I shall mark this week down in my diary as the week I witnessed so much human stupidity I began to feel like a lonely intellectual with only my lute and protractor for company. Where do I begin?
Well I watched the apprentice for the first time in years. I'm only preparing to be self employed again and Lord knows I wouldn't like to be judged on my track record last time around but do the contestant's mothers know they are out? Do they have mothers or were they spawned in petri dishes? Throughout that programme all I could hear was my grandmother saying empty cans rattle the loudest. Quite remarkable if amusing in a somewhat cruel fashion. Can it be long before Sir Alan goes on a machine gun rampage?
Later in the week I saw a young mum and a young mum to be having a heated discussion about something that could only be of importance to the sort of people who appear on the Jeremy Kyle Show. It's hard to say who won given that the entire squabble managed to pass under my head but the moment that will stay with me to the grave is young mum threatening to boot mum be in the bump. More alarming still she was cheered on by her bovine mates for this. I was horrified enough at the young men present for joining in but for a group of young women including several mothers to applaud someone for in effect threatening to induce an abortion is disgusting. I have not of course overlooked the fact that mum to be was giving as good as she got on the threats front.
When I was a schoolgirl a number of my school friends found themselves suddenly pregnant. Without exception this had such a calming effect on them I always suspected it might have been hormone induced. Lord knows how one would account for the behaviour mentioned above. Perhaps Farmfoods are putting something in their icepoles.
We also had several young chaps into our surgery with their parents for advice on the best way to throw said young chaps out the house. What could have brought on such a display of tough love? What crime had these boys committed? Well the young fellows had spoken to careers advisers and decided to get jobs. To be fair one of the boys was going into insurance but until that racket is made illegal then he shouldn't be judged. Apparently if the boys take up work their parents benefits would be affected. The boys protestations that they would pay dig money fell on deaf ears. I only met with one of the families and that was one too many.
The mother was convinced that as her boy had asthma he should spend the rest of his life on benefits. The boy on the other hand felt that as his asthma was only very mild and that he hardly used his inhaler he was fit to work. The boy who stated that his worst nightmare was to end up 'like everyone else round here' was in my view a walking miracle. How such a household of fools produced a well spoken, reasonably intelligent fine young man I'll never know. He's on the waiting list for a flat near me and I hope he gets it soon. What mentality of parent doesn't want to see their children do better than them? Much as I mock my own parents I can see that I've been bloody lucky. Even when I went through my new age phase they were right behind me.
Finally my most detested of work colleagues who was made redundant last year is back, back, back. This time as my assistant. I am not making this up- God knows I wish I was. It is just as well I'm looking for a new job and going on to start a business because I don't know how much more I can take. On Thursday I strolled into work to find him sitting at my desk talking to himself and giggling at an empty excel spreadsheet. That was bad enough but later he went on to tell us that his daughter is moving in with him because he is cool. After a small amount of questioning we discovered that his daughter thinks he is cool because he buys her drink before she goes out. Her mother on the other hand refuses to on the grounds that she is seventeen. Sadly we are not talking about a couple of cans of lager here. Not for his 'princess' oh no she gets a litre bottle of vodka to share with her boyfriend of three weeks. Oddly enough her mother disapproves of this.
What is wrong with this scenario -oh let me count the ways. Well first up a boyfriend of three weeks is probably not the best person to be drinking oneself into a coma with. I am quite certain that underneath his baseball cap, trackie and menacing expression he is perfectly nice but statistics alone tell us he's a potential rapist. That's not to tar all men with the same brush but given the choice would you rather your daughter spoke to a strange man or a strange woman?
Secondly even if her boyfriend of three weeks is a perfect gent, will every man she encounters during the evening's festivities be harmless? Will every woman she comes across just be out for a bit of fun and not a fight? Can her seventeen year old liver sustain this level of consumption over her adult life? Am I alone in hearing banjos when a man goes to such lengths to get his daughter drunk?
God if you're reading this, send down the locusts and thunderbolts. It's all gone wrong and I'm fucked if I can fix it.