Friday, July 17, 2009
My daughter left for school camp this morning literally kicking and screaming. Instead of chastising her for negativity, I graciously offered her some of my most learned parental wisdom. Shit happens I say. And it invariably does on camp. Be prepared for pain girl. Grin and bear it and get home in one piece. That was all I had. Then in the car and without her mp3 player to zone out with, she had to endure a long winded recollection from me. And now so will you. Years ago, I was taught to play the drums in primary school by naval officer, Mr Fenlon. He was brass and woodwind specialist. On special occasions he’d thrill all the girls by turning up in his formal white uniform and hat. It was very Richard Gere. Anyway the band played a lot military marches and he insisted I hold the sticks in the old fashioned way (nestled in the crook of the LH) and eventually I could roll and flam as well as any ten year old could. I thought it was top stuff. The year I went on camp to Tallebudgera Creek in 1979, my mother saw me off in a purple skivvy and a yellow lunch box full of home-made caramel. During the trip our captain insisted we all sing ‘Ten Green Bottles’ from a thousand and I was stuck next a kid in year seven who carried a tune like a Vespa would a truck transmission. Up the back of the bus, a kid with a euphonium kept playing the ‘Baby Elephant’s Walk’ and proudly emptying his spit valve. When the cabin groups were being announced, I embarrassed myself in front of Mr Fenlon by referring to Bach as ‘batch’. I developed a hopeless crush on a trumpet player from another school and I stuffed up the glockenspiel part during a performance of Henry Mancini’s arrangement of the ‘Love Story’ theme because I was too busy gazing in the other direction. Then I lost a tooth eating Mum’s caramel and missed the chance to redeem myself at the concert. During recreation time two days later, I found myself uncomfortably sandwiched between Mr Fenlon in his Speedos and my trumpet playing crush on a water toboggan and then suddenly being hurtled around at high speed behind a boat with a full-on wedgie from my togs. The toboggan itself was only very small and flimsy and you might imagine with three people squeezed onto it, also pretty darn snug on the vitals. Ahem. So brace yourself my dear. Humiliation is par for the course. What’s the worst that could possibly happen?