Tag Archives: the young are great

Trying Times

They say that one of the telltale signs of age is how all the policemen seem to be getting younger. I can top that.

One of the real telltale signs of age is when your son gets called for jury duty.

A interesting official-looking letter arrived for Tinson1 yesterday while he was at college, and by sliding around the window on the front of the envelope we were able to determine that he had received such a summons. This ensured that we were all gathered around to watch his dumbfounded reaction when he opened it.

It’s only in the Circuit Court so he won’t be doing a murder trial or anything, but on December 7th some person accused of of theft/affray/knocking off a policeman’s hat/failing to indicate when leaving a roundabout (ok, the last one is not actually a crime, but it should be) will have his fate partly decided by a young man who less than a decade ago needed velcro to keep his shoes on.

On the bright side for the defendant, as some of you will remember Tinson1 was baton-charged by the police during a student march last year, so unless said defendant actually says “ok yes, I did it” there’s a fair chance that Tinson1 will vote to acquit him.

Righteous Dude

In the same week that I mentioned that there are no real sins anymore, the BBC reports that the iPhone now has an app that can help you with your confession.

Developer Patrick Leinen said he was inspired by a papal message in January in which the pope asked “that young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society.” Indeed, the app was given an imprimatur (that’s a good thing) by the Bishop of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Thanks, BBC website

The attached photo shows how they help you decide whether you’ve broken the First Commandment or not. I have to say it strikes me as a bit heavy, and if you’re to contemplate each commandment as thoroughly as this one then the priest will have gone home by the time you’re ready.

Essentially the app should be as simple as possible, as a young person with an iPhone has plenty of things he would rather be doing than deciding whether the fact that he’s seen Last House on the Left means that he’s been involved in superstitious practices. He’d sooner get back to texting his mates or watching YouTube videos, especially since he’s now allowed to use his iPhone in church (no mum, I’m preparing for confession).

So here is my app,which will sticks to just one question per commandment (and yes, I did have to look all ten up, could only remember eight).

I’m calling it the Tin Commandments app.

Ice Maidens

When I was a teenage boy I was terrified of teenage girls.

Whenever I was in close proximity to one (or, more likely, a group, they congregated in covens) I could feel my face grow uglier, my spots grow bigger, my clothes grow uncooler. If one of them spoke to me I would mumble some reply, normally making fun of myself, in a semi-broken voice that would change pitch by two octaves in mid-sentence, making me sound like a hyena crossed with a donkey. All of us boys knew that we were shapeless lumps of shambling idiocy, whilst the girls our age were beautiful visions of cool sophistication.

When I got older, of course, I realised that this wasn’t true, that the girls were just as terrified and unsure of themselves as we were. The only difference is that while we were hiding behind a mask of shoving each other, playing air guitar and farting as loudly as possible, the girls were hiding behind a mask of liberally applied make-up and cold disdain.

How much easier our teen years would have been if each gender had realised this about the other.

Anyway, why drag these old (very old, unfortunately, when I was last a teenage boy Capricorn One was in the cinema and Yes Sir I Can Boogie was in the charts, and I realise sadly that most of you will have heard of neither) humiliations out into the public domain? Well, Tingirl (14 next month) had a friend stay over last night. When I got up this morning they were in the sitting room watching TV. As I walked through two heads turned toward me in perfect unison, stared at me expressionlessly for about one second, then turned in unison back to the TV. And for that one second I once again felt stripped to my soul, dismissed and two feet tall, all at the same time.

I pity the teenage boys of our town.

Schools In

The schools have gone back this week. Even if you have no children of school age you would have guessed this because of the following:

  • The shopping centres are deserted during the daytime;
  • The weather is suddenly fantastic;
  • The County Councils have decided that now would be a good time to start all those roadworks that they’ve been putting off all summer.

On the bright side the morning streets are filled with little groups of teenagers, uniformed and wearing schoolbags the size and shape of Volkswagen Beetles, walking along in little groups, smiling, chatting and laughing.

The young are great.

One of His Five a Day

When I said yesterday that caring for the Tinsons was going to be a doddle, I wasn’t kidding.

When I got up this morning Tinson1 had gone running, and this was on the kitchen table:


Of course, I know it can be spread on bread, but the loaf  of bread I so lovingly baked bought for them them is still unopened. The inescapable conclusion therefore, Watson, is that Tinson1’s breakfast consisted of a couple of spoons of that chocolatey stodge, straight from the jar.

The jar claims that it’s packed with over 50 hazelnuts, which is at least something. Its other ingredients are: sugar, veg oil, fat-reduced cocoa (?), skimmed milk powder (what’s the point of all the fat-reducing and skimming, when the first ingredient is “sugar”?), emulsifier (to paint your insides nutella-colour), vanillin (nah, me neither, perhaps it’s a mixture of vanilla and penicillin – just think, an ice-cream that kills bacteria, the ultimate comfort food), and, finally, whey powder, in the only occurence in history where the word ‘whey’ is not accompanied by the words ‘little’, ‘miss’ and ‘muffet’.

He ate all that, and then went running.

Truly, the young have stomachs of iron.

I Don’t Think So

Tinson2’s friend was here yesterday, and at one stage as I walked through the living-room they were on the computer. Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of the word in the Google search-box and got all the way to the kitchen before my brain, which had been thumping frantically on the inside of my forehead with it’s fist, finally got me to listen to what it was trying to tell me. I walked back to the living-room.

“Why are you looking up Sky-Diving?” I asked.

“We want to see how old you have to be before you can do it”, said Tinson2.

“Ah crap, it says you have to be eighteen,” said Tinson2’s Friend. “Wait though, it says you can do it if you’re sixteen as long as you have parental permission.”

“Great,” said Tinson2, “only a year & a half to go (they’re 14 & a bit).

“I think you’ll find,” I said, “that the most important part of what TS2’sF just said is not the word ‘sixteen’, but rather the two words ‘parental permission’.”

As this sank in they became crestfallen so quickly that I could actually see their crests falling. Then I saw a thought jump into both their heads so clearly that it was as if I could actually see a light-bulb turn on above them.

“Listen,” I said, “I want you both to promise me something. If you know somewhere where you can get really good fake ID, I want you to promise me you’ll just use it to go drinking.”

Sometimes parenting is just about accepting the lesser of two evils.


Just after I wrote this I went off on a blog-tour, and found that LaughyKate had written this.