“I am going to be so full of road rage when I pass my test,” my 17-year-old son informed me this weekend, his knuckles whitening on the steering wheel.
He then proceeded to demonstrate his rage by berating the motorist in front of us for having the temerity to drive at about two miles per hour under the 30mph limit for that stretch of road.
You have to feel for the younger generation these days. It must be awful to carry the burden of being right all the time on such young shoulders.
For the record, I had taken our Bradley out for a driving lesson and he, despite criticising other road users, always obeys the speed limits.
However, rather than seeing speed limits as a guide to sensible driving, he sees them as targets to be reached in the quickest possible time and, in his ideal world, reached in the lowest possible gear. I believe it’s a teenage boy thing. They thrive on the noise of wailing engines and the smell of burning clutch plates.
We spend a fortune on expensive designer trainers for our eldest, but he drives like he’s wearing deep sea diving boots.
Given that our Bradley is full of road rage before he’s passed his test, I don’t doubt it will continue should he ever pass. Come to think of it, like most teenagers, the rage doesn’t just stop at the roads.
Pavement rage, footpath rage even, I’ll wager, shopping aisle rage. There’s no transport route that the average teenager will not rage against. Providing it’s after 12noon, of course, they don’t do morning rage.
I mention this only because the research and policy organisation, the Resolution Foundation, has revealed this week that, without action, young people will become “increasingly angry” in the near future.
Not sure how they’re going to manage that. Maybe they’re going to have to stay up later to maximise their seething ball of fury time.
The Foundation says young people are locked out of the housing market and getting a much worse deal than the generation before. The contract between young and old, says the Foundation’s researchers, has “broken down.”
Crikey, I don’t remember signing that contract, but I don’t like the sound of it. I bet they shoved it under my nose when I was in shock shortly after his birth.
The Foundation’s answer to the problem is the recommendation that the government give all young adults £10,000 at the age of 25. Oh, and tax the old to pay for it.
That’s not fair. Why should my financial acumen and investment flair (for being born at just the right time to benefit from a housing boom four decades later) be punished, just because the world we created for our children leaves them at a severe disadvantage? They should have managed their time better. No, we should maintain the status quo.
The youth like raging. And if it saves me a few bob, I’m happy to add Smug Parent Rage to their collection.