In which our reluctant hero gets a bit ranty and goes on an unexpected trip. Or something.
Wednesday was a working at home day to cover school duties, as apparently ladies now have proper jobs as well as being mums. Girl Power, comrades. Girl Power.
With everyone deposited in their respective classrooms, I had time to kill before harvest festival assembly. This is what is commonly referred to as “taking one for the team.”
Over the years, I had forgotten that harvest services almost exclusively involve children reading out (very) loud(ly) and singing at a pitch that would make a dog wince. Still, it’s nice that the school is making the effort, and nice to see the fruits of the children’s collective labours, so to speak.
I’ll give the little one her dues too, she put everything into her performance, belting “Big Red Combine Harvester” out with the gusto of a young Grampy Rabbit.
A couple of things stuck in my mind, asides from the singing, after the assembly finished and the children had shuffled back into class.
When I was little, the collection at our church harvest helped provide Christmas hampers for the local pensioners. I don’t recall if they needed them or not, but it seemed a nice gesture.
By contrast, in 2017, some working people can’t even feed themselves let alone their families. The school collection was to support the local food bank. How has this happened? Shame on you Maybot and your army of Blue Meanies.
Secondly, is it really too much to ask a grown up human parent to manage twenty phone free minutes while their child is performing? Especially if they are stood in the naughty spot at the front having turning up late.
What message does it send out?
“Yeah, sorry I couldn’t be arsed getting there on time. A couple more watches of “Ninja Cat” on YouTube and I’ll be right with you. What?”
Just don’t come. It’s kids singing songs and saying prayers. We all know it’s not going to be King Lear. Possibly not even Googlebox or You’ve Been Framed. People don’t normally go to gigs to stand there filming it and miss everything, or WhatsApp their way through two hours at the cinema, do they? Oh.
OK. A modern portable telephone is no longer the brick that you rack up a ninety quid text bill on if there’s time between games of snake. It’s a phone, an organiser, a telegram machine, a library, tellybox, wireless and cinema.
You can join in by instantly sharing photos of the same strange events that everyone else is sharing. Like on Monday, when half of Britain simultaneously Facebooked the same photo of a normal looking sky having forgotten to turn “auto white balance” off in the camera settings. Isn’t technology marvellous?
Practically every bit of information ever discovered is there at your fingertips. You simply have to Ask Jeeves.
“Why is the child crying now Jeeves?”
“Because it is stood there singing its heart out wanting some attention and you’re looking at your phone. Again.”
There is something weirdly addictive about the small screen though. It’s the electronic equivalent of whatever they lace KFC with to make you crave it twice a week, even though you know that it’s horrible.
The kids argue relentlessly about which programme to watch on the big telly…
“I don’t like Peppa Pig.”
“I’m not watching Topsy and Tim.”
“Well I’m not watching Duggie either.”
“I’m not your best friend ANY MORE!”
But give them a tablet with iPlayer Kids installed and guess what they’ll watch together. Yep. “(d.) All of the above.” Every time.
Should I blame the mum? As a society, we’re being helplessly swept up in a whirlwind of noise and (useless) information. Yet, my answer is of course yes, and for no other reason than it’s really rude.
She’s probably also the person at the front of the queue at the bank or supermarket, blabbering away while some other poor person tries their best to serve them. When I am King, these idiots will be first against the wall. Bing and his friends will be second.
“Well, all this ranting about stuff that doesn’t really matter is all very nice…” I hear you mutter, through hamster-like cheeks brimming with Friday’s chippy tea. “But where’s the disaster?”
Assembly done, I headed back home to do some proper, less stressful, work.
Normally our attic bedroom offers a quiet place to get on with stuff. However, we’re in the final stages of having our roof re-laid. Cue much banging and the obligatory singalong to whatever the roofers are listening to on Awful FM while up there.
A more creative solution was required, so I improvised an office utilising the pull out table from our three year old’s bed, and a set of bathroom steps balanced on a tiny stool. What could possibly go wrong?
I don’t think that anybody on my project initiation dial-in heard the cracks of the steps breaking or my back demolishing the small mountain of our little person’s drum kit. A couple of days later, I’m sporting a bruise on my back the size of a foot. It just goes to show, children and working are bad for your health.