The Interrogation

I mean I was literally just sitting down to start working on this article…they are like cute spies.

It begins like all interrogations do: with a question.

I’ve seen enough movies to know how these things usually take place. There is a chair, usually an uncomfortable one, in the room. Our hero sits in the chair and tries to look nonchalant . But they are very chalant, very! The interrogator sits across from them, sometimes on the other side of a table, maybe behind a glaring light. Light, apparently, makes people confess to all sorts of things.

Other situations involve the questioning taking place in a more relaxed situation, like sitting in the kitchen on a comfy chair. The interrogated doesn’t know they are being interrogated until it is too late.

But it is the question, the first one, that always gives it away.

See in any story, be it a film or book, a person asking another person a question usually is just a way to start a conversation. The questioning usually stops after that. They move on, they have a chat, the story proceeds and everyone wins. But in an interrogation you can tell that the first question has a bunch of baby questions all waiting behind it. Questions that will be asked as well.

The skilled interrogator asks the questions slowly, one after the other. They meander around the conversational topics like a river and then flood the plain of the interrogated with the last, earth shattering, question. It is something some people are just born with an ability to do.

Unskilled ones prefer the machine-gun approach. They ask a question and then rapid fire every question after it, leaving no time for answers to be given.

I’ve seen it all before…I’ve read it all before.

These days I am experiencing it all first-hand.

“Whose that?”

“What are you doing?”

“Do you want to play outside?”

“Can I have a glass of milk?”

“Are those your friends?”

“Can I have a glass of water?”

“Are you working?”

“Are you talking with your friends?”

“Is mummy working?”

“Is it a work day?”

“Can I have a glass of milk?”

“Can you wipe my bum?”

“Can you play with me?”

“Can I have a glass of milk?”

“ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! I GIVE UP…here’s your damn milk….” – I say, finally cracking.

Interrogations often can feel like they go on forever, I hear. If only secret service types enlisted children to ask questions for them. It felt like forever, like the questions would never stop…it was a total of twenty-two seconds.

See with both of us working from home during the lockdown, in jobs that require a lot of video calls to be attended, the kids have decided now is the best time to learn how mummy and daddy work. More importantly how close to the edge of madness can they push us with the questioning before one of us runs out the front door, pants on our head, screaming that we need to buy a pack of smokes.

Neither of us has ever smoked.

There is that old adage about how you should ‘never work with animals or children’. I always thought it mainly meant in film or photography. Turns out it means AT ALL. You should never work with children…because you will get flock all work actually done.

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