And When Did You Last See Your Father?


What a spectacle.

Millions and millions of stars.

Funny thing, the universe.

Sort of scares the shit out of you,

doesn't it?

So where did it

all come from, do you think?

Don't know.

Just happened, I suppose.

So, what about when we die?


Nothing at all?

What fathead has caused all this?

Listen... the first race has started.


All that money to sit in a queue.

Arthur! Just relax, will you?

I know, how about a song?

- There's been an accident.

- Where?!

I don't know, do I, fathead?!

That's what we're gonna find out.

Why can't you just sit and wait

like everybody else?

- Show them the stethoscope, pet.

- What for?

- Let them know we're doctors.

- We'll do no such thing.

- What are you doing?

- It's all right. I'm a doctor.

I'm a doctor, there's been an accident.

I'm a doctor.

This is the way

that it was with my father.

Minor duplicities.

Little fiddles.

My childhood a web

of little scams and triumphs.

Parking where you shouldn't.

Drinking after hours.

The goods off the back of a lorry.

He was lost if he couldn't cheat

in a small way.

My father could talk his way

into and out of anything.

- Tickets, sir.

- Certainly, here you are.

- These are blue tickets, sir.

- Exactly.

That is the whole problem.

I've been sent the wrong tickets.

I'm sorry, sir. This entrance

is for private members only.

- You'll have to go back to queue.

- But I am a member. See?

Simpson, T, Trevor. Doctor, you see?

As a matter of fact, we're in a bit

of a rush. The lad wants a wee-wee.

- All right, Dr Simpson, in you go.

- Thank you very much.

How about that, Blake?

Three bob tickets for just two bob.

Marvellous, bloody marvellous.

My father seemed to me infallible.


Immortal, even.

What do you think?

Very handsome.

- I hope I'm going to get a mention.

- Mention?

- In your acceptance speech.

- Oh, God, a speech.

You really think

I'm going to have to make a speech?

- Do we have time?

- I think so.

What's going on in there?

Right on cue.

The sex police.

Be right there, Dad!

We'll be late!

You got two minutes.

Hear that? We got two minutes.

At the risk of getting sentimental, I'd

like to say thank-you to my wife, Kathy.

Not only for all her support

and encouragement,

but because she asked me to mention her.

My dad always used to say,

and I'm sure he'll say it again

before the night's out,

"Being a writer, in particular a poet,

is all well and good.

But it's no way to make a living."

Of course, as in most other things,

he's absolutely right.

Too true.

It's nice to be reminded I haven't been

completely wasting my time.

So thank you very much for this.

Thank you.

I wanted him to be a doctor.

Nice pension, surgery, near us.

Take over my surgery for that matter.

Have you actually read the poem?

- 'Course he hasn't read it.

- He's tried.

- Several times.

- Let's have a look then.

- It's plastic.

- I'll take that from you, shall I?

I'm going to the bar.

He could've been a vet even.

Two words, that's all I'd like.

Two words.

- "Well" and "done".

- He doesn't mean it.

He's here for the free buffet.

The mean-spirited, sanctimonious,

narrow-minded old sod.

- What now?

- He's talking to Salman Rushdie.

Look, he's telling him

how it's done.

"Have you read Jaws,

Salman? Now that is a book."

- Together.

- Like this, Granddad?

Oh, now where are you going?

What's that?

Have a guess.

Now bring it to me. No, no, no.

- Ends together. Like that.

- Just leave that, Dad.

I still can't believe you hired a

removal firm. They're rip-off merchants.

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David Nicholls

David Nicholls was born in 1966 in Hampshire, England. He is a writer and actor, known for One Day (2011), Starter for 10 (2006) and Far from the Madding Crowd (2015). He is married to Hanna. They have two children. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "And When Did You Last See Your Father?" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 26 Jan. 2021. <>.

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