On Papa Jose: Musings From a Kid Called “Fan”


Dear Bros (insert generic football affiliated name here)

My mother has recently shacked up with some man from Portugal, and I’m really not sure what to do. His name is Jose and even though he’s only been around a few months, he acts like he’s not going to be leaving. I’m now really bothered. In fact, I’ve concluded Jose is officially going to be the loudmouth jerk of a man my mum stupidly ends up being with for the long haul.

Sadly, things just haven’t been the same since Dad left back in 2013. I mean, I love Dad. He was the best there ever was. Nobody can replace him. Sure, he had a bit of a temper and loved a drop of wine, but he knew how to brighten up your Monday mornings by giving you the best weekends imaginable to reflect back on.

Dad was always there for you. Him and his quiet friend with the tinted glasses that always wore a tracksuit. Jose isn’t the same. He’s cold, loud, frustratingly pouty, and pretty outspoken. Maybe it’s a cultural thing? I rarely see Dad any more anyway. Nowadays he occasionally pops in, but really likes to keep to himself. It makes me miss him even more.

Even the two chaps that Mum dated in between Dad and Jose weren’t sooooo bad. The pasty Scottish one was a bit of a rebound; glad he shot off. The Dutch guy struggled to fit in a bit too, and was slightly jumbled. That time he fell over confused us all. He was stubborn and never liked to go outside much, but was tolerable. Liked raisins too. Ah, but Dad.


Dad used to treat us to the best, five-star restaurants in town, usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. It was exotic stuff – Spanish, German, whatever you wanted. The best of the best. Now with Joe, you’re often stuck with him eating some odd eastern European meal on a Thursday night. You have to drive really far in order to get it – and it’s usually not that good when you get there. Ugh. And I haven’t even talked about Joe’s friend. He’s this bizarre looking fella. Tall with really poofy hair. He just clangs about the house, running into furniture and breaking things. At least he listens well, I suppose.

Dad also used to be popular with all the school boys down the road as well. That was brilliant! When I was younger he would invite them round to play – and – if they were nice, come back again the next weekend. Jose *claims* to know all the local school children in the village, but I know he doesn’t (I bet he was just as mean and full of it in his last relationship).

There’s these two in particular he’s always shouting at. I don’t get it. It makes me sad. Last weekend he was vociferously bellowing and gesticulating at the blonde one through the kitchen window. Proper pedantic stuff. I think it’s just this guy’s genetics. So what if he’s a little ’rounder’? He can’t help the way he looks. At this point I just try and tune Jose out.

Oh, and don’t get me going on this point, but Jose also has this other friend, or “friend”… I don’t know how to describe him. Joe claims he’s this rich Frenchman who is one of the best in the world at what he does. He bears a spitting resemblance to one of these kids who started attending our school a number of years ago. He left for some reason, but I have a sneaky feeling that it’s him – just dressed more like a prat with this obnoxious dog urine stain in his hair. I don’t dare ask why he ended up becoming so rich though.

It’s honestly as though the house I grew up in is changing and losing its identity. Sigh. Change isn’t bad. It really isn’t, but you just want it to be more positive and done in a way that continues the great stuff Dad did when he was around.

Speaking of Frenchmen and change as well, I should tell you that one of my best mate’s Moms married one of them, and he’s been around for like… 20 years or something. Honestly the nicest, most polite chap around. However, my mate keeps telling me how awful and clueless he is. I just want to slap him. He has no idea what he’s going to miss if the fourthly man goes indeed back home to Paris. He’ll soon be moaning to me if one of Jose’s pals slides on it. Trust me.

Anyway, everything has changed since Jose turned up. Mum’s not as happy, I’m not happy, and now I’m stuck with this arrogant bloke who I bet looks in the mirror and gives himself a pep talk before going to bed.

I’m at a crossroads my unending loyalty to Mum and patience with her new flame. Although one more shiny cup and enrolment in that elite ivy league might sway my feelings. Whatever shall I do if not?

P.S. No parents were hurt during the course of writing this letter. At least not yet.

Written by Oloruntosin Olumide