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I don't have a Scooby what's happened to me.

Byline: Shari Low

TUESDAY night 9.00pm.I should be starting to think about what I'm going to write in this week's column.

Cerebral ponderings and articulate thoughts should be whipping my grey matter into a creative frenzy.

I should be musing over topical debates and current affairs before settling on an informed, weighty subject.

The operative word there being "should". In reality, my pink-sock-clad feet are on my desk, I've got the expression of someone whose diet is lacking in fibre and I'm tapping my Spider-Man pencil as I ponder the most important question of the day - what is Shaggy from Scooby Doo's real name?

Uuuurgh, it's been driving me nuts since I picked up the Record and came across a kids' telly quiz.

I can't even look at the answers at the bottom of the page because my boys (aged five and six) tore them off after I bet them a Curly Wurly I knew them all.

Shaggy...? Shaggy...? I have to face it. I'm not just dumbing down, I'm regressing to my nine-year-old self, the one who thinks she knows everything and holds her breath until she feels sick when she doesn't.

I'm sure I used to be a grown-up. I used to drink in wine bars and dine in nice restaurants. I used to smoke. I used to do things that would make me blush the next morning. I used to have conversations with big words in them.

But now? I'm devoting serious headspace to an animated figure whose best friend is a talking dog. And there's worse.

Much to their disgust and eternal petted lips, my boys don't have TVs in their rooms. I'm terrified they'll go in to watch an episode of Wacky Races and not come out until they're 16.

Thus I'm regularly forced to watch programmes that have a target demographic of four to six-year-olds. I actually cheered when I heard The Magic Roundabout was coming back.

The scary thing is, it's not just me. Husband, friends and grannies seem to be suffering from this chronic condition, Latin name Biggeth Kiddisitus.

I'd discuss it with my other half but he's not talking to me since I annihilated his entire civilisation on the PlayStation.

Obviously parenthood influences thoughts and actions, but I blame social evolution. If Darwin was alive today, he would be snowboarding at Xscape while wearing a dip-dyed hoodie emblazoned with "Smart Guys Do It Best".

So here's the new theory of evolution. In olden times, we sent kids out to play and told them to come back when they were hungry. Now safety fears and the desire to spend "quality time" with offspring has parents filling the A&E with fractures from falling off the trampoline, concussion from coming a cropper on the rope swing and friction burns from getting stuck in a flume. Actually that last one might just have been me.

We're too busy being playmates to be members of the grown-up community.

Take last weekend - three parties, football, cinema, basketball, cricket, two picnics, swingball, bike rides and a game of hide and seek that almost went wrong when I was locked in the shed.

Fun? Tick. Hilarious? Tick. Juvenile? Like, do-oh dude.

It has to stop. Much as the prospect of two hours watching the SpongeBob SquarePants Omnibus is hard to resist, deep down I know it's time to rediscover my hidden adult.

In future when I have spare time, I'm going to read. Or do a crossword. I might even see a movie that doesn't star talking turtles. I am definitely, positively going to act my age. Just as soon as I've remembered Shaggy's real name.

It's not just me. Husbands and friends are suffering from this condition, Latin name Biggeth Kiddisitus


MYSTERY: Scooby and Shaggy
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 19, 2007
Previous Article:off the Record.

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