Sunday, 18 December 2016


Not one of the original posters mentioned, but
better than nothing.  Image copyright DISNEY

I'm not a parent, but even given my status as non-participant
in that category, I'm smart enough to realise just how difficult -
and even heartbreaking - the position must often be.  There's an
ad on telly at the moment featuring The MUPPETS (the full ver-
sion is very funny), and seeing it just a few moments ago took my
mind back to an occasion involving my father in the late 1970s.
Allow me to relate it to you now, as I'm sure it'll remind you
of similar incidents concerning your own parents.

My father loved nothing more than going into Glasgow every
weekend and trawling around his old haunts from his youth.  He
always visited The BARRAS or PADDY'S MARKET, and one
Saturday evening he returned home with two Muppet posters for
me and my brother.  At that time I'd have been in my late teens or
early twenties, and my brother was in the latter age group, so we
both poured scorn on the very idea of having a Muppet poster
in either of our rooms, as it would've been 'uncool'.

This attitude must've confused my father, because me and
my brother both watched The Muppet Show and enjoyed their
mad antics, so he naturally assumed we'd each appreciate a poster
of the objects of our TV affections.  Our ingratitude must have hurt,
although I don't recall him showing it.  A similar incident happened
a few years later when he brought back a poster of Scottish Steam
Trains for me, although I'd never shown any interest in railway
matters.  Again, my lack of enthusiasm or gratitude for his
parental thoughtfulness must have hurt him.

We were living in another house at the time of the second
poster event, and I remember, a few weeks after moving from
it back to our previous home, I called in (by prior arrangement)
to the house we'd not long vacated to take some final photos of
the place (ah, ever the nostalgist), and the tenant with whom we'd
swapped properties suddenly dug out the train poster from the
cupboard outside what had recently been my bedroom.  I took
a photo of him holding the poster, while feeling vaguely
ashamed of just how heartlessly I'd abandoned it.

I had to abandon it a second time, because he never of-
fered it to me to take away as I left, but at least I've got a
photograph of it to remind me of how thankless kids can be to
their parents, however unintentional it may be.  Maybe one day
I'll track down replacements for all three posters - then, should I
ever have kids even at my advanced age (hey, you can get many
a nasty sting from a dying bee), it'll remind me to try and be pa-
tient whenever they behave in a similar way as myself (and
my brother - I refuse to take all the blame) when I was
young and thoughtless.  Then again, weren't we all?

Any similar incidents in your own youth you'd care to
share?  That way, I can maybe pretend that I wasn't quite
the ungrateful little b*st*rd that I must've seemed at the
time.  C'mon, help assuage my sense of guilt, eh?

Looking at this photo, I see that we also left the
light-shade.  How casually we abandon things
that have served us faithfully, eh?


TC said...

There were two or maybe even three incidents as a child when I got something for a birthday or Christmas-a clown bank from my aunt, a record album from my mother, a book from my grandparents-and I grumbled because it wasn't exactly what I wanted.

Which is not as bad as a couple of videos I've seen, one on a reality show on TruTV, another on the net. There was a teenage boy who got a car (a real one) for his 16th birthday, and he grabbed a sledge hammer and smashed it to pieces. And then there was the blonde who looked to be in her late teens or early 20's, and her rich parents gave her a Ferrari or a Lamborghini or whatever, and she whined because it was the wrong color.

Harlan Ellison once told an anecdote about how he gave his mother a hard time because she brought home Whiz Comics instead of Captain Marvel Adventures.

And now we have brats rioting in the streets because they don't like the election results. Colleges are even cancelling classes and postponing tests, and offering PTSD counseling to able-bodied young adults who are traumatized because (apparently, for the first time in their lives) they didn't get their way.

Kid said...

I'd love to know why the 16 year old guy smashed his car to pieces, TC. Didn't have furry dice hanging from the mirror perhaps? As for rioting in the street, that's the thing about democracy - it's only seen as being effective when a bunch of sore losers get their own way. Over in Scotland, the supposed 'once in a generation' vote for independence for Scotland looks set to be repeated until the SNP eventually get the result they want.

Colin Jones said...

Perhaps those American students are traumatized because The Trumpenstein Monster lost by THREE MILLION votes but still gets to be president...

Kid said...

Perhaps, CJ, but if Clinton had won in the same way, they'd no doubt think there was nothing wrong with that situation. Britain's not much better, as it's usually the party that MOST people didn't vote for who gets elected.

paul Mcscotty said...

In democracy people get what they deserve its not a great system, but its better than other options out there - I disagree with every major vote in the last 3 years but I have to accept it and I do (but we can voice our concens and opinions that is part of the process of democracy as well). I will just sit back and wait for the "poo to hit the fan" over Trump, Brexit, non Independence etc...if it works out then I will hold my hands up and say "well done" to those that voted for those things, if not I'll have to suffer along with the rest of us all (as the bombs start flying overhead lol) .

I recall being a bit upset at not getting a magnetic football game when I was about 9 years old but i never showed it as I knew my mum and dad always tried their best, we never had a lot or expected a lot back in the day -then again for me as a kid my likes were really simple I liked modelling clay, comics , toy soldiers and matchbox cars (not much has changed) A poster of the Muppets etc in your late teens is different and I woudn't get upset at that.... your hardly a brat Kid (others may disagree lol) but it was nice of your dad to be thinking of you and you got that, thats the main thing. I cant watch those rich kid reality shows full of sickening spoilt excuses for human beings (again imho)

Kid said...

Yeah, democracy is the best choice out of some bad options, eh? I reckon it would be impossible to keep everyone happy, but at least everyone gets to have a say (if they want it).

When I was a kid, PM, my tastes were simple too. Thinking back, I don't think I ever got Christmas presents totalling much more than £1 (if even that). My brother's Tommy Gunn action figure is the most expensive Christmas present I can recall either of us ever receiving.

As for reality shows, I can't watch any of them - they all give me the boak.

Colin Jones said...

My tastes were very simple as a child too and I don't recall being disappointed at any present except once at a Christmas party in the village hall when I was about nine and we all got a present. Mine was a football book and I'd have preferred a Spider-man annual or something. Once in a blue moon my beloved Marvel UK weeklies didn't turn up and I was crushed about that.

Kid said...

Funnily enough, CJ, that reminds me of a time when I was at a Sunday School Christmas party in the Village hall, and I was likewise disappointed with my present, which was a cheap plastic racing car with driver. I remember thinking that other kids' presents looked better (and more expensive) than mine, but I assume that the cost of the party also covered the gift and was the same for each child's parents in turn, hence presents being of a similar value. Thing is, I'd kill to have that car now, as it reminds me of a particular moment in my early childhood.

moonmando said...

My dad never really took much interest in me as a kid,so I was shocked when he came home from the pub one Friday night back in the mid seventies,with an album he thought I might like. It was by the Village People,YMCA etc. Streuth! I thought at the time. Just who the hell does he think I am. Straight to the bin with no remorse whatsoever.

Kid said...

Well, of course, under those circumstances, it's perfectly acceptable to bin sh*te like that without a moment's hesitation. Maybe your dad bought it because all the men in your family sported mustaches, as did some of The Village People. (Or was it all of them?) Nowadays, it goes without saying, you're labelled a homophobe if you don't like Village People, but they were utter sh*te.

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