I don’t recall writing anything to antagonise the wicked Ms Nature recently so I am at a loss as to why lefty is playing up. I can only think that my ex-wife has made some sort of faustian pact because there is no logic in its behaviour. I am getting a lot of pain in my left hand which makes no sense, my right hand is a bit of a historical mess and obviously my wrists, well they are no longer wrists but the left hand is pretty much ‘out of the box’. It’s not arthritic pain and I havent done anything to injure it must be the work of Ms Nature, I am sure a hot bath will resolve it.
I was idly listening to a combination of daughter, mother and grandmother on the train into work this morning and was wondering why people lie to their kids. The daughter was asking various questions about trains and railways in general, when she asked what the external door control was on a passing train nan confirmed it was “where they put the fuel in”. The discussion about the overhead wires and how they were connected to the train revealed that this was the “power that they put into the rails”, this gem confirmed by mum. The daughter was at least 12 and had a smart phone, why not tell her you don’t know the answer. That was three generations that were perpetuating a myth, alright it’s not a critical piece of information but that’s not the point. If you ask me whether cats like lemonade or if mushrooms can hear human voices I will tell you that I don’t know, what is the point in making up the answer. Information is so readily accessible now that there should be no excuse for not providing children with the correct answer. If we lie to our children then they will not trust our answers and there are some pretty important questions that you want them to listen to the answers to. If you don’t want little Janet thinking she can’t get pregnant if Johnny leaves his T-shirt on I suggest that you learn the phrase “I really don’t know, lets look it up”.
It did occur to me that the subject of misinformation may be linked to a conversation from the weekend. I sat in the Driftwood watching fisherman with Dave and we got to wondering, how do you know when its time to move, when you wont catch a fish in that location? We concluded that fish are far from territorial, they don’t have little plots of ocean or river, they just kind of mooch around so presumably if you stay still long enough they will come by. hen of course you have to question night fishing, given that its dark under the sea why would fish be more prone to snacking at night. We concluded that worms must be an obscure delicacy for fish, after all they don’t dig their own do they. Why on earth would a fish decide to eat a worm hanging on a hook any more than I would eat a pencil dangled in front of me. Top marks to Dave though, when we considered why you catch crabs with bacon his response was “well bacon goes with crab”. Have generations of fishermen used worms because one young boy asked his dad what fish eat and rather than admit he didn’t know he said “worms”. A final word on fishing, it disproves the theory that I read in a paper today that nature favours cooperation. You see if fish cooperated then by now they would have sussed us out “Oi Bob have you seen this, there’s a bloody great worm just floating in front of me I’m gonna see what it tastes like” “Nooooo Bob don’t do it, George said the same thing last week just before he shot out of the water and we havent seen him since”
I met up with Pete and Barb on Sunday, the wonderful foster parents to little Aleisha and Harriet. Aleisha is settling easily into her adoring new family and both foster parents speak very highly of them. Apparently there are another couple of mandated hour-long visits but her new parents have asked the foster parents to keep visiting after that. Talking to them I could see the joy for her new start battling with sadness that she has moved on. It is the selfless ability to let the joy win that makes them able to do what they do and astounds me. Hearing how happy she is and how she has now started to sit up was lovely, even if I do miss seeing my little Princess. Her new parents sound perfect and clearly understand how lucky they have been to be able to bring a gorgeous young girl into their family. It is great to know that Aleisha will have the start in life she deserves and so much love and attention.
Having made sure my Princess was ok I seemed to spend a couple of hours observing people. There are some times when quirks just stand out and yesterday was one of them. I watched a woman come to the bar with designer shades and a designer bag. From the designer bag she retrieved an expensive looking purse and proceeded to debate what funds she should use for her purchase. Having flicked through the thick wad of notes in her purse she apparently concluded that this was worthy of only a twenty. You may be wondering how I saw all of this, it was actually performed rather theatrically with the intention that her audience were aware. I managed a sly smile when I noticed that the theatre had not reached the credit card slots in the purse. There at the front was dog-eared reward card for a low-cost food retailer. When you’re trying to look loaded a gold or platinum card is called for, at least to hide the Iceland card.
During the afternoon a number of men chose to enter the bar bereft of shirts. I should point out that there is no sign or rule precluding this specifically but does there need to be one? There is no sign that states that one’s genitalia must be covered but we still wear trousers. I can’t understand why some men feel the need to enter premises with their shirt off. I love the sun and I am the first one to wander around in shorts without a shirt, after all there has to be an advantage to being the sex without breasts doesn’t there? But when you enter a business to conduct a transaction you should wear all of your clothes, it is just the right thing. What would you do if your chef or your barman greeted you without a shirt, it is just not cricket. There are, I am led to believe, establishments that operate a topless policy please understand that they are the exception and not the rule.
Having despaired of people’s ability to dress themselves, or at least remain dressed, I reverted to uncle gav. A visit from young Indya gave me plenty of opportunity to carry her around the pub collecting glasses and generally shrieking. It is great that an adult who knows of my injuries will wince when they shake my hand but a child has no such concerns. There was never a doubt in Indya’s mind that I could support her weight and indeed run around with her. This is another part of the maturity in parenthood debate. Children don’t need to know your difficulties, your worries or your stress they need to know that you are an ever-present rock, always stable and always capable. So Indya doesn’t need to know that I couldn’t lift a kettle this morning, my kids don’t need to know that it breaks my heart not to see them, they have enough time to stress when they are older.
A line that I remember well from childhood times spent staring at my shoes in shame is “if they told you to put your head in the oven would you do that?” Did we stop saying that or have we forgotten it? It seems that my generation and the ones before me have forgotten the principle. The reason for my theory is simply demonstrated in Facebook. I have been told this week that if I am having a heart attack that I can cough my way out of it. I have learnt that bottled water if left in a warm car becomes liquid cancer. I have been told that there are secret codes on my cell and at the ATM, worse still scammers are using one of these codes to take money from me. I have been warned of so many scams that I am taking the safe route and switching all of my phones off.
All of this information is put up by people who are well-meaning. It seems that the ease of sharing overcomes any desire to verify the information, after all forewarned is forearmed isn’t it? There is no truth in any of the claims that I have seen this week or indeed over time. A simple internet search reveals that ‘Danny missing 2 years, together we can find him’ originated as a means of harvesting contact details. Warm water won’t kill you and the chemical alleged to be leached out of the bottle isn’t in it to start with. It is all garbage, supported by innocent forwarding or sharing but it could have unpleasant consequences. The coughing example can actually kill you, that simple advice could cost lives. The best advice for heart attacks, apart from getting to hospital, is actually a crushed aspirin in the mouth incidentally.
It seems to be only the older generations that are caught in this trap of sharing warnings. This makes me wonder if it’s actually some sort of natural selection type culling. The very people sharing this junk are the ones that are most likely to believe it, after all it is in writing. Has some government department started creating these rumours to cut down the population and reduce health care bills? Perhaps this is a government department working against the zombie planners, they are reducing the food source for future zombies, after all the old go first.
In other news it looks like I have beaten righty into submission, the evidence is in the bed linen. Almost dry through the night now, which sounds oddly like I am talking about a baby. Lefty has been subdued and seems to have accepted again that the exercise regime is here to stay. The dodgy knee is now complaining, not sure how you can get a limp from press-ups but hey, it will learn.
I think I owe my friend Andrew a thank you this weekend. Sometimes when your life is on hold you start to lose sight of the end goal that once seemed so clear. I read the Publican with less interest every week and am almost scared of the property pages in case I see a gem. The opportunity to talk business with Andrew allows me to remember the passion that I have for the trade and refuels the fire. It may only be vicarious involvement at the moment but I have no doubt that my time will come. There is something about the licensed trade that gets hold of some people, for those it bites there is no escape. I look forward to holding my pub keys, I am nearly 40 so this delay is not really significant in the great scheme of things. Thank you mate for sharing the smiles.