Bangers and Mash
It must take the prize for most hideous dinner party ever. Sinead thought inviting Ken for dinner would put things back on a good footing for father, son and girlfriend. Oh, dear sweet Lord!
Last week, I talked about Daniel seeming to channel the young Ken Barlow. This dinner party channelled over half a century of dining table class warfare in the Barlow household. From Ken’s father getting in his face about his la-di-da attitudes to Deirdre rolling her eyes at what she saw as his pretensions. Now, Ken giving a pop quiz on American history to Daniel over dinner? Why, Ken, why?
I think I agree with Ken, that Sinead is going to drag Daniel down. Although I like her and at first liked the idea of them together, she is overplaying the “I dunno all that fancy stuff, I’m just a faktry girl” schtick. Daniel may enjoy seeing the literary lineage of the beauty of the simple maid and simple life brought to life in her. He may also just be horny. Whatever, her eye-rolling, “dunno” responses and neediness will wear thin soon.
Meanwhile, finding that out will likely mess up his graduate studies plan. His new emotional life with Sinead has already cost him a chance to get to know a prof outside the academic setting. It’s also made Ken doubt him, at a time when Ken is getting royally ticked off with the flaws of his recently returned children. He already knows well the flaws of the other ones.
Tracy and Peter also well know Ken’s flaws, and to some extent accept them. The new sons are discovering them for themselves. One that must have been driven home with a sledgehammer for Daniel is his father’s sometimes totally inappropriate pedantism.
If ever there was a time to not discuss American history, English literature or anything that resembled schoolwork, it was this first dinner with Daniel and Sinead in their home. Although Ken shouldn’t have needed a clue to know that, the bangers and mash should have given him one. Even Deirdre wouldn’t have made that kind of “this is me” statement. She would have gussied it up in honour of her guest with her speciality, stuffed marrow.