Dumb Dad

Driving back from my brother’s place last night, I found myself singing away to a song chorus Master8 and Miss9 were singing in the backseat.

“Dad!” said Miss9. “How do you know that song?”

I remember as a kid being amazed when my mum started singing along to a Frankie Goes To Hollywood song I was playing. For a few seconds I had the coolest mum on the block. But then it turned out Ferry Across The Mersey was a cover of an old Gerry and The Pacemakers song from the mid-sixties. Who knew?

The song Master8 and Miss9 were singing was a bit different. I knew how I knew it, but the question was, how did they?

Turns out their Cousin10 showed it to them that afternoon while we watched Cousin14 play rugby union.

“Did she happen to show you the clip which goes with it?” I asked.

“Yeah!” said Master8. “It’s awesome!”

Of course it is. The song, Dumb Ways To Die, and associated clip are part of an ad for Metro and deal with safety around trains. If you haven’t already seen the clip it’s worth a giggle, although not while the younger kids are in the room.

I know this because…

“Mum! You’ve got to watch this!” said Master8. He turned to me. “Mum doesn’t know the song, Dad. Can you bring it up?”

“No worries,” I told him.

At ‘poke a stick at a grizzly bear’ I heard a sort of whimpering amongst the chuckles and giggles behind me. By the chorus there was a six year old air raid siren going off just behind my right ear. We hadn’t even made it as far as the chorus.

“Bruce! Turn it off,” admonished Tracey. Miss6 had snuck in from the kitchen when she heard the excitement.

So turning it off would have been the smart solution.

“No, it’s only a joke,” I told Miss6 as I started to dance the ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ chorus jig. “They’re just cartoons. They’re like Mister Men. And they’re still singing, so they’re fine.”

“Waaaaaaaa!” she continued. By now Tracey had picked her up and Miss6 had her head buried in my wife’s shoulder.


“Yep, sorry,” I said, clicking the screen and pausing the song. Good thing too: the next bit would have had a pilot decapitated.

“Dad!” said Miss9 and Master8 in unison. You can’t please everyone.

Tracey carried Miss6 to our bed and set about soothing her. I tried to help.

“I know!” I said. “We’ll change the lyrics. Tracey, what rhymes with dumb?”

“Idiot,” she suggested, clearly mishearing me.

I set about singing ‘Fun Ways To Fly’ but stumbled badly when I did a sort of unfortunate loop and rhymed fly with die. Stuck at having to come up with verses off the cuff, I sought help again.

“Tracey, what rhymes with fly?”

“How about goodbye,” she said pointedly. And I took the hint and left.

You’ll be pleased to know there’s been no further issue from this with Miss6, and although I didn’t think Tracey knew the song before last night it shows how catchy it is because twice she walked past me last night and I thought I heard the word dumb.


When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes

Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’




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