I realise I’m a seventh Dan grandmaster at this, but events on Friday morning nearly had me committing homicide, followed immediately by infanticide. Allow me to elaborate.
I decided to go to a local café for breakfast. Scrambled eggs, cup of tea, read the paper, a civilised start to the day. Sadly it was not to be. There was a family in there with two young children. To be more accurate, one child and one spawn of the devil. This brat would not stop grizzling. Nonstop whining that occasionally broke into out and out crying jags and temper tantrums. What did the parents do? Pretty much ignored it.
Parents seem to have an inbuilt brat filter in their auditory apparatus. They just don’t hear the way normal people do. It’s as if the racket doesn’t exist. These two dunderheads just chatted blithely on while the creature from the black lagoon carried on with his banshee wailing. Now I have no objection at all to children in eating places. I think it’s a good thing to get them used to the idea at an early age. One of the delights of going to Italy, to take just one example, is how well children are catered for and made a bit of a fuss of. However, in Italy, no parent I have ever seen would allow this sort of bad manners. It would not be tolerated. At all. It certainly would not be ignored, which is what happens when it becomes politically incorrect to admonish your child. These middle class rightoners contrived to ruin everybody else’s morning.
I have to admit to a certain amount of bias here, because of the man. He had a shaven head and a Rasputin beard. It looked as if his head was on upside down. I wanted to yell at him, ‘Don’t you have mirrors in your house?’
I despair sometimes.