Babysitting is a tough gig. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar or a little girl. It takes a real man to watch over a child. The only reason most parents seek the services of a young teenage girl to babysit their kids is they hope that any intruding kidnapper will pick the babysitter over their own children.

I've just got back from my first paid babysitting job. It was a disaster. Not one of my three years of babysitting college could have prepared me for the horrors of the real deal. When the parents came home (slightly drunk, I might add!) they were all:

"That's not our baby."

But I tried to explain that it was a better one.

"It's not even a boy" they said.

"I know, but these ones last longer" I told them. "And feel how tight her grip is!

Just put your finger in there. Careful though, you might not get it back!"

"Where's our baby?" they yelled. "Where's our baby?"

They didn't even stop to think about the lack of attention they were giving their new one. I could tell that they weren't good parents.

"Look" I said "I'll show you your baby, but you're really not going to like it."

"Oh, Jesus, is he dead? Please, God." cried the mother.

"Of course he's not dead. What do you take me for?" I asked.
Five minutes later they were all:

"Oh, my God. What's happened to his face?"

"It's complicated" I said.

"Why does his arm look like metal?"

"Well, it kind of is. It's a lot stronger than that old one I had to throw away." I could tell that they didn't appreciate my craftmanship, but I'm a babysitter, not a welder.

"What's that sticking out of his nappy? Oh, my god! Is that a tail? Why has he got a tail? Where's the dog!?!?"

"Look" I said "The dog's dead, but he was never part of the deal."

Nelson, Farnborough.

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