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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Saints and sinners

You can't communicate the experience gained from hard years on Earth to the fresh-faced youths who come behind you. 

It's one of those frustrating facts of life you wish someone had mentioned, when you were young. Except you wouldn't have listened.

Makes you wonder what experience is for. I mean if you can't pass it on and you can't take it with you, it's pretty pointless isn't it?

God didn't think this through, if you ask me. Omniscient and omnipotent perhaps, but a pretty poor planner.

There's so much I want to share with the next generation and the one after that. My son. Rachel. Carol. Chuck and Marie. Little Sally. Even Susan sometimes, when she seems especially young and trusting.

Stuff like this. If you get dumped he wasn't the one. Alone doesn't mean lonely. Be kind to kids and animals. Don't eat yellow snow. 

And never hold post-mortems on the pub quiz you just made a complete arse of.

Especially that one. I've seen marriages and fast friendships ruined by too much analysis of who said what, and why they didn't write it down like they were told to. Let it go, guys.

"Why did you score out 'fisherman' and write 'carpenter', in answer to 'What was St Andrew's trade?' Susan asks young Chuck. "Nobody gave you the authority to do that. I told you he was a fisherman."

"He said 'carpenter'," the lad says, jerking his thumb in my direction. "And he'd answered the last five questions. I figured he was on a roll."

"You should be on a roll," she says. "You're about as smart as a slice of cheese."

"He sounded so confident," Chuck says.

"He always sounds confident. The more confident he sounds the less you should listen to him."

"Can I say a word for the defence?" I say.

"If you must," Susan says, in that tone that makes strong men quiver, before remembering they're not supposed to be scared of women.

"Fisherman is not a trade," I say. "When did anyone spend five years as a fisherman's apprentice?"

"That's true," Chuck says, taking his lead from me, the fool. "I reckon carpentering was Andrew's trade. Fishing was just his hobby."

"Sounds right," I say. "He and Jesus used to go down the canal with a can of maggots and their fishing-rods, and sit on the bank chatting about the Celtic game."

"And Andrew made boats out of balsa wood, for the disciples to play with on the Sea of Galilee," Chuck says. "That's why historians got confused and thought he was a fisherman."

"We lost the competition by one point because of you two dummies," Susan says. "And you think it's funny?"

"I don't think it's funny," I say, nudging him with my elbow.

"I don't think it's funny," he says, trying to look serious.

"Say you're sorry," I tell him.

"I'm sorry," he says. But he doesn't have the sense to leave it at that, and like I say you can't communicate experience to young people. They have to take their own lumps.
"There is no need to get cross," he tells her, looking pleased with himself. "Did you see what I did there?"

"Just as well I'm a saint," she tells him, kicking his shins under the table. "Did you feel what I did there?"

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