Obviously without knowing it I have offended someone in my son’s school. Either that or the teachers at Kilmaine Primary take delight in tormenting the parents of children in their care.
My son Christopher is an ordinary, typical boy of 8 years old. Noisy and boisterous only goes part of the way to describing the experience of living with him. But in truth he is more lively than is really good for me. So when he passed some secret musical aptitude test, imagine my delight when some stealthy cabal at the school elected to teach him how to play the trumpet. Do they even once give a thought to us?
What makes matters worse is that whilst I can barely get an asthmatic puff out of it, he, unfortunately, has the remarkable capacity to make it roar, as if the thing was an extension of his already overworked vocal cords.
Now we’re woken in the morning by his clarion call at the bottom of the stairs and the dog hasn’t appeared for a week. And since his best friend is the only other person in the school to have the privilege of trumpet lessons, I’m dreading the next sleepover. You can understand my suspicions of a conspiracy.
So, thinking I should get some revenge on someone for this, I’ve decided to use him to offer appropriate fanfares for the best news stories of the week. Prize for the daftest technology of the week is the shower that can be switched on by text message. Seriously. Prize for the worst job of the week to the one who must extract the celebrity dna from the (eh) septic tank overflows on Malibu beach.
Best duh-de-duh however to the town of Boston in Lincolnshire…officially the most obese town in England. Govt officials are responding to the award with the lightning reflexes of the svelt and athletic by developing classes in eating vegetables. I ask you! Makes me wonder whether it is possible to be fat in the head.
Now tell me, what do you do with a result like that. Are you top or bottom of the league? Do the body shape fascists now have licence to persecute poor unfortunates on Boston streets? And just how much information do we really need? And what about texting your shower. When asked why? One user declared, well the technology exists so why not? Exactly. Just because you can does it mean you should? Like teaching my already noisy child to play the trumpet. Just because you can is it really sensible?
But then again…there are times when you can and you should. There are some in St Andrews thinking hard about that at the moment.
[This was a BBC Radio Ulster Thought for the Day on Friday 13 October. The reference to St Andrews was to the political talks being hosted in the Scottish town with an intention of sorting Northern Ireland’s unneccessarily protracted peace process.]