Thursday, 30 December 2010

Radio radio

That is a fetching guitar riff. A fetching riff on the radio

But we are home-side of the radio, we are Karaoke at home, we are teenager readying himself for stardom, band name is chosen, rock stare is natural, lip is snarled, rock influences have been listed, now is the time to rock for the first time. A guitar strap is strapped.

There are teenagers about to strum.

A Guitar plays on, a riff sounds a bit....well...un riffy..... I am actually struggling to hear a riff, I do hear a kinda sound. I am not struggling to put my hands over my ears. I donna want to be unkind, but its cruel to be kind. There is a circuit breaker to pull in a what can and will be described as coincidence.

The teenage years may be long and require ear plugs and my retirement may require hearing aids.

We are going unplugged before MTV come knocking.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Is that something edible in my soup?

Is that a plane. Is that a train. No, no and no its not even a fly in my soup, it is spoon. Granted, that is normal you may say.
But it maybe abnormal for healthy eater that it is not moving much between liquid and mouth.

To cut a long story short. Is that another vegetable soup, wifey? I do not care this spillage from an organic farm is supposedly healthy.

Is that a spoon in my soup? Is that a spoon in my mouth? Not bloody likely. I am a meat eater. I am a hunter gatherer. I want my meat and do not fob me off with that silver spoon, the peasants will not eat cake in the pa Pryce house.

Organic, or vegan, or meat-equivalent. Times have changed in teenager culinary needs. It has morphed from MucBurgers and make no mistake I like my MucBurgers and super-fat-me-carb-intake to a teenager politically correct eat what you like as long as it is green E-non-coli B- for-bu ....

For the teenager twosome green now means green, the dark side has morphed into a deeper shade of green. This eco-friendliness has gone bad when a leg of lamb is not turned around a glistening spit but turned down.

There is a ray of hope. Small mercies that there is life in the teenage taste buds, as yet as far we know, although confirmation is hard to find in the secret world of the teenager. I am an investigator and I have found silver wrappers in the dustbin area, it if my spidey sense is still spidery, seems to confirm that as far as brown succulent chocolate is concerned the teenagers are still indulging it up with best of them.

So back to plot, today diet is important to the teenage mind and I recognise in a humane teenage world that no animal or an amphibian or bipedal neathanderathal has been hurt in the making of this chicken nugget. Probably MucBurgers may have a better chance rather than a loin steak in this category. But even a minority portion of meat in my Chicken nugget is probably, and I may be wrong, involving a little bit of killing. And again I am no expert and I have not been on the receiving end to verify this, but killing probbaly does hurt a little.

I am a father in a state of fad-induced sunday dinners to satisfy the teenagers. Meat and two vegetables is not cutting it. The teenagers are cutting tofu and green stuff masquerading as real carbohydrates

A new scene - a new time ~ a coincidence of time - a moment of destiny guided by the hand of your God of choice ~ a teenage own-goal ~ an adult looks on ~ a boy outside a fast food restaurant - a girl - girls - peer group pressure and the mercury is rising - a boy that is a teenager -that is my boy - a father looks on ~ a spy~ a boy entering restaurant partaking of what my boy has described as poison.

A boy about to forego principles for the sake of getting the girl. A father walks on silent in the knowledge of being there and done that with whiskers on.

God bless testerone. Go boy go.

And I should be thankful that Pa Pryce spidey-sense nostrils are not detecting a suspicion of nicotine on the breath......yet.... green to nicotine phase appears to await.

Friday, 17 December 2010

One the Pryces

If losing was a sport this was my boy's sport.

We may say losing brings character, but once in a while one likes to think winning brings character too and the odd reason to smile.

Today we troop along to support another folly in "well played and hard luck", making well meaning noises on a losing streak of some weeks eventually gets cheesy.

There is a blonde kid, two years too young to play with the big boys, there is the blonde kid, the one who should be wearing a bib instead of a kit, the blonde kid who was there to warm the bench because a big kid failed to turn-up. This is not good.
But against the odds, against the grain but not against the run of play all things came good at least for the first ten minutes or so. Losing was still a maybe. Hoorah.

And be damned a half time lead, the blonde kid played. The blonde kid starred, be second damned. Be second hoorah'd.

The Pryce family glows, but there is a fear, still a fear of the future, the fear is the second half, a fear this is too good to be true. A fear that we are forever blowing bubbles of dreams gone west, of what was once pork is now called smoked ham The second half starts.. The blonde kid grows in confidence if not in stature.

My boy is like an astronaut seeing space where land-lubbers see only the horizon. The blonde kid lives off space, space my boy creates by the art of bulk and strategically placed elbows. The coach gave a nod of approval as bulk helped brains to score again and indeed again. The second half by third damn is like the first half. Fears are quelled as mathematical possibilty for the come-back is timed out.

A third hip hip hooray. We share in the triumph, we are happy, the family unit unites in victory. Sharing the moment of a smalltown, junior league, relegation battle victory at sport, a shared joy an appreciation, a permission to applaud, sometimes life can be good.

It may not be a cup, it may not be best in the league, but teenager has done good and we parents are lucky. We are smiling. I think I'll buy a cuppa tea for all.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Retro to Go

Where ~ in the name of your choice of God(s)~are my........

I am growing old, my boy is growing up. My boy is achieving new heights, my height.

This is new territory - I could pass him on my hand me downs. I could save serious money for 6 months. My boy is about to become retro-to-go.

I let him have a T-shirt that would have me suffering accusations of mutton dressed as lamb. I may give-up a jacket that is black, yes, black leather biker cool, old-school that is never out, I have somethings in black too.
Finger-less mittens may be handed over. A woolly pully that has seen better years is handed over, but is decidedly teenage chic by the very fact of the elbow hole is cool and it has seen better years.

But this is inter-family social sharing going wrong, because some of my things are not hand me downs. Some things I want strapped to the pa Pryce body mass. A very large body mass.
Its a case of Hanging on a flippin' cotton pickin' moment, sonny Jim.
There are things that I want not only handed back. I want never taken in the first place.

To set the scene, I am about to feast on a breakfast that does not quite do justice to the word feast. Buttered toast is not full English. But its faster than a sunny side up with rashers on the side.

I am about to dress before I enter the badlands of economic crisis. I am about to face the cruel world alone again. I am about to earn the family crust. I may have been worn down by the years like the elbows on an old pully. But there is rat race awaiting with a cheese with my name on it.

I have my new-ish suit to hide my larger than yester-year gut, my get in touch-with-my- feminine, comfortable-with-my-masculinity pink shirt riding on sloping shoulders; my two tone pink-on-pink tie nooses itself around its choice of chins; but and double but, I am being called upon to go to work without socks.

I am an executive without socks, someone has stolen my socks. My socks are MY socks. I want my SOCKS back.

I will have a tantrum. Pa Pryce's nickname is not sox-less and by darn there is a teenager whose nickname will not be sox-full.

By all things in common law justice I will have a pair of socks.

Friday, 26 November 2010


An "Education, Education, Education" mantra is reduced into "Grades, grades and grades". And who cares if you cannot remember a single iota after exam day. Damn I want to be a proud Dad on results day. There is my social standing to think of.

Passes and fails, carrots and canes.

Motivation of the teenage brain is a parental challenge. I do my best, I talk the talk, I limp the walk, I do bad cop, I've done good cop and a promise of a some electronic megabyting mini-midi-thingy..

I talk of my failures and how if I had done it different, I talk of successes of rewarded effort, I talk about the western world economy and a fighting chance to get on, I talk about having enough money to buy a car at a young age, I talk about bin collection being a viable option of a career.

Threats and promises sit side by side and sometimes make up to a teenager making a teenage effort of doing teenage homework-doing, sometimes not.

THere it is the young adult showing independence and maturity - the right to decide, including deciding wrongly damit?

I am afraid the 18 "pimp my ride", sweet sixteen, two and half men- elderly owner car will not be bought, because my back seat driving is not warranted or required.

And if I cannot back seat drive I'll be damned if there is to be front seat driving.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Invasion of Privacy Incident

My teenage boy is annoyed on the verge of declaring Unilateral Declaration of My Room is Independent of the Rest of the House and especially My Sister , or "UDMRIRHEMS" if you will.

Apparently terrible things have been done to his room, apparently she ~his malicious mean moody sister ~took her DVD player back, which he ~ the brother ~ had borrowed.

I also need to add although he had borrowed "with asking", she had borrowed back "without asking". She did it without asking by damn. Of teenage sins this is a biggee. If there was a need for a eleventh commamdment by double damn and Almighty this is it ~ Thou shalt not borrow without asking.

Not only but also...

Maliciously during this time, in which she was in his room, she made a mess ~ yes, a "Mess"~ perhaps if I was a proper father in a fully functioning family unit that could have graced a 1950's BBC information film, I would be caring in this fracture of brotherly love.

Instead I am reduced to saying there is no cat in hell, no snowball in hell, Pryce gettin' in heaven chance that the addition of even an emptied rubbish bin could make a more discernable mess than existed in his room before her unauthorised entry into his room and deliberate mess activity.
In simple terms the room started as a mess and one or two additional items ain't changing the mess status.

However my superdad supersenses were going sonic. I detected sibling rivalry was going nuclear, there was a risk of crying, fighting, and general foot stamping in a very un-Goth manner.

So I sprang into action which is itself a biggee exaggeration. Truth be told, I got up and made a cup of tea and then took said cup of tea to the room where squabbling was going on with grown-up swear words thrown in.

I am not one for democracy when there is a sibling squabble to handle. The Western Civilised world's version of democracy ended at the "Welcome" mat of the Pryce family abode. The UN can takes its peace keeping troops to a developing a country with a GDP less than a medium sized US state. This is an autocracy based on my age, fatness, money and general moodiness.

I obeyed my whim that adding a pair of his neatly pressed and wardrobed trousers to the mess on the floor was a good idea. This trouser on floor addition would not be discernable. I threw another pair of trousers on the pile.

I added other formerly neatly piled items that formerly were in the wardrobe. There was now sufficient mess that both could tidy up, yes tidied up by both. Therefore the guilty party of mess creation could be justly punished - hoorah, the innocent party in mess creation was obviously a victim - oh hum, and I was Mr Nasty - hoor....hum. It goes with the territory, Jim.

I may be a step closer to seeing the Care Home at a prematurely young old age, as soon as that hip replacement "op" is necessary, they will have their revenge.

Now there is still a cup of tea to drink ~ hoorah, which I had to make for myself ~ ho hum.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Party Time

Pre party time is spent getting the family sty ship-shape and readily available for national advertisements campaigns for family values by a leading soap company or well paying alternative branded sponsor.

We have visitors, visitors are visiting the Pryce family zoo, there will be teenagers on show, by damn and I am afraid to bring out the "do not feed the animal" signs in case the teenagers may go hungry.

My career, my social network is at threat. Whose idea was this to party whilst we had teenage children, whose idea of stupidity was this. has these mad moments.

Where once a party was six pack of beer cans and a packet of crisps, it now has bottles of wine with years marked to show our good taste, food requires plastic knives and forks and disposable paper plates rather than finger lickin' good crisp bag.

Invitations, to the great and the good in the Pryce family circle of trust, record the necessity for casual dress. My teenagers may be right, I am losing my fun edge. Who in my past, in their right mind would dare to turn up to a Pryce family get down and party without jeans. Now I am making it compulsory.

The evening comes, I tell stories, jokes, the teenagers miraculosly are kind to strangers, they answer questions that would normally be guffawed away as below their teen credibility; my teenagers are still in touch with humanity. They even laugh at my jokes that they may have heard before, they laugh at my jokes at their expense and I reciprocate vice versa a,s they mock the fat fella that sometimes shouts at them.

Its hard to be a fat old fella and not know there is a comedic trough for the swine to feast on.

Pryce family re-engages in the zoo. Breaking down the cages of heartache.

The goalposts have shifted at party time and the paradigm re-set. It good to have a mad moment.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

The candle burns at one end

Manners maketh man. Man maketh babies. Babies maketh noise. Noise maketh attention. attention maketh something deeply significant.
Sometimes I ramble, which is a useful tool in arguments. Rambling maketh a lilly white livered liberal raising tuition fees.

I am having an argument, an argument that I will win because I am an adult and he is a child.

I may be living longer, apparently I am, that is according to modern science. Therefore doctor, today is another birthright day of winning arguments.
I ruled with an iron fist that only looked pink. I could change time so was my power, bedtime could start at 3pm if there had been naughtiness.
But suddenly these days, these older days, without knowing when I actually morphed, but I think I may be in a parallel universe because this winning an argument malarchy is taking longer than usual.

Each new day it is taking longer than usual to be absolutely right. I must argue about cleaning teeth, picking up clothes, doing homework, not leaving doors open, not lazing in a chair when there's homework to be done, not staring at a tv dedicated to killing in an electronic world. And stop playing that bloody guitar.

I am growing old , he is wearing me down. I must stay strong for the children,...ummm..... no... I must stay strong because of the teenager......future of the teenager, the future they see as care free and I see as a clockwork, concrete jungle and any other cliche I can think of.

I am losing arguments that rely on experience that he does not have. My future is dull and short, his future is bright and long. And who is the better man to share a happy hour drink with?

I had more than my fair share of left of centre dreams as a teenager. I grew older, I grew wiser but not wise as nutty University Professors. I grew wiser in the University of the Streets.

I am worn down by the years that my education becomes remedial.
I am crushed by the logical counter-arguments based on theory and not practice.
I am worn down by teenage idealism.

He may be right, he may be the one who escapes the rat race. He may lead the art race.

But just in case please do your homework.... please.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Gaming without Frontiers, war with points

Blood and thunder and an 18 warning. My boy is more high tech'd wired for sound, that there is no cables and I am sufficiently in touch with the technologiacl advanced age that I know not to expect rabbits and whites doves miraculously coming from teenage sleeves.

I find a teenager twitching on a couch, doing dirty deeds that need doing on a global scale. I am a child of another generation of whatever happened to a likely old football, a park, pullovers for a post and heavy dose of flu for two weeks.

There on the teenage couch are internet microphones allowing international communication, to whom?
Other international teenagers who can be heard greeting kills, like a viet vet on the wrong side of a stressful situation.
These teenagers or toddlers, who knows, wi-fi'd for sound.
Kids sounding quite squeaky because voices are squeaky and by all things toddler as yet unbroken, in fact as squeaky as a toddler with a birthday cake candles to unlight several times.
Teenagers sounding hard in queaky voices are not cutting the mustard but ar hez cutting a destiny.
Hard in their comfort zones of a home.
There are points given to each kill against a squeaky aggresive commentary.
Post traumatic stress is not on the agenda even if athritus is.

To the plot this morning in the Pryce abode, "big-time" victor gloating causes an exchange of E-mails. Swear words are exchanged via the next set of E-mails online in real-time from the safety of a non-de-plume and an unknown geography, but probably a big brother will need a few bus trips to avenge family honour here.

This is unreal, this begs a change in the world order, a return to the flesh and bullets hurt, eyeball to eyeball realism where an eye for an eye brings a painful reality, that it hurts and therefore should not be done. Instead an electronic ether divides them to be safe in nastiness

Back in the day space invaders met this criteria, the nerd was out there in the open, and he was not a nerd he was a out-there a hero. The lip smoking - digit twitching guy up to no good in the local pub staring at a fake electronic world with a aged wall as backdrop; and when there was homework to do.

This old gun-kill play appeared sufficiently and obviously play and nowadays I don't know. Nowadays it is in the home and realistic beyond comprehension and resurrection is guaranteed as long as the electricity bill is paid.

I bought the games.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Sibling Rivalry - Father Kinda Saves the Day

Picture a scene if you will, a dysfunctional family, where Teenager 1~ the boy ~ is sitting playing on what used to be the family iPad.

Family iPad was agreed at point of purchase that is. It was agreed all family would have access to the expensive new toy. Family iPad what a fool am I, it has now evolved, faster than Darwin could count forty sheep and turn them into winks, to become the Teenager iPad.

Teenager 2 ~the daughter~is knitting, do not ask me why, it is an aberration on a cosmic scale of being a teenager. Teenage knitting I ask you, in a scale of 1 to "not bloody likely", this is taking the Pryce family to new heights in "what the" Twilight mountains. It proves as dysfunctional goes, Pryce family does Dysfunctional Extreme very well.

I ~ the adult participant in this motley crew ~ am probably looking like an overweight fella that needs a fitness regime more than I need another icecream and we all know that I know where the fridge is and I need a GPS to find a fitness studio. There is no surprise that I am an inclusion zone involving a telly.

Teenager 2 decides knitting is not tickling the excitement button and probably is a hobby best left for pensioners. So on a whim and a prayer, she now wants the IPad which as a Teenager, and it is a Teenager iPad, she still has rights of access that have been lost to all adults. Teenager 1 is mid doing something more exciting than homework and is reluctant to give-up a pleasure nanosecond. The iPad is his.

Sibling war is upon us in a matter of deciding a stitch in time is bloody boring.

I am a peacemaker, a man of few words, but thoughtful words none the less.

I offer guidance to my teenage two.

"Teenager1 when you grow up in seven or so years, you two will be the best of friends, so be nice, hey, will be asking your sister "How's Uni? istead of all this 'its mine nonsense' "
I go on as life-coach in waiting, a parental voice of reason...

"And Teenager 1, you will be asking your brother "Have you finished your dustbin round, was it green containers today?" "

Ooops, one-sided laughter ensues, I am a wit, albeit with a foot that is not as well grounded as it should be, when there is an available mouth to fill.

But, however and double butt.....he ~Teenager 1~ is riled and not reconciled to his role as a butt of my joke.

He is staring at me, like only a teenager could, venom bleeds eyeball-sized. He stares intently as a teenager wronged and he will not be responsible for his actions. He is in the "zone" declared Teenjhad, revenge will be his.

I am a man in fear, an adult living with the teenage bomb, I will be verbally attacked probably mid breakfast, mid cornflake, mid milky gulp with a wetted piece of corn lingering from an incisor, potentially hindering any counter attack without causing serious spluttering and hiccups.

And we know Hiccups are dangerous at my age.

I am a man who will be the first man to suffer hospitalisation with a cornflake covered foot in need of surgical removal from an adult-sized mouth.

Pray for me, dear parents. I'm a gettin' religion.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Lost and Found

Oooh kids eh?,.......the old losing things in the training changing rooms trick.

We are parents in the throes of being sucker punched by the teenager.

I may come across as untrustworthy of my offspring which is probably a bad thing, but in my reality it says guilty until proven that it was me who placed the incriminating evidence in your pocket ~"old school training".

He ~ the Teenager ~ has lost his jacket. How do you lose a jacket. It is not a small jacket. The weather is cold and normally that means one wears a jacket to avoid the chill and therefore logically not leave it behind, when there a wind chill factor that does nothing for manhood, but does lots for extra layers of clothing, such as a jacket.

So suspicions were high, given when presented with his special new gift of some weeks ago, his teenager in horror face and without a zit in sight,.

We had dreams that we could turn him away from the Dark side, we would bring colour to his sea of black. He did not like it and he decided to let us know the mega expensive bit of cloth was an alleged fashion style icon from the Time that Land Forgot or something like that. The jacket was not a hit. But it was expensive, we were adults, we insisted on pain of something that could be painful.

More than not a hit. It was now a Jacket to be found by a passing tramp that may now be the talk of the hobo community with his super-cool orangey bluey jacket with a stripey bit and importantly for all things Goth-less, is not black.

Charity begins at home and donations to my teenager's lifestyle should also end at home. Call me old fashioned, as my teenager probably does, but some tramp with his new non-black jacket is not my idea of helping society, when a teenager is getting frost bite to be a political- fashion-correct.

Still a story must be told by the young ones for the old folks, the gullible old folks, the parents lost in 80's chic, he has a story to tell, a story that starts on a cold dark night and certainly ended with our expensive jacket gift being not deliberately left at on the grass, but was sadly forgotten in a moment of madness.

Yes he regrets it, he knows it cost an arm and a leg. But he secretly knows that whilst he could getaway with not putting a leg in it due to human geometry. He could unfortunately put two arms in it. His Goth roots would sadly be challenged by the bike-shed posse, if he turned up with even one arm in it. He knows retained possesion of the jacket would have caused parental pressure to wear his jolly jacket and Goth friends being Goth friends who judge things by shades of black going on grey, may have discarded him as mainstream sellout. Peer group pressure is stronger than the pen or the sword.

By the grey of my hair, we are parents not born yesterday, so to cut a long story short, it was not lost, it was hidden. Although the time between lost and in hiding was a subtle interrogation lasting several hours, as in 24 hours make one day and more hours make additional days. Thankfully for adult sanity it did not last a week.

Hey.... to not cut a story to short, I have a new jacket, a revenge of sorts for my lack of socks, I am again now looking as mutton dressed as lamb and surprisingly not of my choice damn it, it was expensive.

Friday, 1 October 2010

note to self

I am not really a Note-to-Self person , but to make up for this lack of educational thoroughness, fortunately I have teenagers wanting to give me direction, although I thought I already knew the way.

But today to break the Note-to-Self rule, which proves rules are there to be bent and once in a while to be broken.

Be an example, a role model to the children....Hmmmm?

I will make my own tea, I will iron my own shirt, I will do my share of hoovering, I understand why I am not a note to self person.

I need a teenager to make me a cuppa, or fail to make me a cuppa, but I'm gonna ask.

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.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Oh Lordy

I am an adult. I have a birth certificate to prove it. Honest.

And I have a mirror to tell me I am not a young adult, indeed to be polite an older adult. Too honest by half. The cheeks are furrowed, laughter lines are no longer laughing matter. Jowls is a new word to the Pryce vocabulary canon. It is not only a word, I have some jowls to demonstrate to any person to whom a jowl is an unknown word what a jowl is. I am still an Educator ~ an older Educator ~ an unwanted Educator with jowls.

I appear to have a brain that is capable of lying in face of contrary evidence. As long as I am not facing a mirror, I appear to be a believer in telling tall tales of "strange but true" stories that tell of myself in words such as taut, firm, pert, a good-looking specimen of a boy for his age. I refuse to read the label on trousers. I will sqeeze embarrassingly into things that are politely called tight fitting as in "My word that stitching is good". Darn good.

The optician does discounts on rose tinted spectacles in my neighbourhood. I like discounts. Nagging doubts are for nags and I do not nag, unless there is a red line on the bank account .

But in the back of the brain it knows, the stories are with the pre-fix "Once upon a time..."

Life's little necessities creep by, I have to shave but this is not the face I have in my head, that I appear to have imagined is rugged, that has aged gracefully, matured into adulthood to become iconic. The razor flows not smoothlz but jars and travels in hills and chasms that plough a moving feast of stubble evolving into greyness.

So I am adult and I must face my demons. I am adult called "Lardy" by those who should know better.

Inbetween demons and and this man called Lardy, is the teenager. The face of demon-hood is called Teenager and the name the Teenager calls me is Lardy. He may be right. I moved from Daddy to Lardy in in the space of months, oh Lordy.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Old videos

The family sit to watch old videos of happier times. Babies eating and dribbling, Toddlers kicking the air for want of kicking a ball that is in the general vicinity, Kids opening presents that were promtly presented proudly to the video camera. Happy times.

The teenagers smile and perhaps the teenage hormone levels are controlled, re-adjusted, balanced and maybe old Pa is ok, really.

Visual culture tradition envelopes and embraces oral cultural tradition; I can explain things, remind of things, things of how they were, show we were once a big happy shiny family. We look at faces, faces that have gone to another place, that were younger, single and a half-chinned-ish, faces that have matured into teenagers. The smiles on the TV remind that once we did not need to shout to be understood.

History is explained, the first time elder bro' met younger sis 'and sis' did very little and bro' got a present for not pulling an arm off lil sis, parents got a smile from bro' and a few months later sis' joined in and smiled and we played happy families. School sports, school plays, Christmas, carols sung badly, Easter eggs, visiting friends lost to the sands of time, friends still a phone call away, friends we will visit soon or sooner or later.

Video may have killed the radio star but may have re-focused the Pryce family for a while at least. Dysfunctional Family Extreme is put on pause for a while.

And perhaps I have a feeling the One Big Happy Shiny family is just under the surface, a veneer awaiting to be scratched.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Battle of the Hygiene is won for want of losing

Cleanliness is next to Godliness so they say, except when you are Goth going pagan.

The Battle of the Hygiene between a father and a son is won, and won without me raising a finger, but somhow this time, it feels like a defeat. Why do I not feel victorious in the Teenager/ Shower/ water/ soap equation that equals cleanliness. Fresh air has won for God's sake. But a nagging feeling, an in-glorious feeling wishes I had lost, at least for a while.

The victory was won on a foreign field, where a girl, who he ~ my handsome son ~ may or may not have liked, but probably did and probably won't admit it, especially now. These things I must guess.

She ~ the potential girlfriend ~ had stated the obvious and it was crueller than any de Ville requiring hair dye and crueller than any diatribe of filial hate I may have said, and that I would have regretted later. We, the parents, had known, we had forewarned that soap was a good thing, that shampoo was a nice thing, we had warned politely, with pleading, begging ending with multiple 'pleases'. We had warned impolitely with sarcasm, with shouts, with threats. We had known that a bit of water does help the hormone fuelled pheremones drive to start the next generation, starting with inter gender holding hands only please. He listened not to us, as we were condemned as parents, how could we defend such wrong-doing of being actual parents that care, we were by teenage definition - do-ers of most things wrong.

Sadly rejection by another teenager may have been motivational in shampoo-ing, the end result was the same - a teenager in touch with his daily shower gel. We had success, but I am sad, I am sympathetic at the cost. He now must face her at school, must face her friends, he must face his friends and his enemies. Ammunition to be cruel has already been targetted in teenage rivalry.
He must face them daily until the shame fades. We hope it fades.

My son is alone in knock down land and I am not the wanted helping hand to get him up, I am instead the face of being right.

My handsome shy son has to be strong on his own. Parents are at arm length, a distance that we cannot bear, especially now the air is fresh. Welcome to the real world is not good on occasion, life's rich tapestry misses a stitch, life lessons are necessary and unwelcome and as much as I know it is necessary, to see him forlorn is not so good. Teenager in teen anger at himself, at her, at me, with nowhere to go.

Sod it, sod the rules of puberty, sod the rules of typical teenage MTV world, time to offer the helping hand, the listening ear, the caring eye, time to talk the common ground of rugby - we will throw ball tonight.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Teacher leave those kids....

How we used to chant that song that declared we did not need Education and promptly still did our homework, we were rebels with irony, anarchists as long as we could run away and definitely before we actually did anything.

Today My son needs eduaction, I say so, he needs a little help doing his homework, well to be accurate he needs help to sit down to start his homework. This is a challenge since there are a million and one enemy combat non-heroes to shoot, blow-up, or otherwise destroy.

Quadratic equations are simply not in the same league of entertainment. His Christas present is to be wireless wired to the internet team. Whatever happened to Action man.

To motivate is difficult. To educate is difficult. To talk of the big bad world is difficult, the real world. I may need threats, carrots and a credit card.

My son needs less entertainment and little more education if you please. There is no happy ending yet, life is as such and more of "to be continued" ending. Father don't leave those kids alone.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Unwanted Dead or Alive

I am experienced, I probably look to my teenagers as if I shared wine with Jesus Christ and thought it was a bit watery. I have been there, touched it, seen it, smelt it, read it, re-read it, lost it, found it and put in a safe place that I forgot about, like you do. I have done the whole sensory perception thing and I am a wealth of advice that they ~ my teenagers ~ not want to hear in their young vibrant dynamic world.

~ White lines Don't do it~ may have been a key message rapped by an 80's somebody, it was grand and flashed, before a thousand dancing boys trying to qualify as men ~ as "wear a condom" may have become common parlance as Freddie died a death before a thousand dancing girls that may have had a chance to become girlfriends if I had not been shy.

It is now unwanted advice like cardboard on boxing day and with a feeling that the cardboard even before Christmas was only superficially wanted.

There were times I could rest a beer on a child's head and think there was a purpose to this life after all, now I am in danger of being a balding head resting place to a teenage iPod. When climbing frames were conquered with a fierce intensity and rewarded with smiles. It seems a long ago time, my role is now second going on third place, as a teenage best friend has best advice until he is relegated by the girl with a pretty face or at least pretty to him.

Feeling sorry for myself and where is my free bus pass.

Yeah, time to sit back and re-discover a life outside being child minder, as my teenagers discover a life outside of me. I may need some tips from my teenagers on how to spread my wings, as I have lost the knack of walking alone.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Charter of Teenage Rights

Battle lines are drawn, I am a father, he is my son, we face each other, should we arm wrestle, we stare intently, time draws on so slowly.

And this time, this battle of the Generation gap titans, it is about....brushing teeth. Should he shouldn't he. My manky teeth are veterans of a 70's where a silver lining was seen by a dentist to all things ceramic. A decade where dentists drilled with more abandon than most oil rigs and the North Sea had oil rigs in my day. And in the 70s the UK did have oil.

He may know I am right, he may secretly get the toothbrush out to save a future molar adult tooth, when I am securely out of bathroom zone, but the right to brush or not to brush is his, the right to manky teeth is his ..........and if I was so diligent in brushing, why did I have manky teeth. I am caught by sins of my youth.

I smile a black rimmed smile, welcome to my world of the root canal, my son.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Battle of the Remote Control II and III

AOR ~Adult orientated rock was once a well known abbreviation, but I am showing my age. Nowadays my age has migrated me to Adult orientated television ~ AOT.

The bug-bear of all this is my kids have also migrated from Deputy Dawg, Penlope Pittsstopp, Blue Peter or whatever is the New Millenium equivalent. My kids have gone from KOT to TOT ~ Kid to Teenager orientated television.

It is inane but appears to amuse, some teenager with a US dentist-happy permanent smiler decides to wear blue polka dot pullover which is just about to be a source of great humour whether I like it or not. She goes to school which is a radical concept in a polka dot pullover apparently. She does unfunny things as a bully ~ or the bully ~ is shown up as a bully. Our heroine has friends, as in friends rally round and, believe it or not, all the friends all end up wearing the same polka dot pullover, which has become the rage because a good morale is necessary and all to a chorus of canned laughter like a misery-while-u-wait, unpleasant on the deaf-wish ear backing track, that is so canned it should be wrapped in green and called Heinz.

I look on and remember back in the day, where was the canned laughter backtrack friends thirty years ago when I dared to wear a fashion icon that was outside the tribal furs of the local bully, yep, my freinds were backtracking to a silent tune and thanking the Lord I was the stupid one. Life moves along its learning curve and the plasma screen preserves another reality.

However today I am in an adult minority of one, to a teenage brain this is seriously funny stuff. So funny the remote control is hidden under the cushion and she knows I know that, so a bum is shifting to maintain a possession is 9 tenths of the law psychi. Battle lines are drawn. I win victory on Remote Control ownership by the parental equivalent of arm wresting- the adult stare. Life is not fair when there is a weather forecast awaiting.

The other reality of TV, the bigger issue, the teenage true love played out in plasma widescreen that paralyses the senses and is the bigger problem for the squeamish. The adult-child grey zone is called TOTTY ~ teenage orientated titillation television yurgh. This is not suppose to happen at tea-time. It is not soft porn, it is not heavy petting, but its hinting at it, its crossing the grey zone that should have been covered in sex education lessons and avoided by compulsory wearing of heavy duty XXXL polar neck pullovers, but I am not sure they were and the pullovers are XXS polka dot apparently.

The Goth character is a Goth, the director is film noire and I don't want questions from a daughter and I don't want a hint of sexual deviation that I may need to explain to a daughter. The goth is vampire. The vampire is somehow sweet, but dangerous.

I shift aimlessly. The daughter is probably on my wavelength for once, but confirmation is shrouded in silence. The silence is unbroken and where is canned laughter when you need it. The stars have kissed - this is a warning ......a bum shifts...... a remote control is released to breathe fresh air and ......a channel is flipped and by the powers invested in the GOD of universal animation ~the Anthill Mob rescue the day ~ Penelope Pittstop is saved. A Father is a saved. A daughter is saved.

We smirk in a Christmas peace of no-man's land. Prudes together.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Search and Rescue Mission - somebody had to do it...

An unnatural happy sound rings out, bordering on one hit wonder potential, with full-on cheerfulness. This sound is so super happy, I am in danger of needing anti-depressant pills.

I am at home but this sound is not a homely sound. It is not a familiar sound. It is what....

It is the family phone, it must be the family phone, but I am in surreal world it does not sound like my family phone, that I left home sounding adult-like steady sedate purring sound this morning. It now chirrups, by God and all things sane, it chirrups. It has been modified, updated, corrupted, it has been teenaged. But by gum at least the teenagers showed that thay had conquered a technology barrier, changing telephone dial tone is scientific challenge, methinks. Part of me should be proud, if only my ears agreed.

It used to be the parent's phone, our phone, some 5 or 7 years ago. Now the dial tone has been de-aged. It is now a ditty dedicated to an upbeat mood in a downbeat world, a phone that says I am young fresh and its pa..aaaarty time.

I am afraid. I am old. I need advanced warning of a party time, let alone paaa...rty time.

The phone rings and it is leapt on by a daughter who knows statistically the likelihood it is for her, is a winning bet. It is now a teenager phone. And it was indeed for her, she de-camps in a matter of seconds to a bedroom to discuss non-parent things.

In years gone by, if the family phone occasionally rang, I answered it and sometimes it was a good chance it was for me. The monthly bill reflected the odd long distance phone home, now it is full of local-children-gone-wild seconds becoming minutes becoming hours.

It is a phone in fear of dying, it is a phone that gets lost in a bedroom I am forbidden to enter upon threat of pouting, but be damned the phone needs rescuing from the melee of clothes, books and half digested food. It is a phone needing volts like I need inner peace. The phone needs its battery like I need to touch base with my inner calm. The phone needs me to survive. I am the man on a search and rescue mission.

The daughter is having a bath. A mobile phone is drawn, the family home number zapped. I hear a faint too happy to be true sound. I enter the teenager zone and by God it is ....dangerous, I could trip on things that I never wished to see. The chirrupping guides me but a daughter may hear it above the sound of gushing water, she may think a friend is phoning her, she may catch me in an exclusion zone. The phone is near, but unseen. It sounds terrifyingly loud in a Eurovision winner sort of way. A daughter hears it, and knows it must be for her, it always is, I am in danger of being caught. I am in danger of the Pout. I am afraid to advise the Pout can kill conversations dead. The Pout is a dangerous weapon. My daughter owns the Pout like I own facial wrinkles. I grapple with clothes, I thread a path to release a phone in captivity. I escape. I switch off a mobile phone and a daughter returns to cleanliness and a question was it for me.

"No it was for me" - I did not lie. I smirked in a clever dick fashion that demanded an audience for my wit.

And a phone is revived with electricity in its Living room Cradle.

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Unfortunately accompanying parents to a party is not a Paaaa...rty, allegedly. This is old people's territory. This old people's laughter. This old people being old.

Teenagers want 'old school' rock trapped in a time warp when the groovers and shakers who once cut discs and danced to the midnight air are solely on celluloid... looking young... damn it. If they saw these celluloid facses now, they would have wrinkles like mine, chins as numerous as mine, bags under eyes that could shop at tesco like mine, a paunch like mine to rest a beer on probably. They would be condemned, but on celluloid they are not only condoned they are celebrated.

I use to cut shapes with the best of them. Apparently cutting shapes is hip version of navel gazing to New Order. I could do that -and ladies and gentlemen, the award for best Navel Gazing in Video goes to....

Nowadays an old disc may be cool, but slipping a disc is a risk. Perhaps my teenagers are being caring and considerate that the old fella is one tango away from hospital and they need to think where the next black Goth-rock T-shirt is coming from.

So today as we do things together as a family, I call it party, my pair of teenagers call sitting down. Teenagers that would-be happy" children if I respected their exclusion zone. I do not respect the exclusion zone because I can. I am at a Party, we are at a party, the operative word is party, let us party.

Somewhere in the ether this translates at Dad Pryce begging Teenager Pryce to cut shapes and teenager Pryce is cutting the air with a sharp stare and a look. I am recognising slowly this Look as "You are not my Father because my father would be considerate".

Rock on. I cut shapes alone amonst the Tango-ers. I am hip going on hip replacement. A circle forms a la America's best dance crew. Is there to be a Dad-on-Dad Dance off. I feel a challenger coming through the masses of playing it safe Tango/ers , I feel he's readying Jiggywithit while I am a ready to shake my tail feather. Sadly I am more alone than Marlene on the wall. Sharp staring is back in fashion apparently, aswell as my new blushing red and it does not match my pants. The middle aged "in crowd" appear to share my daughter's opinion. The middle aged crowd are conditioned to behave to a teenage view of the world, to behave as if old and being old is not having lots of fun. Middling fun once in blue moon is supposed to be my norm. I am not only a disgrace to all things paternal, but to all things middle aged. I am in a void of my own making.

I retreat after a last humiliating "I don't care stand" that leaves little to my dignity as a fellow adult, with an internal voice saying at least, they did not laugh....aloud.... well did not laugh in my face .....much.

So today we talk post dance off with myself, about things my teenagers say are not so good about me. Damning the evidence, I listen but make no promises, I have memories of how to party and I wish to grow old slowly.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Rebel without a Cuppa

Come again may be a neighbourly invitation or a quantum mechanics defying moment in a mother- teenage son conversation.

"Make me a cup of tea" a teenager mumbled in a "I-am-better-than-thou" Raj-if-U-Like, in a delusional feat of recapturing a repressed memory when the empire was still shooting near-to- be extinct animals. Here the teenager was sending instructions to the adults as if his silver spoon should quickly be used to stir his cup of tea.

"Pardon" a curt response by a mother trying to be decent, trying to forget the tone of the rebel without cuppa and remember her little boy.

"Oh alright make me a cup of tea pleee-ease" as said by worst-than-thou son of a ....well me.

"No, you can do it yourself" a curt disciplined response by a mother re-considering her will, her will to survive and asking questions if adoptions was still an option or a swap programme with a third world country.

"Am I your slave" he mumbled this without irony, without conscious, without logic.

Let us replay this, since it may be some illusion, a trickery of the mind, this somehow may have been a normal conversation and we are getting old - You ask me to make a cup of tea - I refuse - you suggest you are a slave.

"Come again" mouthed between parents, blaming each other for passing on the "intelligent" gene.

Making coffee for yourself is slavery.... I await the grafitti, the political campaign and rent-an- Anarchist at the door. A modern day Lincoln will put on Statute an Emancipation Act aimed at overcoming the Pryce parents lack of care of a wannabee bad-boys -R -Us persona. A Rebel without his Cuppa.

If there is a God or Gods, let this space time continuum take to me to the parallel universe.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Education is a knowledge of Things called Emo

Emo is Goth by another word, their word, a teenage word, I am lost to its origins. If only Mr Darwin was still alive.

My teenage son speaks in tongues that I need to decipher, secret words I do not understand and he does not wish to explain. A cultural generation divide based on language is perpetuated like a ball of string, one day we may find each other again. I hope.

Understanding will let me into his world. I want to communicate. I've been there. I'm old, I must have been there. But "there" has been re-decorated, re-freshed, and claimed by others. There is a new flag perched on the hill. The disco lives to a different beat on Saturday night.

It used to be "Simon says" and kiddy laughs; now its Emo says and snarls, smirks and sadness to order. To be Emo is not only a language, it is a way of life, a dress, a record collection or should I say download. Download collection somehow has no ring to it. There are no pictures on the record cover. How I used to listen to the music, but more how I used to pore over the cover and then to pore over the backwards text on the black vinyl. A text once dicephered, that may have converted me to satamism. I read on the wildside.

And the experiment that fascinated more than any bunsen burner, the playing backwards record test to corrupt my mind. I listened on the wild side too.

Now I fear somebody-else walking on the wildside, I fear that as well as man make-up , man skirts will be next. My acceptance of all things left of centre is reduced to, as long as its not my boy. I am correctly placed in a corner of prejudice. The prejudices I fought against as my parents thought that the world is a strange enough place as it was, without me wishing to sartorially stand out and, as they perecived, wanting to be thumped by any right of centre bad-doer.

Now its my turn, I seek to be an educator in the ways of the world that expectations may be sometimes great and a good ideal, but rarely fulfilled; but I am also keen not to transfer my failings in optimism called my experience. My ivory tower has been chewed over, to be repaired by mercury chunks just like my teeth, and it aint no ivory tower no more.

I want to connect with today's youth or more accurately today's youth that has my DNA marker strapped to his each and every cell.

I am aware sex Drugs and Rock'n'roll passes us by without most of realising two out of three ain't bad, and perhaps one is quite good; and one is quite good, once in a while, at least it gets you to next weekend. At least we not starving in some God forsaken war-zone, starring in every News Bulletin that it loses its impact like a fading wallpaper. We are not there. We are not in the poster world of charity donations of the guilty to make the Sunday lunch a bit more tasty and sod the waste.

We are in the picture postcard world of a Sunday lunch, shortened by lack of conversation and an urgent need to speak to his Emo mate to a def-bad-whatever backbeat.

Here I am a teacher in waiting that a son, my son is prepared to enter a dirty old world out there, where it sucks, dregs and rock'n'roll. These are the things I want to teach. Am I teaching pessimism. Am I shutting up.

My son, my teenage son has ideals, he has an ivory tower to build and I am proud that somebody is trying to prove me wrong. I may reluctantly need, may need to realise, may need to conclude I am there to pick him up when he falls down because he wants the experience of trying to stand-up alone.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


A faded black to grey T-shirt advertising a band is a reminder of my age, a reminder of the good times left behind.

By a quirk of fate called immortality by suicide, for he - a rock star - does not grow old as we grow old. Today's sacrifice of the young generation is played out by another poet spokesman of his generation, who has given up on things to say in favour of a way out, to touch the sky and to die before he grows old. So today I am wearing a faded slightly holed T shirt of a band still revered as left of centre, even by todays's teens. We, father and son, are connected whether he likes it or not.

It may hurt for him ~my son ~ to say it, but the Old Man is still cutting it. Sadly no it will not hurt because he will not say it, I am mutton dressed as lamb.

To this next generation I am condemned never to wear my T-shirts, be that band revered or not. It is like a T-shirt that has passed its Expiry date, because of the wrinkly torso that fills it out, a T-shirt that would be magically transformed to cool by a lanky, elasticated skin sometimes prone to zit, firm torso that fails to fill it out. An Expiry date set by children embarrasssed at an old person trying to look young.

Water may turn to wine, mutton becomes lamb. A miracle has occurred that requires no burning bush, no parting of seas, a T-shirt is revalidated as cool going on super-cool by age of the wearer. This T-shirt is claimed as his uniform alone.

The T-shirt branded with a cool icon, worn and ragged, is wanted for a young person trying to look real. A teenager keen to be at the forefront of retro. A wanting to look street. To be fashion wise, without signs of DHL delivery by Amazon branded brand new.

My T-shirts are stolen, camouflaged under the tip that once was a wardrobe. To dare to suggest I may look to find my T-shirts is damned as an outrage. It is an invasion of privacy! by damn! Secrecy is demanded to undertake a "search and rescue" mission and damn the invasion of privacy and if it is another example of my lack of trust. Too right it is.

Nirvana must be rescued from his back before the zit busts and its only a matter of time......

Thursday, 24 June 2010

By the power of Greystroke...Power ranger and Squeak

Oh, how we used to mimic the television greats of Children's TV, we had a laugh. Me and the kids. We burped with the best of them.

Teletubbies were non-human, they spoke in an adult-free way of squeaks and burping. As Children's TV goes as a concept, it was psychedelically scary, I suspected grown men were wearing fat suits, that were primary colour blinding in bright light, and I kid-you-not aerial headed monster things, and Lordy Lordy they did not speak the queen's english. A Teletubby was not really up there with Muffin the Mule. In Children's TV stakes there was a slim possibility Teletubbies should have been filed under a "Warning - taking drugs is dangerous" label.

But it brought us together as a family. A family as one that bought into the full cuddly toy, mattress, plastic plate and video "We-love-Teletubby" family. I made the BBC rich way past a licence fee. But its OK, fun was never this good, this mutual laughter at nothing at all takes a lot to beaten. The kids and me. They laughed with them, I laughed at them and fun was had all around. And may they long live in our video collection, even if the video recorder has seen a better view from under a TV in the 'once upon a time' happy days, as opposed to a video recoder located somewhere in a basement under several other things lost in a finite cellar space of nowadays.

A video recorder as a metaphor for me, it has seen better days; but it probably could still kick it as a clock. I still could be of use as a chauffeur, a charitable banker, a telephone answering machine.

Time moved on as toddler cartoons and characters passed onto non-toddler cartoons and cahracters. They came and went into my kids' head and over mine. I am an intelligent adult and there is only so many times Power Rangers can win, despite the threat to the Universe, near certain death and all things evil. I do wish to boast, I think I may have guessed the plot.

I was happy that they were happy. They were happy that the world was a safer place regularly at the end of half an hour.

Although this happiness came at a price that such heroes obviously deserved praise and monetary tributes, by jolly the kids demanded so. Again as part of the process, the hook, line and sinker process; I decided, or was manipulated, that my hand should make several stopovers in my pocket that kept a once fat wallet. Various bed clothes, toys, books, littered the house as a form of worship to Power Rangers, Transformers, Ben Ten, powderpuff girls or whatever.

That was then, this is now. All is now past tense. TV has different heroes, heroes that come out to play when the news is on, when that adult drama is on, when what they call old fashioned entertainment is on.

They used to watch TV when I did important things like going to the gym, going to the office; they did not watch TV when I returned and I watched important things like "Antiques Roadshow". Things have changed, I want to watch, they want to watch.

My programmes win BAFTAs, EMMYs for best supporting actress in a period drama; their programmes win MTV awards for best kiss, most huggable alien, nicest cute person in a non-boyfriend category.

TV is a Battle ground and the key to this battle is the Remote Control - the channel hopper Kingmaker -or as I prefer to call it ~My Remote Control ~ in fact, it should be abbreviated by common use, custom and tradition as MRC.

My logic failed me, my adult spider sense has gone off radar, I have fallen foul of their education, I should have called it DRC ~ Dad's Remote Control ~ "My" cuts both ways.

I feel the need to say "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, my son".

And I enter a parallel universe, role-reversal, deja vous, time-warp-space-continuum moment.... my father once said the same thing to what was once I think a rather handsome boy. Although he may added a number of Anglo-Saxon descriptive words. Indeed "clever dick" may also have featured.

Returning to the real world, which does not involve six post pubescents in a house in a global capital somewhere in MTV land, answering the questions of the universe with the aid of alcohol and a libido. The answer to my TV battle of wills between the forces of adult good (me) and teenage evil (my boy, my daughter), lies in two...perhaps three TVs, satellite systems, monthly bills that may now come in a distinct nice red font, and a family apart in bedroom seclusion.

A family being drawn apart, as the Battle of the TV is drawn.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Defeat in the Wilderness

Comfort zones - the search for quiet time - the toilet is my sanctuary, defended by things unseen, the unseen forces of last might's curry; however out there, there in the danger zone, where once there was a living room ~ the times have changed, the wilderness has returned. It is wild and unless I'm not mistaken, I will be abused as a slave owner. Out there it is not safe to be an adult of some years standing, to be old out there amongst the sofas is to be yesterday's man. Out there I a m vulnerable to verbal abuse.

I enter the wilderness where once I sat in the big chair with my orb of remote control. Now he sits ~ the teenager ~ my nemesis~, he who loves in a digital world in widescreen and HD. I believe I may have asked my son to make a cup of coffee.

This may have been a clever ruse to regain my chair. A deception, an old-scholl trick, I still can run with the pack. It was a ruse damned to fail, these days I need wood, nails and an art degree in history of Troy to half a chance to succeed.

Instead I was advised by the art of shouting that he is not my slave. I even said 'please', which I thought at least, I should have earned the right to have been despised as a servent owner as in "I am not your servent"; but today his life is that of a someone caught, sold and put to work in the cotton fields.

I had not time to ask for milk before his retort, that would probably have had me defined by Amnesty International as a tyrant taking advantage of child labour and they will probably now list him as some kind of political prisoner. There will probably be a charity concert, a letter writing campaign "Free the Teenager One".

He now returns to his Playstation, unconcerned that a weaker grown man may have cried.

I return to my coffeemaking duties and promises to not be his chauffeur, as long as it does not effect his schooling, his sports and our holidays... I resolve not to drive him to ....well....somewhere....I'm here for the long haul. I will be revenged.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

I used to be cool..

There was a time we held hands, a time when they sat on my shoulders and they could box my ears and rub my head. Any brusing was worth it. There was a time they wore colours brighter than a rainbow. And now in a twinkle of a peer group's downcast eye, they fade to Goth.

There was a time long ago when I could choose my own wardrobe without fear of guffaws, smirks, giggles or embarrassment. Guffaws collapse to pouting if they, my teenagers, are informed that they were expected to escort me to the shops. Its quid pro quo if I escort them to the disco, they escort me to the shops. They are not happy as they walk and pout.

The Times they are changing to the tune of a chemical clock.

I may have been wrong to think that hip hop could be mastered, but by darn I could still bobby dazzle to the Abba tribute. Pass the tank top, sister.

So was it my pretend "John Travolta Pulp Fiction" dancing, when your friend thought I was not entering into the spirit of being a chaperon at a chaperoned party. Sadly failing to do my duty as a Dad, which was to be a wall flower. There should have been a sign "This is a sregreated area", Old people in the sad area to the left, cool fun-loving kids access all areas. Daughters reminding parents that Dad and sad rhyme and this is a clue to my future life. I should have been happy with a nominated-Driver orange juice and reconciled to hiding by a wall with poor lighting. Instead I cruelly subjected you and your friends to Disco moves that graced many a dancefloor when Pacman was cutting edge. I broke the "pass" laws.

Here I was cruelly dismissed, as I was equally sure that I could still cut it, cutting shapes with the best of them. I had blossomed as a Disco King to re-take his throne, well perhaps I should face the reality of my exaggeration, I blossomed as a Disco Prince with royal parents unknown, well Disco first cousin and fifth in line to the throne, fifth in line and if there is a Black Plague and the powers-that-be recognised a tryst with a eighteenth century lady-in-waiting, that is. Disco King may have been an exaggeration in hindsight, and probably a damn lie in 1980's as well. Disco-distant-relevant-to-the-queen was not a probably pretty sight back then, without alcohol, and is definitely a not quite pretty sight now, with or without alcohol . The mind play tricks on the older orange juiced mind. I think I am ripping up the form book and unwittingly ripping up respect in the adult-child relationship.

I have become an embarassment to all things born the wrong side of 1997. Apparently its not only my double chin that is telling them and me that I am growing old. My teenagers are telling me by the use of upcast thrown eyes. It is now my fashion sense that is so uncool I could substitute for a fridge.
Life is changing as my careful clinging to my youth is being critiqued. My fashion is compared to tramps. My fashion rests on Classic T-shirts and baggy shorts that are now deemed inappropriate, when apparently I should be wearing a cardigan and taking a dog for a walk. And we do not even have a dog. Being rock'n'roll is for them and not me.

Tough, I admit without care I do not care if I am a leper amongst the fashion streets of trouser-wearers, if this means trousers are at half mast, half-heartily clinging to a buttock allowing an unfetching taste in underwear to be known to the outside world. Nowadays I could sadly but accurately describe teenage trousers as low cut, where a generation ago it was dresses. I think my generation is winning hands down on this 'low cut' fashion style.

And so in a moment of middle-aged realism, I realise I am sane, my underwear, my generation's underwear is under my trousers, our trousers. I am the one eyed man in the land of the blind. I must be strong and loyal to my former 100% cotton T-shirts, that are now approximately 80% cotton and 20% air ventilated. They may see my vest but not my pants. The battle of the T-shirt must be won for the sake of holy 80's bands.

I will dance, I will wear denim and damn the disgrace. No mirrors please. No Mobile phone camera work please.
Mad and Dad rhymes too.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Economic Control of the Purse Strings

The ultimate power ~ the power of a credit card- a CD wanted, CD costs money, my money, a CD left wanted, a CD on a shelf. Respect is demanded by a simple "No". A car may be washed by a teenager. I may reward it or deem it part of a filial duty, especially with a chimney still to sweep

But then its a birthday, its a first day of school, its Christmas, its Three Kings, its St Martins ~who?, its last day of school, its the third Thursday in a month, its essential for doing Biology homework. Nevermind Biology homework, when in the name of all things name-able did Psychology become a subject for thirteen year-olds. I am being out-manouvred by a kid. I am feeling guilty and soon I will be regretting my weakness, as I have thrash metal surround sound. The neighbours can share in the musical spectacular, we are generous. They appear to appreciate music as they bang on our front door like a drum machine, if somewhat out of sync. But their musical beat contribution must wait to be unappreciated, until there is a break in the death-thrash-bomb-the-bass-beat, a lull for me to realise there may be soon a heated debate over Rock'n' Roll is Noise pollution, and call me a shamen but I did not need a crystal ball for deciding the agenda of communication with my reddening neighbour and his red-faced home-owner ~ me. All because schooling has shifted to a new curriculum that is introducing blackmail as a career choice under another name ~psychology.

But wait, at least, he ~ my teenager ~ has done his Biology homework. Hurrah. Except I have been pushed time had come to step up to the plate.... the time to take things seriously and avoid the grandchildren for a decade or so. But wait another cotton picking minute......

My duties in teaching the birds and the bees has been usurped by a clinical, factual lesson on sexual education that may have saved my blushing cheeks. But wait a flippin'-hell-freezes-over moment, my cheeks are not ready for this traffic light like changing colouring, I am blushing. My boy is now an expert and on a mission of discovery. I fear theory is about to enter practicals. But first there is a few things he'd like to double-check and damn....

His theoretical knowledge has now lent a certain gravitas to the teenager question time, that follows as sure as night follows day. I was now a victim of trial by teenager and my innocence was a handicap. The late, later, latest hours of the evening television programming ad-breaks now dedicated to the Grand Teenquisitor of "did I do's", "why was'", "didn't you's", "no really, but's" ....damn it, this is supposed to be about third party birds and bees, not me. This never happens with maths homework, and can we talk about bi-nomial theorems rather than the why's and wherefore's of bi's. I want my life to be back to normal and it starts with getting my nomial back.

This is an ambush of adult deviance that I hardly new existed, but I feel I should. My boy knows more than me. I feel I have missed out and I do not know if you should ask your mother if a bisexual has his and hers condoms.

This is re-writing Evolution theory as Survival of the Fetishest. And no your pocket money is not going to be increased for "necessities". Grandpa!....I may be being blackmailed again.

Friday, 28 May 2010

I done wrong many years ago

I am a parent, but I was a teenager once.

I have found out things with age, I have grown old, I have not seen a burning bush, I may have seen a smouldering ash pile, I have seen a few inconsequential things, I have witnessed consequential things by a cathode ray and a plasma screen, I have deduced things and today's deduction is a Biblical spelling error. When the Lard spok of the innocent child being born inherent with Sins of the Father. This is a mistake. Errors happen, these things happen, a slip of a finger, a misjudged interruption, a lack of a reading age above 3 and some Middle Age printing press spreading knowledge to the masses printed the text "Sins of the father". And it should have read "Sins against the Father". Children born to be teenagers to rage against the father. And, dear Lord... I was a Sinner.

I was a son and I was a teenager and I was not that nice.

At that time, many years ago, I was transformed physically by chocolates and a fair bit of footy from a cute ten year old into a zit infested lanky fella. Over the years I have been transformed physically by chocolates and insufficient exercise into a grumpy middle aged fella that does not like being called 'lardy'.

And I have also changed metaphorically as the responsibility of the years, the career, the parenthood, the mortgage, the deaths of the immortals that I used to call Dad and Mum, years that ground me down as responsibility bears down.

Now I am Father and I am that nice. I have learnt as the knees have fallen foul of years of bendy twisting mazy dribbles and the odd foul. I know in the present tense that my famed free-kick ability is in the 'was' category of conversation. I have learned in the future tense that one day I must accept it is not only the knees that fail.

I am learning that I must accept. And that sperm of the of Me is reeking its revenge, my son's grandfather is probably turning in his grave with laughter and smiling a "well now can I remind you what you shouted at me and yer mother when you were thirteen, thirteen and 1 month, thirteen 1 month and 4 days, thirteen 1 month......seventeen".

I am humbled and haunted in my own guilt. I must accept. Been there and done that and was not right but was a right......

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Chair Incident

It was a warm, barmy evening, I could have been mistaken for an old fella with a beer belly, sitting like a beached whale on a sofa , watching telly with the worst of my generation probably doing the same. I was not only capable of being mistaken for an old fella, I was an old belly-up-left-and -centre-of-a-belt fella. I was a lapsed calorie-offender making another mistake en route to the weighing scales. And that mistake was an extra chocolate bar, when I was doing nearly well whilst following an Atkins or was it ..never mind was a diet involving a lack of chocolate and generally anything vaguely scrummy. I succumbed, I indulged and new trousers ~elasticated ~ were the order of the day... well the next forty years .....touch wood.

I was that fella. I was kind of happy with my lot and accepting of the reduced view of my feet due to a belly. I was calm, it was Friday, work was a distant memory. Monday was an age away. I was comfortable in middle age spread for once.

Then slowly but surely a distant whispering crescendo-ed in possibly minutes, these early noises, I was trained to ignore. A first mistake these were minutes in the early years of teenage, I ignored at my peril.... voices heard in octave busting clarity ended with a clatter........ and then some cries of hatred called out like a defining moment on World History...what had he done... what was now lost to Mankind,, there were interspersed crying tears. I am afraid. I am home alone with teenagers.

I was being called to be a father, a father who had to adjudicate on a Sibling rivalry incident...the Chair Incident.

As any good detective I surveyed the scene. There was good news - there was no body. I had to evaluate instead between the clothes that littered the floor, the boxes that littered the floor, the CD, DVD, Gamestation boxes that littered the floor, the unidentified objects that littered the floor and was that a crisp wrapper it was three crisp wrappers; and as a good detective I was there to evaluate what was there before and after.

The ~after~ by clever logic of the blindingly obvious, as a chair lay broken in two and a sister claiming that this was her most worthy, best-est ever chair and now it was broken by a heartless cruel older brother with evil in his blood and original sin as birth defect. He, on the other competing hand, professed in a series of shouts that between the injustices and mockery of human rights that his parent's shortcomings were, that he had forewarned the claimant ~ his sister ~ this foreign object ...the chair...should be removed forthwith from his personal space i dot e dot what we shall now call his bedroom. It should not have been his room, room spelt HIS ROOM and was therefore legally evicted by the defendent, in the absence of any effort by said sister to even hint at raising a little finger to raise the plastic of the chair upwards or as we should now call the chair ~the broken chair~ and that in the absence of any sign of actual removing the offending object, he ~the defendent or as the criminals courts may refer to him in about two years time ~ a teenage deliquent from a broken home, as the obvious escalation of the seed event "a.k.a. the broken chair incident" by any known law of nuclear family chain reaction ~, but anyway, he ~the teenage delinquent ~ used unnecessary and uncalled for violence on an object destined to have become a treasured heirloom for her ~ the victim's~ children and my ~ a sad person's~ grandchildren.

Tensions were still high and if little fingers could not be raised, middle fingers were being secretly ...well not so secretly... shown. Calling in the social workers was an alternative, an alternative to be averted, but how?

A Father has got to do what a Father's got to do. I snapped.... not literally because I have a perspective as an adult... I snapped the plastic seat of the chair into the metal frame of the chair, the family heirloom was as if new, I demanded apologies of both to be given and sent both to do their own thing. The Chair incident was over, just like my television programme.

The next years will be long and without televised entertainment.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Teen language Part 2

In my day and age, when flares were corduroyed and Starsky and Hutch were cool, ...yes...really. We had words knownst only to us, well the subtlety was knownst only to us. We were left-of-centre, we were cocky, we had DMs. We had kagools that probably would have had us called fore-runners of hoodies, if CCTV was there to make us famous. Been there and wished I really hadn't done that for the sake of a peer group acceptance, now that I'm looking back.

Today it is not words, its sms's in a language of abbreviations to fool an Enigma machine. Not only a shortcut language, they have signs, smiley signs carefully adjusted colons, dashes, semi colons and Ds.

They have handshakes that would make a congratulatory handshake after a Wembley final hat trick by Stanley Matthews look like a probable cause of arrest for attempted assault with a wonky hand by an overzealous team-mate. Stanley would have thought he was about to be half Nelson'd by Mick McManus, as opposed to the "Undertaker", "Scorpion King" or the something-that-sounds-frightening-to-children. That is children as opposed teenagers. Teenagers who have disowned the prized posssession of yesteryear ~ the multi-jointed long haired mega-expensive man-doll called "The Fridge", although yesteryear was last year and a bit.

All those Wrestlers from the wrong side of the publicity stunt, multi-jointed short-arsed version of Action Man that are now as uncool as a white stripe on a red car.

Today I am supposed to know how to rap to talk to my son. Today I need to dance like a robot gangsta with my pants where my trousers should be, to walk with my daughter.

Maybe the next generation is destined to be brickees.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Teen language Part 1

In German, Spanish or other wonderful languages that I fail to learn better than to nod hello and wave goodbye , the hand signals are necessary in case I get it wrong and wave hello.

In these languages there is a trap, probably designed that foreign learners are disuaded from prematurely amputating the hands and losing all senses of communication.

In these languages besides false friends such that 'constipation' is cured by a cough mixture in Madrid, there are accentuated syllables..... designed to be fallen foul of. Accents on syllables meaning in, say, a four syllable word the first part or middle part or penultimate part of even the final end bit is meant to shouted, whilst all others are whispered. And in certain other words the shouting parts of the word means the word is transformed into something ever so subtley different. So an innocent abroad could be talking in the present whilst meaning the past and in short the locals are giggling very much in the present and in your presence. In short a nightmare.

But this nightmare is nothing... is nowt... is but a small pimple on the bum of humanity to a teenager accenting his words in each idiosyncratic syllable, so if I would say "I had one yesterday" as perhaps and per chance a 'bath'. For me this would be a true statement and indeed like other adults in the modern world probably true of today too. For my son this statement may be a lie in that he may or may not have had a bath, the smell is suggesting, tending to say.... it may be tending to indicate that is a lie of about grey on the white lie to absolute whopper scales. However I digress the response that my boy says, and when I say 'says', I mean shouts as in "I HAD ONE YES-TER-DAY". Tonsils are wind-tunnelling to the Extreme. Each and every syllable is accentuated for the benefit of all adults present. 'Pardon' is made redundant in the father-teenage son relationship.

My hearing may not last the next few years, the Battle of the Hygiene is not yet over.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Disco by any other name

My daughter announced she had a love of dance and wanted to spend my hard earned cash dancing. Later this new love of dance was proven to be that her friends were doing it, so loving dancing appears to have morphed from her idea of loving to "keeping friends". I was happy, she was making friends, she would get exercise, she could be the next Olivia Newton John and I know I am old by virtue of a namecheck.

Dancing was and is good, and I must admit that I used to cut a few shapes back in the day .......and at the end of this dancing masterclass there was to be Spectacular in a proper theatre.

Expensive tickets were bought by a sold-out crowd of parents, aunts, and third cousins that jockeyed for seats in the free for all seating arrangements of the proper amateur theatre experience, but at least the seating was on a slope. It was a crowd that taught me a new lesson in evolutionary theory. Evolution of Man and survival of the fittest rested on who had the pointiest elbow. And beware grannies bearing umbrellas and false teeth smiles.

I was a newby lost in with the "Vets" ~ The Regulars with older children that had their phase of loving dance, they had specially darned scarves evenly distributed to mark their claim for the first three rows. Obviously their holiday towel training had gone well. So we were forced to the rear rows and thanked the Lord that we had pointily elbowed our way out of the seat with a panoramic view of a column, we had elbows and knew how to use it. We had been saved from "audio only" ticket that would have singled us out as he who is the one called nerd, son of nerd, son of the geek.

Game on after 15 minutes of waiting and watching the scarf with jealousy, just in case there was a chance of pinzer action and a taking of the lowgrounds. But no curtains were raised and the Regulars miraculosly appeared at the last minute to take the seats draped in the honour guard of the Scarf.

On they came, the dancers......danced...well I say danced...well, no, actually ...on they skipped.... there was to be fair a bizarre twirl of a body enhanced by a trailing scarf that probably had released a half a dozen seats in its hey day.... after such exertions the dancing apparently took on the form of sitting on the floor..... then a sitting on a magic sofa...a lounging about on the sofa that appeared to be based on the young dancers, or perhaps correctly, the sitters posed as in artistic poses, but I could be wrong...the sofa went to far worlds where modern dance appeared to have replaced all forms of communication... in the name of God, this was Modern Dance that bar for a daughter on stage to make me feel duty bound to sit and clap and stay put and overcome a certain fear and loathing, they had inflicted upon me Modern Dance. Was I warned, was there a note on the ticket ~Warning Modern Dance may be boring ~ I would have asked for my money back... but damn it, I ask you ...I looked on....I spit in the face of peer group pressure to clap....skipping is not difficult....I could have done it ~skipping~ and without ten weeks of training, and what did we pay for again....although admittedly if I had actually skipped I probably would have regretted the swollen knees tomorrow. I am growing old. I duly clapped. I have learned that love is clapping Modern Dance when your daughter is skipping and twirling a scarf.

And in all this there was a certainly fatherly pride that as skipping goes my daughter's skipping had a grace, a physical eloquence that any comparisons to heffalumps were safely avoided. It is a strange quirk of fatherhood that unholy of unholies things that got ganders up further than absolutely necessary in former times, those rants I entered into at drop of a hat over one or several beers in single-dom pubs are now condoned and not condemned. I am maturing, but is it fast enough to withstand the coming teenage storm.

This is still, at least, sub thirteen behaviour... we await when she wants to go proper nightclub dancing and I may yearn for the easy applause of seeing my daughter skip across a stage.