Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

“You need to go to the shops,” Master14 said from somewhere inside the fridge.

In the nick of time I spun and pulled Tracey into a gentle bear hug as she attempted to thunder into the kitchen to throttle him. Teenagers are always difficult but she was going to pop another artery if she kept biting when he tossed out a line.

“The groceries arrived yesterday!” I yelled back at him over my shoulder. Nearly four hundred dollars worth, and that didn’t include meat or fruit & veg.

“Really?” he answered. “Where did you put them?”

I know it’s cliche but this kid is insatiable. He came home late from basketball the other night and by the time I shut the gate and joined him in the house he was already upsetting his Mum.

“Am I allowed the spag bog in the fridge?”

“Yours is in the oven.”

“Yeah, I know. But can I have the one in the fridge too?”

Tracey is going nuts trying to extract the words, “I’m full,” out of him.

So, to summarise: there appears to be no functioning organs capable of extracting nutrients between Master14’s mouth and his chocolate starfish. Regardless of what goes in the top end he’s all long bones and hunger pains. In fact, sometimes instead of making its way out the bottom end, the shit sometimes comes back up and out his mouth.

“Who were you talking to?” I heard my wife ask him in strained tones recently.

Seems he’d just been sprung on the phone to one of his mates before school. Not in itself an issue except…

“Did I honestly just hear you ask him to bring an apple to school for you?”

Not only that, but this was the entire purpose of the call. No asking about an assignment or homework with this tacked on the end. Oh, no. Straight to, “Hi, Luke, it’s Josh. Do you have any apples?”

Tracey launched into a tirade of flamboyant expletives for him to chew on before stomping off in search of a paper bag to breath into.

“What were you thinking?” I asked him, quickly going on before I had to sit through the self-justifications of a teenage boy. “You realise how embarrassing that is? That our son is begging food off another family?”

An expression of sheepishness failed to register on his dial, but it was early and I just wanted another coffee.

“Go and apologise to your Mum,” I sighed.

At which point his face became far more animated.

“Me apologise?” he said, all self-righteous indignation. “You’re the ones who didn’t have any apples. I think you’ll find you’re the ones who owe someone an apology.”

Master14 even offered to help by dialling up his friend again so the kid’s mum could get on the line.

This time I was on the receiving end of a rage reducing bear-hug.

Thank you, Tracey dear. Only a few more years to go. Fingers crossed he makes it out alive.

raising a family on little more than laughs


  • Really brings back memories Bruce. Somehow it’s more entertaining watching and hearing from afar, rather than when it was hapening in our family some 35 years ago.

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