GETTING information about school from my 12-year-old boy is like pulling teeth.
And I don’t mean a licence to print money (have you been to the dentist’s recently? £200 for a crown! At that price, it better come with a sceptre).
When I say it’s like pulling teeth, I mean it’s difficult. This week I asked him what happened at school that day. “Nothing,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.“Well something must have happened,” I said. “No, nothing.”
Normally, this would be followed by me insisting he went through the day lesson by lesson, but I decided to let it go.
I asked him about his school project instead. He gave me a grunt. His football team? Rolled eyes. After much questioning he regaled me of his day through a series of sighs, mumbles, groans, frowns and glares.
How do you get kids to talk? Waterboarding? It works, but doesn’t half mess the carpet – at least that’s what the NHS helpline operator told me.
Twenty minutes later he added: “Oh, and I saw a dead body in the school field today.”
What? I didn’t know which was the most shocking. A dead body at school, or that it came in at about fifth in order of importance when telling me about his day.
“Yeah,” he continued. “I saw it from the classroom window.”
“And what did the teacher do?” I asked, my voice heavy with scepticism. “She screamed,” he replied.
Turned out whatever he had spotted, really did look like a body, resulting in the caretaker and teachers heading out to investigate.
“And what did they find?”
“And empty tent,” he said.
Which prompted the question: How does an empty tent look like a dead body?
“Well,” he said. “There was a blanket sticking out that looked like legs, a cushion that looked like a head. There was also a spilled tin of beans. That looked like his hair.”
With anecdotes like that, I’d probably rather he stuck with the grunts and sighs. Or waterboard him to keep his mouth shut.
I’m going in the wrong direction
DON’T know if you’ve heard, but One Direction are set to play the Stadium of Light next summer … assuming they stay together that long.
Two years ago they didn’t exist. Now they are the biggest boy band in the world.
By next summer they may well have broken up, citing musical differences.
Which would be ironic, since all the songs sound the same.
I would say that though because I am a father in my forties. It’s part of the job description.
Anything with a full head of hair, unblemished skin and sunny disposition must be brought down a peg or two by a withering put down.
Fortunately, I am surrounded by equally-cynical ageing journos.
Maybe we should bring out an Ageing Cynic Sunderland Echo.
Perhaps then, rather than the chirpy 1D To Play SoL headline we chose for yesterday’s front page, we’d have opted for the one muttered by a fellow hack on hearing the news: X Factor Losers Play Gig Shocker.
An ageing cynic Echo might be a big seller among the over-40s.
The Glumderland Echo anyone?