the state of things

 

And So It Begins...

by Douglas Lindsay - 11:55 on 17 October 2008
Writer Late Filing Blog Due To Concert At School. The first of the season. It's unusual and a little unsettling to be summoned to school to watch a bunch of kids perform this early in the school year. Initially it was presented as merely a coffee morning for parents and I thought, well easy enough to give that a miss, and instead made the usual plans to drink vodka and look at local ethnic handcrafts etc. etc. And then, out of left field, came the realisation of the true horror of the situation. The children would be performing.

Instantly there's a three-line whip. When your kid is going to be on stage, you just have to be there. I'm still being held to ransom, and made to feel the guilt of the wicked and the damned, after forgetting a concert of One of Two's months and months ago.

I can remember as a kid refusing to go out onto the stage when I was one of the Three Wise Men. Either it was because I was scared or because they had refused to give me my own dressing room, with flowers, champagne and built-in masseuse. Can't remember which. Maybe the wages were rotten. Maybe my lines didn't sound wise enough. "I'm not saying that, that's just stupid..." But as far as performing in front of parents at primary school goes, I reckon that was about it. Christmas. It's a thing.

But now, not only are we as parents obliged to go and watch our spawn perform at Christmas, there will be an end of the season show in June, piano concerts every few weeks, and now this, an impromptu concert deposited in the middle of October. I mean, seriously, how many EU statutes does that contravene? Isn't there a UN charter to protect parents against this sort of exploitation?

Two of Two never does much at these things. He lurks at the back during the group singing, and rarely ever has more than one line when there's ACTING  called for. TPCKAM and I didn't have to squirm too much. Then, as a succession of kids stepped up to the piano to celebrate the achievements of their single lesson so far, I sat and thought, please Two of Two don't get up and play Mary Had A Little Lamb with one finger. He didn't, although two other kids did.

I know, I'm a miserable bastard.

Here's my equivalent of the single-fingered Mary Had A Little Lamb. A promo for the new edition of The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson. Some publishers might make this kind of thing by spending money and employing professionals.... And some publishers might just play Mary Had A Little Lamb with their right index finger.

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