Paternity Leave

A packed train carriage and two men having conversation in ‘man-speak’:

Man A:  *loud groan* “I really have to get used to being back.”
Man B:  “Really? Where did you this year?”
Man A: ” Oh didn’t go anywhere.” pause, then proudly “I was on paternity leave.”
Man B: “Oh.”

Here I expect a ‘Congratulations!’ it doesn’t come, instead:

Man B: “What did you do?”

Huh? Still, apparently acceptable question:

Man A: ” Quite a lot actually, did some pruning, removed a tree from the garden, fixed the fence.”
Man B: *hums impressed*
Man A: ” Yeah, you know some plumbing stuff that had to be done for ages. The garden…”
Man B: “Wow, that’s amazing! When I was on paternity leave I did nothing at all.”
Man A: modestly “Ah yes, well…”
Man B:  (almost embarrassed whisper) “I mean ‘nothing’, you know… not other then…you know.”

Ah yes, that evil thing that shall not be named…

Man A nods smugly.
Man B: ” How is it?”
Man A: ” It’s ok, it’s ok. Child two sleeps ok.”

Child two, did he forget to name it while attending to his garden? But no, this is a normal concept a man’s world :

Man B: “Ah! Child Two.”

They step off the train, happy with their male bonding session, leaving me completely baffled.


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