Yes,” I told my daughter. “I guess you’re a bit of a bastard.” And the only one in her class, apparently. Divorces: ten and counting; bastards: still stuck on one.
So how did I get to this momentous point – besides the unspoken decision I was involved in 13 years ago, and 12 years ago and … you catch the drift.
Ah yes, I was watching Les Miserables, a privilege that has escaped me all these years, partly because I suspected it was rubbish. And then it dawned on me: the entire plot revolves around the shame of having a child out of wedlock. And a lot of coincidences. Think Great Expectations and then multiply by five.
“Well,” I explained. “Back in the old days, it was really uncommon for people to have children outside a marriage – I mean, how many kids in your class have parents who aren’t married?”
“Just me,” she said, and rather forelornly now I think about it.
A taboo in Denmark?
But surely this can’t be a taboo, I thought. In Denmark, the first country to perform sex change operations and legalise hardcore pornography – the land of liberation and absolutely no shame?
“But what about the kids with multiple half-siblings who have five different parents?” I asked.
“All married I’m afraid.”
I can only conclude it must be their inability to resist a good knees-up.
Because the Denmark I know is unshockable. Controversial comedians leave disappoined when nobody jeers or walk outs.
The main attractions at the Tatto Convention go into a restaurant and nobody gives them a second glance.
Even the likes of Joe Orton – the taboo-tackling British playwright, whose play Funeral Games is being staged by the CTC – would have struggled here.
While Why Not Theatre’s Secrets, a collection of dark stories that are in parts embarrassing and grotesque, sounds like a reasonably uneventful day on Istedgade.
Elsewhere, it’s a strong month for festivals, with the Blues Festival, World Music Festival and Golden Days all vying for your attention.
And also for exhibitions: Tolkien’s Universe, Trust and Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana are all worthy of your time.
But for real shockability? I think you need to call someone a bastard.