Friday, 31 August 2012

Call of Duty

Teenager or not,  as an obliging parent I am called upon at the beginning of a school year to listen attentatively, well pretend to listen attentatively, well sit there; whilst a headmaster or a teacher impresses me the importance of doing French homework and they are right and I am wrong. Education, education, edu...wake me up Scotty.

But I am not the only one,as I sit amongst the throng of maternal and paternal do-gooders wearing sensible casual clothes as well as a patience wearing thin.  Then like an alarm clock, a parent's evening erupted to life as a teacher complained that a classroom cupboard was failing, and we all know a failing cupboard is a small step to a failing school.

She probably wanted a donation to fix it, but instead there was a rush of male adulthood to inspect said cupboard, all driven by a desire not to be sitting. The cupboard was not exactly the best thing in flatpack technology and looked as if it should have had a sell by date, since its laminate was so thin a good polish would have converted it into window feature.

The DIY boys gathered around,  fingering screwdrivers that appeared from pockets as if it was the norm, there was even a.... a feeler gauge! Do not ask me to explain. I am all for boy scouts, but a parent evening does not require (normally) a feeler gauge.

The boys were in their element, points were noted, repair strategies debated. Wives and mothers looked on, including the odd sad reflection of sitting But I know, we all knew...

And we all knew that all that was needed was a good roll of duck tape that could have made a hanging door into a silver wrapped ghetto-standard door in a matter of minutes..... and .if my mind runs perhaps to the dark side... probably could have cut short a few subsequent speeches with a threatening stare and finger point to the skin-to-ducktape stickability quality ratio.

Monday, 6 August 2012

A Person calls

The art of telephone message taking is not difficult in modern times given a 98% literate population, but this median probably takes account disproportionately of adults. Teenagers have probably been discounted from all known averages, as part of a known phenomena about the intelligent gene skipping a few teen years. I hope it returns before A levels or Arbitur equivalent.

I am deservedly bath-side of  teenage family ripping it up or chilling it down or whatever new-fangled word means having fun or playing it cool. I am taking in the soapy waters, after mulling a few things in a working day that deservedly were needed to be mulled. I am in my comfort zone, mulling over nothing much..... me , a rubber duck and a favoured CD playing.

A teenager interrupts there is someone on the telephone for me.

"Who is it?" I ask innocently enough methinks.

After due thought, a teenager ponders "A person".

Hoorah, evolution aside, we have successfully determined it was not animal or mineral.

I politely suggest he finds out, takes a message and  I carefully avoid my natural instinct for an argument based on irony and tendency towards sarcasm, for to win an adult battle may mean losing the teenage war.

Hell's bells, temptation wins,  I shout out he may need a pen, he may need a notepad and he may need to put the phone down after pressing the red button.

'Do you think I am stupid?'.

"Who needs to think".

Oops, a teenage war is lost.