So: I'm watching There's Something About Mary with my sister and niece, right? Well, it's been fine. I've quite enjoyed it (felt a little uncomfortable in the zipper scene) and I think they both have too. Everyone's having a great time.

Well, the big moment's coming up. Great. I've heard this is quite funny. But my dear sister, who's seen the damn film before, suddenly realises it's about to happen, and, being the liberal and free-spirited mum that she is (which is great in general, but didn't seem so on this particular occasion) decides that rather than turn it off or escort my niece out of the room through prudery, as many parents might have done, she wants to make sure she enjoys the film as much as possible. But of course my niece doesn't know about masturbation. Cue my sister pausing the movie and calmly explaining to my niece all the whys and wherefores and mechanics of boys jerkin' off. Cue me, a seventeen year-old male at the time and therefore a prime masturbator, turning a deep shade of puce and shrinking in my seat. We settle back down to watch the movie and throughout the scene where Ben Stiller is soaping the snake my niece just sits there, staring at me with total revulsion and contempt and astonishment. (And I just want to stand up and shout, 'Oh, FUCK OFF! It's fun! It's natural! Everyone does it!')

She seems to have got over it pretty thoroughly, and had returned entirely to normal within twenty minutes. I, on the other hand, am haunted to this day.

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