I really must get this desk cleaned up. It hasn’t been done for months. It is littered with pieces of paper, notes, cuttings, reference books, scripts, and dust, and no matter what Mister Quentin Crisp might have said about it, the dust simply has to go, especially as now that the summer is over and their time is up dead flies are going to be dropping all over the place. Maybe tomorrow. I’m still trying to rake up the will to go into garden and start burning. The thought of all the trees that need pruning and I’m ready to go back to bed. Picked and froze 32 mixed peppers yesterday. The veggie garden has done well this year thanks to all that good horseshit.
Going back to the world of PC, had dinner the other evening with Nick and Jenny Urwin, both of whom are (were) teachers of long experience who loved what they did. They were telling me that now you cannot touch a child without first asking the child for permission. So the child has fallen over and is lying on the ground. ‘Excuse me, child, do I have your permission to lift you to your feet and ascertain you are not hurt in any way? And if you think my lifting you to your feet (with your permission of course) might be just a tad too intimate, would you accuse me of sexual harassment?”
“Excuse me, child, but I couldn’t help but notice you have grazed your knee rather badly. It will need an application of antiseptic and possibly a very large band-aid; do I have your permission to send you to the first aid room? And, if not, and your knee turns really septic and you have to go to hospital for a goodly spell, my child, will your dear parents sue me for negligence?”
“Excuse me, you two… Boys! Boys! Listen to me! Please! Stop fighting! Boys! Oh, I see you’re not boys, you’re girls. The boots are misleading. Well whatever you are you’ve had too much alcopop and you’re beating the shit out of each other and there’s nothing I can do about it except plead with you to stop because, if you don’t and someone is really badly hurt, your parents will only blame me.’
“Fuck off, Miss.”
“And please don’t use that kind of language in the playground or I will have to report you to the headmaster.”
“He can fuck off as well and, if he doesn’t, I’ll set my mates on him.”
“And you others, pleases stop taking photos on your cell phones. I know you want to put them out on the internet and then my name really will be mud, my career over. I can only hope your phones will be stolen before you can do that, which in all events is quite likely to happen the second you step out the school gates anyway.”
Is it true that a five year old boy (or was he four?) in America was charged with sexual harassment because he kissed a little girl in kindergarten? Anything is possible in America. I wonder what Jonathan Swift would make of that country if he were writing today. A Texas woman was awarded $80000 against a furniture store when she was tripped up by a roaming toddler who just happened to be her own son. A Philadelphia restaurant shelled out $113500 to a woman who slipped on a spilt drink and broke her tail bone. Thirty seconds before in a blazing row she had thrown the drink at her boyfriend. Another woman bought a Winnebago, set it to cruise control while driving and went back to make herself a sandwich. She said it should have been in the manual that she couldn’t do that and was awarded over a million dollars … And would you believe Winnebago have put it in their manual? Oh, well, and you say the world hasn’t gone stark raving mad?