat stroll onto the lawn, by the conservatory, it starts to claw about, making clear it is about to do a poo.
Dad: (Looks up, sees the cat, throws down cooking spoon) I don’t think so!!
He charges the length of the kitchen, through the living room past a bewildered Mum and Small Boy
Mum: DON’T-
*THWACK* Dad is unconscious on the living room floor.
Mum: – the conservatory door’s shut…

*Cue music, a drumbeat*
duff duff duff, duff duff duff duff duff…
*Roll end credits*



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