Bristol UK

Subject parent goes out for pack of cigs during family Zoom quiz and never comes back

“Dad’s coming back, he just has dodgy signal, I promise…’

I’ll level with you folks, this one’s a tearjerker.

In COVID Britain, it’s estimated divorce rates have increased 34% since first the lockdown in March – households torn apart, children left distressed and confused as they adapt to single-parent life and that’s just amongst Childhood Studies families.

In a sorry chain of events, it seems one more relationship has fallen victim to the virus, as Ted Perrins, a 20-year-old, 2nd year Geography student and father, left a family zoom quiz ‘for a smoke’, but never returned, leaving his wives and kids distressed and concerned.

We caught up with daughter, Millie Harper, for more details.

“We were the perfect nuclear family,” said the bereft fresher, “two mums, one dad, four kids, living it up at the same uni, going to the pub like all good families should be doing – simple, but effective.”

Following the introduction of a 2nd lockdown, however, everything changed for the geographers, who were forced to transfer their weekly ‘pub seshes’ (their words not mine) to virtual form.

“Obviously Zoom does a job,” Harper continued, “but you just can’t recreate the electricity of a cold Steam smokers on a Tuesday night, or being told to put your mask on while going for a piss at WGs – it’s just not the same.”

Ted had ‘gone out’ just two weeks later, his Zoom background of the Bahamas the only thing to remember him by.

According to his family, the signs were subtle but apparent. As well as fewer ‘wow’ reacts in the group chat, his quiz questions changed from things like ‘what’s the capital of Slovenia?’ to, ‘what’s the best baccy for money?’ with ‘what’s the psychological impact of parental abandonment?’ for a bonus point. But of course, hindsight is 20:20.

A final plea came from his eldest daughter, stating, “Dad, if you’re out there, please come back – we still need to decide on a theme for our joint 21st.”

Truly heartbreaking.

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