He’s a good boy really, your Honour

WELL, it finally happened.

My daughter’s partner went to jail. Not for long. Only a month. But it’s only the first time. With the practice he’s getting he should be able to work his way up to 10 years in no time.

Drink driving. After all the other driving offences the magistrate finally lost patience.

If I’d been there I’d have asked what took her so long.

I wasn’t there, though, because your kids don’t tell you these things. You pop in one morning for tea and you say, by way of being sociable: “Where’s Hannibal Lecter?” and she says: “Oh, he’s in jail. Didn’t I say?”

He didn’t do it, of course; although that’s not what he told the magistrate. He pleaded guilty in court. But he told my daughter — his partner — that he was taking the rap for his mate, who was actually in the driver’s seat.

When the police pulled them over the little rascals said they’d switched seats.

Do I mind him lying? Not much. The difference between pretending you like the new dress and denying you destroyed the World Trade towers is only one of scale; and I’d rather face the wrath of the USA than the cold silence that follows not liking my wife’s dress.

Do I mind him going to jail to save his mate losing his licence? Well, not really; if he thinks he’s worth it.

I’m just embarrassed to be associated with someone so terminally dumb.

And, hang on; let’s rewind this… to save who going to jail?

His mate?

His mate!

If his mates are the kind of people who sing in the shower while you count the bricks in your prison cell, I’d hate to see his enemies.

Except that I have seen his enemies. They came looking for money they reckoned he owed them. They scratched their ankles without bending over; and when they thought, their lips moved.

Personally I don’t believe he’s innocent any more than the magistrate did. I think he just wasn’t game — after all the promises he’s made my daughter — to admit he was drink driving.

I’ve seen her mother angry and, if anger is genetic, then jail’s not so bad.

The really sad part is watching my daughter’s unshakeable loyalty. No, let’s be honest… love. Her unshakeable love.

Either he’s pissing on their relationship by driving when he’s pissed (when he promised) or he’s placing his relationship with his mates ahead of his relationship with her. So it’s got be love. Or maybe she’s as dumb as he is.

I can hear her in court saying: “He’s a good boy really, your Honour.”

And it’s probably true! This jailbird has some very good qualities. He cooks. He does the washing up. He loves animals! Maybe more than he loves my daughter! There are times when you want to hug him.

And not only around the throat.

I guess he’s what is nowadays called “high maintenance”.

I was going to say like a Porsche, but let’s not be ridiculous.

More like a clapped out Holden panel van that spends more time in the garage than it does on the road. Sooner or later it’s going to end up in the wrecker’s yard.

I just hope my daughter’s not in it when the wheels fall off.