Dad’s World with Jonathan deBurca Butler

LUKE is handsome. He’s not even two years old, but everyone knows he’s going to be a ladykiller.

I watched him as he stood beside me at the kitchen sink with a bright yellow dish-scrubber in his hand and bashed the crockery with it. 

Women notice the long dark eye-lashes, the big blue eyes but for me he has this really unique little nose that sort of slopes down slowly to his pouty top lip. Adorable.

“This guy is special,” I thought to myself as he picked up a Thomas the Tank Engine plate and dropped it into the sink. “He’s going to do something with his life.”

He took a beaker and poured the contents into the sink.

“Just look at the concentration on his face,” I thought. “What a guy. This kid is going to be, he’s going to be...the first, the first...”

And then it hit me. Luke is going to be the first celebrity dishwasher in the world. It flashed before my eyes. This foot-long bundle, in a blue onesie beside me, loves washing up. 

It is, in fact, the only thing he does for longer than a minute. Toys get dropped, TVs get turned off, everything gets grabbed, looked at and flung away in the blink of an eye. But the washing up — no way — he loves it.

My mind flashes forward to David Letterman of the future and I imagine him sitting there. 

“My dad always said that I loved the washing-up and I have to say, Dave, I’ve always loved it. Even before I started washing-up when my old man gave me a beaker to drink from I just used to pour it out all over my high chair. 

"I like to get my hands dirty, Dave” ...the ladies in the crowd go wild, hoopin’ an’ a hollerin’...

“And I guess I always have.”

Back at the sink, I pull a wine glass from his constantly wandering little hands, I decide there and then I’m going to make it happen for long of course as he wants me to. I would never push my son into anything he didn’t want to do.

But if he could just see my dream — how I envisage him breaking the mould and becoming the world’s first celebrity dishwasher — inventing moves like ‘the wash-your-mouth-out’.

As Luke starts singing the melody to ABCD, I drift back to that Lettermann show of the future.

“Yeah well I called this one the wash-your-mouth-out Dave,” he tells Lettermann as he throws a bottle of Fairy Liquid up in the air and catches it between his teeth. 

Women scream in the audience as he proceeds to hit six plates stacked on a sink in front of him with small jets of washing-up liquid. He spits the bottle from his mouth and then runs to wash and then juggle them dry in less than a minute.

I can see it now. Fairy comes up with a sponsorship deal - my handsome son’s face on the bottle for a couple of million dollars.

Another company, known for the production of its high-quality protective aprons gives him another million for his face on its spring, summer, autumn and winter ranges.

He invents a new scrubbing dish, and taps into his life story (where it all began) with a kids range called scrub-a-dub-dub. Dollar after dollar after dollar comes rolling in and all because of the training he got from his daddy back in the early days.

“And what’s your record?” asks Lettermann. “I mean how many of these dishes can you wash in a minute?”

“I’d say 20, 25,” replies Luke. “My record is 15 plates, six side plates and five saucers in two minutes and that’s a world record.”

The crowd cheers...


I turn to look at Luke in his blue onesie.

“All gone,” he says looking at me with the I-think-I-might-have-done-something-wrong face. On the floor lies a former plate now broken in large pieces.

We have a bit of work to do before Lettermann but the dream lives on.


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