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The Maturing Year - Part 2…
Chris Longden, Features Writer
Budgies - photo by Holly Clark
Feedback from my previous column about conversations with my daughter were all quite positive, but someone noted, “don’t you ever talk to your son then?”

Certainly, I do. Well, I try to. But he's going through a phase at the moment where, whatever I say to him, is met with the response of:

“I dunno. Speak to my agent.”

Which gets a bit wearing after a while. Especially when you’re only asking him if he’s remembered to wipe his bum.

So here we go then, another segment of the observations from my daughter (who turned 13) during 2017:

HER: "I know that you old people are always saying they’d hate to be my age, ‘cause we aren’t capable of talking to a human, rather than texting – but I think that we’re actually better off now – today."

ME: "In what way?"

HER: "Well, look at how you grew up. Being told the Yorkshire Ripper was on every street corner. And people had to go to launderettes, unless they thought that they were posher than everyone else, and could afford a washing machine. And your video-things got chewed up in the player all of the time. And all you had to listen to was groups like that Duran Duran with their horrible hair and heroin problems. And didn’t everyone have acne? And now at least… er…"

Duran Duran - photo by Andreas Komodromos
ME: "Now?"

HER: "Yeah! Now – we have caller recognition. It must have been terrifying when the house phone rang, and you had no idea who was at the other end of it."

“It’s such a shame that the Christmas carols are all about God. I mean – that doesn’t bother me – but if they could only take the God-stuff out, they might actually attract people into going to church. And then once they’re inside the place, then they could properly learn about God, without all of the God-stuff getting in the way. If that makes sense.”

HER: "Hey – look at the budgie! He’s gone all … funny. He’s making really odd, quiet chirping noises that he doesn’t normally do."

ME: "Yeah, I wonder if it’s because he’s never heard this sort of music before. I mean, he normally starts screeching when there's any sort of music on."

HER: “OH EM GEE! I know why! I know what’s up with him! This Christian pop music you’ve put on has BRAINWASHED him! He’s lost all of his personality. He’ll be out there blocking abortion clinics if we’re not careful. Just like you did, at that freaky extremist school you went to.”

Also by Chris Longden...
Budgie Escapade
A Mother And Her 13 Yr Old Daughter, Holmfirth Cafe On A Sunny Sunday
Inventions Of Paradise
A Re-Roofing Jobby
Part 3 - The Final Frontier: Stupidity Vs Maturity
ME: "You can scoff all your like at my schooling, but at least it got me some good qualifications. And don't do the OMG thing. It sounds common."

HER: "Actually, it must have been a seriously cool way to get your GCSE in Religious Studies – watching your teacher getting arrested.”

ME: "Them were the days. Good old 1980’s. Teachers can’t beat a child with a Jesus sandal anymore. It's political correctness gone mad, so it is."

HER: "But 'did you no harm,' like all you old folk say."

ME: "Exactly. I actually wouldn’t have swapped that schooling for anything. Yes it was ... totally bats. But I thought for myself. And I challenged things. I moved on and I moved away. And it made me who I am.”

HER: “Is this why we’re listening to this weird, spaced-out Christian music all of these years later then…?

“Mum - I just want to say thank you for everything that you’ve done for me in my life. I’m really beginning to see it all - and to appreciate it all. And maybe one day my brother will too – and stop being such a selfish swine. Although I doubt it.”

The Maturing Year - Part 2…, 29th December 2017, 16:04 PM