Thursday, 15 May 2008

It all depends on your viewpoint

There was an advert...oh probably fifteen or more years ago now. It ran on TV and showed a thug pushing over a smart-suited business man. The ad showed the same scene from several angles - the thug was chasing after the man, the thug was trying to steal the briefcase. The final angle looked up and showed scaffolding falling from a crane and the thug was simply a good samaritan pushing the man to safety. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. To a short person, the man of average stature is tall, to the lanky, he is short. And so on. It all depends. To an adult, a 13 year old is still young, inexperienced and a child...may be with the physical ambitions of an adult, may be with the sense that will get them to adulthood. But still a child. To another thirteen-year old, though that youth can be grown-up, thoughtful, mature and someone to be looked up to. And the point of this? After almost three weeks the boy brought home the cards he'd been given by his school friends. When I put them up I laughed as there was something so glaringly obvious about each and every one of them. All the adults had sent the boy an array of child-appropriate birthday cards, whilst his friends sent him adult humour, thoughtful and simply most tasteful greetings. My card to him was a picture of a racing motorbike going hell for leather round a track; a friend sent him one with a black and white image of a vintage bike. I know which card I would keep. Sometimes you just need to change your perspective to get the best view! And by the way the ad I mentioned at the start was for The Guardian

Monday, 12 May 2008

It's a father's responsibility

In many a film, Dad has made a man of his offspring by paying for the local tart to finnish his education. Never been quite sure of this approach myself...but then my approach of enquiring gently after the school sex education lesson, didn't seem to be quite spot on either. Nor did the thirty second response to "Dad, what is masturbation"; nor even the giggled explanation when premature ejaculation was mentioned on the TV recently. Hopefully, his education will be complete by these snatches of information which will come together like a well made jigsaw puzzle, rather than ending up like one of Picasso's finest. My feeling is much encouraged by the enthusiasm of women to disrobe on the streets these days - a couple of years ago the policewoman strippergram at the local Nandos was perfect - she was unceremoniously dumped outside in nothing more than a G-string by the irate management. This weekend, The Brighton Festival gave us a lunchtime Burlesque show with two performances culminating in the unexpected site of lots of naked female flesh and some fairly insincere modesty. Eyes on stalks, couldn't help but betray over active male hormones. The boy looked as though he was quite interested too.

Boys and toys

Boys have always enjoyed taking things to pieces and then attempt to put them back together again. In my day it was old valve amplifiers, reel to reel tape decks found in the loft or garage...and when you get a little older motorcycles, with their guts spread all over the living room floor. Swots and creeps would be kind enough to put a sheet down (usually mum's best Egyptian linen) to protect the carpet and furniture, but in general, an oily handprint or greasy smeer were thought to add to the decor. Usually volcanic eruptions would follow. I'm glad to say that times have changed, and last week's victim of teenage investigatory spirit was the X-board - like a skate board, but it pivotes along an axle which runs front to back. Oh and yes, it actually only has two wheels - one front and one back. So in fact it's just as similar to a rollerblade as it is to a skate board. The boy has discovered that removing one of the centre bolts is easier done than putting it back...naturally it was an overheard conversation with a friend that put me on the case. Inevitably, the offending bolt has also been displaced. "Where is it? I know I put it on this shelf?" Well don't look at me I didn't know it wasn't still part of the board mate.... Now where's that spanner - I just need to go and adjust the stand on my scooter -perhaps if I take it off, I can sort it out?