Sickness And Silliness

"5 o' clock somewhere" Wall Clock
The Al Vimh “5 o’ clock somewhere” Wall Clock

5:00 AM. I awake to the sound of a crying child, staggering across the landing. Child Unit 2 is awake and feeling a little sorry for himself, hurrying to the toilet to, how can I put it delicately? Puke his tiny guts up. Having spoken to god on the great white telephone and after a cuddle and clean-up, the boy seems absolutely hunkydory-doodledandy-fit-as-a-butcher’-dog. Back to sleep.

7:30 AM. I awake to the sound of a wailing alarm clock and after performing the normal morning routine, wash stuff, brush things, cover bits with clothes and fall down the stairs, I find Child Units 1 and 2 perched on the sofa, watching Doctor Who. They devour a hearty breakfast of porridge-like substance and cheerily ready themselves for school. Marital Unit and I decide that Child Unit 2 is hale and hearty and perfectly capable of attending school. Nevertheless, we agree that it would be best to notify the school of his night time eructations, just in case any further pukey problems arise.

After throwing the Child Units from a moving vehicle in the general vicinity of the Education Pod, I shot home to make a few phone calls and hurl cuss-words at telesales callers. Around ten o’ clock, I realised that i’d forgotten to let the school know about the late night Exorcist episode from the boy and gave them a quick call. “He’s fine…probably something he ate…happy as larry this morning…yeah i’ll come and collect him”. Balls.

As it turns out, if a child is sick during the night, you’re supposed to keep him home from school for 24 to 48 hours. OK, fair dinkum, sure, why not? I went straight up to collect him and now he’s happily feckin’ about on Banjo-Kazooie and occasionally issuing a smug grin for getting out of a day’s learnin’, good for him. I don’t blame the boy, I don’t blame the school, I don’t blame anyone necessarily, but I am a bit flummoxed.

Y’see, we recently had a letter from the school authorities, explaining that there was a new sheriff in tow…sorry, i’ve been watching a lot of John Wayne films. The letter explained that there was a new attendance policy in place and parents of students who missed too many sessions (two sessions to a day) would be fined. The letter spoke of unauthorised absence, which would basically refer to any sick day where you didn’t get a doctor’s note and the like.

I’m sure this is all good, right? I mean, obviously we need to make sure kids don’t miss too much school. There’s just a couple of wee problems with it…

First up, there’s the fact that Child Unit 1 has asthma and Child Unit 2 has tonsils that look like an allergy prone elephant’s bee-stung testes, so the slightest hint of a cough, cold or bug and the pair of them sound like Darth Vader choking on a peanut. If one of them has been awake all night coughing their lungs out, chances are i’ll deem it necessary to keep them off school. I could send them in, but they’ll fall asleep face down in their watery gruel and they’ll be far too tired to operate a loom, so i’m not sure what good the school thinks they’ll be?

Also, there’s a note in the letter about “exceptional circumstances”, which is entirely fair. One report that I read mentioned allowing children absence to tie in with a family member’s leave from the armed forces and quite rightly so, that’s the kind of exception that I fully endorse. But there was also mention of “parents in good standing” or words to that effect and that didn’t sit quite right with me. Who is a parent in good standing? If I pay for the school to have gold plated toilets, can I take the kids to Butlins for a week in term time? If I punch a teaching assistant, do they have to go in on Saturdays?

The worst part is that the school actually hands out certificates for perfect or near-perfect attendance, which makes those unfortunate enough to be born without Wolverine’s healing ability feel bad when the incredibly immune children (or those who are tied to a school chair home hell, high water or haemophilus influenzae) are rewarded for their attendance record. The poor buggers who did nothing wrong, save not managing to fight off one of the hundreds of bugs, viruses and government created nano-plagues (i’m on to you, Cameron) which are floating around the school yard on a day to day basis, are left feeling as though they have somehow done wrong, with no real idea what it is they’re supposed to have done.

If my children are sufficiently unwell, they stay home from school. I’m not saying they’re hauled out for every sniffle, but I won’t send them in with fluids coming from every orifice and a temperature which can melt tooth enamel. If that means they miss out on a bit of blue paper and a handshake from the head, so be it. Sooner that than puking in the pencil pots.

The village school is fantastic, don’t think i’m knocking it. The problem is, as has long been the problem with our education system, that somebody seems to be employed solely to come up with bullshit. The Office Of Bullshit. Bullshit Production Team. They’re out there! Five or six of them, crowded into a dingy basement room, bitter and twisted wee bastards who’ve not seen daylight in sixty years.

BULLSHITTER 1: “What can we do to screw with them today?”

BULLSHITTER 2: “Well, i’ve been working on a little something. How about making a really big deal out of attendance. Schools will send letters home, come up with bullshit…”

ALL: “BULLSHIT!” *salute*

BULLSHITTER 2: “…little reward schemes, anything to make sure bums are in seats, given the fear of god we’ll put into them.”

BULLSHITTER 3: “Hmm, yes. Yes it has potential, but might I suggest one small change?”

BULLSHITTER 1: “Proceed.”

BULLSHITTER 3: “We make it policy for children who have been sick within the last 48 hours to remain home so as not to contaminate other children. It doesn’t matter if it’s something they ate or they’ve made themselves gag, they stay home. That way, even parents who are trying their damnedest won’t be able to achieve perfect attendance!”

ALL: “GLORIOUS!”

*much orgasmic writhing*

That’s exactly how it happened. Weird, troll people coming up with crap in a basement. I may be a tad sleep deprived. Anyway, that’s the problem. It’s all bullshit.

 

 

Back To The Studio…

As I write this blog, the fifth most popular news story on the BBC website is “Lily Allen changes her surname”

This story is more popular than news of possible mass strikes in the public sector, or those two morons who were plotting to kill Joss Stone.

So, what newsworthy turn of events led to the surname change?

Perhaps, following a heated argument with her father, Keith Allen, she decided she want nothing to do with him?

Or maybe she’s taken a Bowie-esque route and changed her name to Lily Rotunga Sparkle Eyes Monkey Scrotum?

Neither of these would have been massively interesting, but I could at least appreciate them making the news.

But no.

Lily Allen has married a man called Sam Cooper and changed her name to Lily Cooper.

That’s it.

That’s the entire sodding story!

In fact no, that’s more of a story than the dross which the BBC have bloody inflicted on the world.

She was married last weekend, it’s been and gone.

They’ve written this piece because she changed her sodding surname on sodding Twitter!

I mean, what the hell can we expect next?!

Expect to see this report, coming soon to a television near you:

Reporter: “Hello, I am reporting live from outside the home of pop sensation Alexandra Burke where an amazing turn of events has rocked the world”

Studio: “Can you tell exactly what has happened Sandra?”

Reporter: “Certainly Mark. As many may know, Miss Burke began a relationship early last month with a young man called Mark Gallows”

Studio: “Viewers may recall we interrupted BBC Question Time to bring them that shocking news”

Reporter: “Indeed Mark. Well, today Miss Burke has, in a bold move which shocked her fans, updated her Facebook relationship status to ‘In A Relationship'”

Studio: “That is incredible news Sandra, have you managed to speak to Alexandra yet?”

Reporter: “I certainly have Mark, she gave me this exclusive interview. Roll tape”

*tape rolls*

Alexandra Burke: “Um, hi?”

Reporter: “Miss Burke, the world has been literally brought to a standstill by your Facebook relationship status change, can you tell us a little more about that?”

Alexandra Burke: “What? Oh, well I hadn’t got around to it yet and I logged on today so I updated it. Wait, why is this newsworthy?”

*back to live feed*

Reporter: “And there you have it Mark”

Studio: “Thank you Sandra. I think you’ll all agree that Alexandra Burke’s new Facebook status may change all of our lives, in ways we cannot imagine. Up next, the tragic story of Jason Donovan’s lost sock”

I have to go, i’m off to burn my laptop and throw my television under a bus.

Hobo gonna pay…

Are you cold? Hungry? No-where to go?
Well, I hope panhandling has reaped huge rewards today because the Tories are probably going to fine you.

Yup, this is the latest cattle crap spewing forth from the government and councils of this country:

Westminster Council want to introduce a new bye-law which will make it an offense, punishable by fine, to “sleep or lie down”, “deposit materials used as bedding” or “give out, or permit another to give out, food for free”.

Right, I can picture the scene:

COP: “You, you there!”

MAN WITH BURGER: “Me?”

COP: “Yeah you. You gonna eat that?”

MAN WITH BURGER: “Yeah. That’s…that’s OK right?”

COP: “Oh sure, sure, it’s just…awful lot of homeless around these parts”

MAN WITH BURGER: “Riiiiight”

COP: “Better not see you handing that burger over to one of those cold, wet, hungry, homeless guys”

MAN WITH BURGER: “Noooooo, not me, I would…CATCH HOBO!”

MAN THROWS BURGER AND RUNS FOR COVER, POLICE BRING HIM DOWN IN HAIL OF GUNFIRE.

I may have exaggerated the issue slightly but, let’s face it, the ridiculousness of my scenario is nothing compared to the idiocy of the bye-law proposition.

Pret A Manger have been distributing their unsold food to London’s homeless for years, but with this law in place they will be forced to throw this good food away.

It’s unsold, it’s not going to be sold, it’s going to the bins, why shouldn’t someone benefit from it?

As for making it an offense to “deposit materials used as bedding”, what does that even mean?

I can’t lay out a blanket for a picnic? Drop an armful of straw?
What if i’m carrying a mattress and…look, the point here is that making homelessness illegal is ridiculous.

There is no logic to this proposition, none whatsoever.

Grab yourselves a sleeping bag or an armful of sandwiches and let the revolution begin.

Damn it Mabel!

I’ve never agreed with people who suggest that, past a certain age, people should automatically be disqualified from driving.

What should happen is re-testing and, if they can’t manage an automatic car wash, they should have their license and breathing privileges revoked.

Today, I witnessed the truly stupid in all it’s monumentally asstardish glory.

An elderly woman, we shall call her Mabel, for ease of reference, attempted to use the automatic car wash at the local petrol station.

What follows is Mabel’s Guide to the Auto Carwash:

1 ) Drive forwards toward the carwash

2 ) Reverse a few feet

3 ) Drive forwards again, into the same spot you previously occupied

4 ) Reverse a few feet

5 ) Drive forward, aligning your wheels with a metal rail which has nothing whatsoever to do with the direction you are meant to be headed in

6 ) Smash into a barrier, removing your driver side wing mirror

7 ) Reverse a few feet

8 ) Exit the vehicle, retrieve your mirror, laugh nervously and re-enter the vehicle

9 ) Reverse a few feet

10 ) Smash into the car behind because you’d forgotten that you had ALREADY reversed a few feet

11 ) Exit the vehicle, apologise for the dint, laugh nervously and re-enter the vehicle

12 ) Appear oblivious to angry driver behind who would still like your insurance details, thank you so very bloody much

13 ) Drive forward, correctly aligning yourself to enter the car wash

14 ) Insert token

15 ) Mash buttons with palm, whilst mumbling about “newfangled this” and “back in the day that”

16 ) Exit the vehicle, enter the station and demand help

17 ) Return to the carwash, attendant in tow, complaining that a bucket of water and an old cloth “were always good enough when I were younger”

18 ) Listen as it is explained to you that entering the token then attempting to select every available wash cycle at once will, not surprisingly, fail to result in the quality car wash that you were hoping for.

19 ) Apologise, laugh nervously, re-enter the vehicle

20 ) Watch as attendant inserts token for you and presses button for “Wash ‘N’ Wax”

21 ) Drive forwards into car wash, wondering why attendant and everyone in massive queue which has formed behind you are shaking their heads and yelling

22 ) Scream in terror as the car fills with water, due to the open window which you NOW realise that everyone was trying to warn you about

23 ) Drown

24 ) Corpse wax

We gave our statements and left as they were loading
Mabel’s shiny cadaver into the meat wagon.