His hair is dyed an unseemly shade of metallic yellow, and his clothes look like they have been stolen from the deceased.



This is short but sweet.


I will own up to the fact that this month's rant is also a very personal one, and a rant that is based on one particular individual, who, for no very good reason (and for no particular fault of his own I suppose) winds me up. I say no fault of his own because I am unsure whether he can control the outpourings of puss, sweat, pheromones and bile that at present constitute the chemical make-up of his teenage body. Fourteen is a bummer age to be, I'd say. It's just that I can't remember it well enough to sympathize.


Before I get accused of unnecessary cruelty (or even worse, slagging The Kids off) I'd bet that if you were in my position (faced with ten weeks of gruelling overtime in a sweaty factory); a fourteen year old assistant, (mercifully only allowed, under Dutch law, to work five hours a day) would be the last person you'd want helping you, believe me. Especially a lad so deliberately ungainly and lazy; so utterly hapless, and smug to boot about his haplessness that he makes Boy George seem like a paragon of athleticism.


His hair is dyed an unseemly shade of metallic yellow, and his clothes look like they have been stolen from the deceased. His opening gambit on the first morning that I had the misfortune to work with him was, "I am allergic to lifting and to bulbs"; hardly an ideal predicament when you are working lifting crates in a flower bulb factory. Indeed it was an opening gambit that was made worse by his actions; those of immediately sitting down on the floor, a fatuous expression spreading all over his bovine face as he asked me whether he could listen to his MP3 player.


Oh fuck.



What am I going to do? Murder, obviously is out of the question. He's too big for a start, and chopping him up would take too long and produce too much blood. I also think he would squeal a lot.


Obviously, reasoning with him is out of the question; reasoned debate in the teenage mind being a sign of weakness in the older generation; the generation that must be challenged at all times, (i.e. "I can't make you do this, so I'll reason with you" is the last straw, and forever puts you in a position of gratitude to the yongster).


Maybe I could try to re-enter the teenage mind, try to adapt to it's whims and fancies; it's likes and dislikes. This re-enactment seems, however, to consist of a grimly farcical display of gestures and attitudes; of grunts and whines, of excess wind and smells.


But, there again, why bother?


I might as well resign myself to the fact that I'm stuck with him till he attends school again in September. And that my only resource is to whinge about him in this column. Pathetic eh?




Words: Richard Foster.