Saturday, 25 September 2010

Bravado and Bravo

Bravado is for teenage persona like air needs oxygen, pushing the balloon, puffing the chest. Shyness, humility, caring, appear to be the resting place of nitrogen. 21% of genuine personality is amplified to 79% of projected what one should be. This is not wannabee, this is "shouldbees". A persona based on peer group image.

A character as much based on the brown stuff, as it is based on the right stuff. A character with an adult exclusion zone daring to brave the smell.

The hormones are running wild in the arteries. Boasts are made without thorough thought and without remedy if challenged. Maturity is searched for and not found. Immaturity is found, but damn the parent to hint at this.

So as relationships fail by degrees, it is with a sense of joy to do the something right that proves the umbilical cord may be cut, but the umbilical link survives.

We play ball, I do my thang of fakes, stepovers, ambi-dextrous spellbinding dribbling, damn I'm good and he is quicker today, he will be better tomorrow, I will be older still. I am the one living in bravado of a youth that is not fast fading, but has faded.....he beats me hands down. I was good once.

He smiles against his bravado persona and whispers a Bravo to self. Teenager is taking the crown.

Bravado cuts both ways.

Hair today, gone....

I confess back in the day, I wore boots that matched a golf course in holes. DM were real boots for real teenagers.

I had more flares than a RAF North Sea Rescue Team. And thanks to no surviving photographs, it is all deniable, therefore any suggestion that I allegedly had and wore "Oxford Bags" will result in a court case.

But at least my hair was cool.

I am not against pre-pubescent pop stars per se, except that fey hairstyles that encourage a whole generation to want to liberally use industrial strength hair products is not a good thing. It is bad, meaning bad in old school slang. To put it bluntly, if Justion Beiber suffered premature male pattern baldness there would be a sense of justice in the world.

Instead I face watching a generation of twitching heads, in fear to walk down a road without careering into a fence, dog, old lady, dog litter or car. There are fourteen year olds who could be reasonably be diagnosed with Parkinsons and be prescribed drugs, without a Doctor being written off the medical council. Necks are risking repetitive strain injury, as necks turrn 180 degrees in nanoseconds, like an old school pinball machine flipper. Necking may need to be modified to accommodate a neck brace.

I have a theory for this strange case of "Fashion forsake me not", the teenager is defective in the DNA count, there is a regressive evolution gene that has gone rogue, the teenager is reverting to an unknown missing link to a bat, reliant on acoustics.

To explain it comes to something when teenage football is characterised by ball-heading techniques that involves a sequence of crossing the ball - a teenager readies for a forehead thumping ball goalwards - jump -swish hair fulsomely with a neck twitch of some magnitude- a teenager fails to see a ball - a ear fails to see a ball because a ear lacks an eyeball - ear butts ball - mild concussion- g...g...oal is scored in a semi-concussed sleep and the team earns a no -score draw. All for the sake of fashion.

My advice to my son involves the words: scissors-medical insurance- savings.

I am not jealous, except I wish I had hair.

Cradle to Grave

"Did I ask to be born" may be the classic question by that son or daughter that puts parents to shame.

"Do you want a Guitar Hero for Christmas" is the less morally charged answer in question form that proves that greed is a teenage characteristic.

A character flaw hidden under eco-criticisms of polluting the world to an early grave by driving my car - I must be, by any carbon footprint definition be a bad father.

I must be badder than bad father by putting economically priced food on the Pryce family plate within the Pryce family budget, whilst still affording a teenager son approved Guitar Hero II. This protein substitute food containing E 1, E6, E 376, E666 from hell's very kitchen has not a snowball's chance in a very hot place to be certified and endorsed as open range, organically grown. The only sticker here as an expiry date and by all things nasty defines me as baddest of bad fathers. He calls I a bad old person, like a bad dose of E Coli mixed with bad grammar.

As a bad person I face the Teenager criticisms as a father not caring for the plight of others by not pledging a monthly salary to save the third world let alone the World - I am a very bad father. Somewhere in this ivory tower idealism World Peace should form an integral part of this all, except ironies are for dictionaries and English tests, as Red Redemption VI Part IIa is dependent on a lack of world peace and a fair chunk of my weekly salary.

I can prove my good, I can still appease by buying Guitar Hero III or Red Redemption. VI Part IIb.

Monday, 20 September 2010

If The Grown-up Kids are united...

I remember the day because I am old, but not that old, when we chanted a la cockney, a la Jimmy Pursey, a la Hersham Boys. We were kids and for a chorus or three, we were united in harmony of chanting "If the kids are united we will never be..... "Although harmony in singing terms may be a little bit disingenuous.

And some twenty... maybe thirty years later I chant a new lyric "If the parents are United, They will never be Divided", which as an Intro of sorts brings me to rules of teenage parenting.

Pre-rules Guidance - the cute days are over until they follow one into parenting and the patter of little feet will become their teenage timebomb.

Rule 1 in front of a teenager, my wife is right even when she is wrong. And telling my boy five -six times to do his teeth starts grating even mine especially when the decibel level does not crescend to its operatic peak it just starts at its peak and stays there. I have sggested quietly a please may help at first shout.

Rule 2 in front of a teenager hubby cannot do no wrong even when rambling, picking nose or generally not doing his fair share of the housekeeping even when asked with or without a please.

So I cocked it up. An occasion I lapsed. I am sorry.

I thought I was witty, I had an irresistable urge to be as sarcastic as a Cheshire cat with whiskers on.

To set the scene, we had our starting orders, TV was on, food was on laps via plates or trays, News was being digested faster than a fast food meal, every fifteen minutes in fact, a teenager was doing what teenagers do, something between nothing and about to do something and in this case it was humming badly to what may have originally have been a good song. The Gulf was failing to escape the oil, and it was a major story headlining every fifteenth minute of my life.

I was away with the fairies having understood the story first time round, I was now neverminding the nirvana of it all, when up pops a foxy TV fellow again intent on headlining the oily mess as a universal example of how to win the ratings war ~ a reporter of objectivity and the objective was developing "interest" by emphasising this was a crime against Mother nature and US Mother Nature at that. He informed the spillage that was endangering life as we know it, because it had a US coast to coat and with graphic details of a super terrific terrible things going wrong, he prodded the oil in the sand with journalistic disgust and respect for camera angles.

Wifey decides that this is too much for the cleanliness gene that cannot remember a student bedsit that may have told another story, she was indignant.

"Whose going to clean that up?"

It may have been slightly funny, but funny is wrong when breaking rule 1. United we stand divided we fall. The perch was in danger of supporting a dead oil feathered parrot in free fall to a murky deepwater grave.

I entered the fray like a stupid divvy that a laugh was worth the risking the alliance of the North Atlantic Parental Organisation. I said, I regret deeply it now, "I believe he has a wife "

A Teenager was hum-less , enjoying the chink in the parental armour, smirking at the civil war about to commence.

He entered the fray that "BP can clear it up" as a strap line played across the bottom of the TV screen. He was better than us- environmentally right on. He was correct. I was witty.

At least "you proved you can read" I said.

"What?" he said

"But your hearing is still not too good then", I also said. I was on a roll.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Bearing Gifts

Popularity should be based on how one treats one fellow man, but then again.....

My popularity rises as I do my best impression of a third of the three wise men, although perhaps I should stay with the lesser effort of representing a man and leave the wise to grey haired men who know why e equals mc squared. I am better off to know the "wise" bit as a bit of an exaggeration, having made too many mistakes in this life to count on a single hand. As a friend once said deep in a grappa induced hangover "Bass, I may grow older but I do not grow wiser".

I have been away on business. I return jaded by undergarments resting on sweat as opposed to skin. To greet me or kind of greet me, a muted form of acknwledgement that is discrenible to a parent as "Hi" although to the casual observer, he may have heard an "urgh". There are teenagers here and teenager or not; a father may now briefly be returned to Dad, by absence makes the heart grow fonder, perhaps with the help of a bar of foreign chocolate ..well ...a bloody big bar of foreign chocolate.

They wait wishing not to sound too keen, to be too keen would reveal the behaviour of a toddler, a battle of dare ensues of "Have or haven't I" bought a gift. It seems I am in the grey zone of teenage homecoming, an acquaintance or perhaps a near stranger possibly bearing gifts and possibly the same DNA.

A teenager sits sprawled on a throne, my former throne in the Living Room that once a week is cleaned by a cleaner and destroyed in a matter of hours by children in double digit and three plus. A teenager hides an excitement of a gift that is not marked by Christmas or Birthday wishes. A teenager still trying to be cool in the midst of a potential surprise present.

Eventually I prove I am still "right on" by actually buying and handing over, without barter, T-shirts of fave bands that by all things teenage I should not, never in a month of sundays have heard of. And to boot, their teenage veneer is unscratched, is saved. And for these gifts, I receive in return a smile or two, where once was kisses, hugs and elation, I am happy with a smile. I have learnt.

I may be little wise after all, as I eat my big bar of chocolate.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The sleepover 2

Best behaviour condems the Pryce daddy kecks to remain under jeans. I cannot walk around my home for fear of frightening non related girls by tartan boxer shorts.

Is this sacrifice appreciated by my wonderful children, no.

I am ordered not to lounge by a daughter. Lounging is apparently having my adult-size leg draped over a chair arm. I understand it is a chair "arm" and it is my leg. But as an adult, an adult in my own house I can buck the trend of western civilisation on this one, I think.

There is more, they ~the teenage posse~ or whatever tribal name is famous this year, they are allowed to do so. Why?, because they are young. I cannot because I am old and must obey old people's rules. The lounging instinct is apparently something I should have grown out of rather like my 32" waist jeans.

So girls from other families, friends of the young ones are safe from boxer shorts and hairy legs. Western civilisation is safe and control of the remote control apparently. I think it is way past my bed-time.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

The Issue of Birth

It is like the answer to all things in the Teenage universe to all the adults questions, to all the things adults may do or may have done or whatever. The Guilt of Origin ~ the big birth question.

"I did not ask to be born?"

Its a take it or leave it way of saying that I ~a parent~ have a life-tine responsibility to be at my teenagers beck and call, and damn it most of the time I am-ish.

Son, Have I told you about a stork and a bush, and that bush was not burning and it was not immaculate.

A mother could retort about pain, hours of labour, about a TENS machine that should have been wired to National Grid for all its capacity for pain relief, laughing gas that hardly raised a contracted smile, needles that paralysed spines and blod pressure with an authorisation to risk a lifetime's paralysis. I am a man, I just had the fun part.

So I may not exactly be on the morale high ground and indeed shakey ground may be more appropriate Mr Richter. I occasonally however.....I have to stand up for my love rights, as a response to a son, it may not quite rank with my rather good part in creating a human life, but at least it was a response. My response was.....good.

But first we must understand the context of this fall from grace in my parenting technique .....somewhere in the sands of time, on a cold dark night. Fortunately I was inside and warm, as the Pryce family live in a modern house with radiators and electric lighting. I may have been reading a cheap book that was heavy on cold dark nights and plagiarism.

Anyway it may have been a toilet break, who knows, but somewhere along the path to the toilet near my son's room, I may have been diverted by odours unknown. This was not exactly a road to Damascus experience, nor even a long and winding footpath to Eurocent lane. I had a foreboding of a father-teenager spat.

On entry into the room, I may have suggested his room need to be tidied, this suggestion in the course of time may have transferred itself into an instruction. He may have looked aggresively at me, as if I had somehow questioned his virilty, questioned his right to a shaver at some point in the near future.

I do not recall mentioning a bum-fluff moustache. But hey, at least its a moustache, son. Also perhaps adoption may have been mentioned as a parental option that could still be considered. Hey who wants a son prepared to think five strands of what can loosely be described as hair is a moustache when the english language has words like fluff and not.

And then it is there, the demanding question that it was my fault, some thirteen plus years ago I did something I may still not regret, but being blamed for it, it is not good. I was there an adult being called upon to defend the rights to start the next generation. So...

'I did not ask to be born?'

"But you did ask for a bass guitar for Christmas?"

It was an adult response that may not be the most enigmatic, it may not cut the clever dick scales of superiority or exactly reaching the exalted heights of Dorothy Parker put-down-ability. It may not have set-up a thawing of father-son relationship in a post-Christmas context, but at least there was a fair to middling chance of near immediate tidying.

There may have been a token delay to show he is still a teenager, but I believe that the bed may be tidied, that clothes would not be a substitute carpet, that a plastic bottle that once contained pop was now not considered a long term decorative ornament and possibly by end of play today may be considered rubbish.

Hooray for greed and money.

Friday, 3 September 2010

The sleepover 1

I may have been born of the wrong age, the wrong parents, or perhaps I was on the super nerdy side of the "milk-bottle-top" glass ceiling , back in the day when a milkman could do the rounds of jokes about being a candidate for being called Dad, aswell as an actual milkround. I think I know the muddy side of the fence and I hope its mud. So back in the day sleepover was not yet in the Oxford British ....

But today, kids sleepover and teenagers sleepover.

One is an innocent charge around the house at loudspeaker turned to "11"on the screaming knob, until tiredness morphs them into sleeping beauties.

Teenagers on the otherhand are on a mission to be adults, or what they think adults can do, and possibly this means to the suspicious mind undertaking illicit activities. I know, I have read about it in parenting magazines and saw it in documentaries. I have been forewarned by the older parents that teenagers are not to be trusted. As an adult and caring parent, I must be alert to the danger. I am doing if for their benefit and they will thank me eventually.

Spying is legal in your own home and I am protecting their innocence. Oh yes.

I sniff the air. I hear the noises. I am doorside to the danger of corrupted youth. I am ready to launch against the forces of the dark side. I have heard about the illicit use of drugs and my ears do not inhale. And if there is cold turkeying to be done after the use of illicit baccy, it will be done as part of a high carb diet with buttered bread, as I am at the ready to pratice prevention is better than cure.

Sadly my kindly offer of turkey sandwiches is as unwelcome as my entrance. Apparently I failed to knock, but if I had knocked and showed trust, I would have failed to have caught them ..... listening to music, crap music, but music. Ah ha, is that vodk-water you're drinking. Yes a tasty bit of H20 - learn it for chemistry, my son and friend it turns into steam when heated, "would like a cup of tea and turn the music down". "Think of the rest of the family". I am thinking about you.

Damn in my day and age, at least I would be half cut and sleepovers were called parties where home was a three o'clock walk away.

I believe I may need to engage the repressed memory theory of past dirty deeds not done without photographic evidence to prove it. And repressed it will stay until they are adults.