Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Safest Place for Teens

Having escaped the possibility of a short respite in prison, things are back to normal. I’m still living the ‘free’ life, which means I share my house with a sullen girl and two teenage sons. I’ll save the daughter for a more bulletproof blog and tell you about the boys: for the sake of anonymity on the web, let’s call them Lazy Git and I’ll do it Later (their real names are Eddie and Tom.) Unfortunately when Lazy Git turned 13 a few years back, I had just read a book saying that your living room is the safest place for teenage boys. As a result, I now have an ex-living room. The 42” TV (comes with valid license) is now attached to an Xbox, and there seem to be various other teens living in there on and off. It’s hard sometimes to know who’s who, they all look the same: pale, a tiny bit taller than me, way too skinny with deep voices and that type of fluff on their faces that old ladies in nursing homes sometimes have.
So apart from marking out their territory with a whiff of combined Lynx, pizza crust and testosterone that makes me want to wear a face mask, there is also the continuous sound of shooting, followed by the agonizing cries of the dying. They have reassured me that they are only killing Nazi Zombies, so it’s ok. At around 3am they pull out sleeping bags and the noise dies down until about 9am the next morning when they start wandering into the kitchen in t-shirts and the most obnoxious looking of jocks, to make themselves wheelie bin sized portions of cereal which they eat in the living room. Oh I nearly forgot, the soured milk that has spilled on the floor from previous cereal sessions is also part of that rancid smell that is now seeping through the whole house.
Then there’s the odd pack of rizla papers on the coffee table with a little corner torn off the side, normally coinciding with them opening the windows to ‘air the room’. And the time those teenage girls came over. They unplugged the Xbox and watched a movie. Some poor parent picked up the girls shortly before midnight. It was all very innocent until I found a bra hanging from the lampshade next day. I’m doing things by the book though, it’s all for the best.
This morning I ran into a friend of mine who also has teens. She told me her son won two medals at the weekend for athletics. At the end of the competition he somehow twisted his foot and broke it. He is now on crutches for the next four weeks at least. So I was just thinking, there you go, that won’t happen to Lazy Git or I’ll do it Later. Luckily, my boys are in the safest place they could be – the living room. 

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