Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Reader Paul Beaver offers this solution to the concert from hell:

Listen to the wisdom of older and wiser heads

I have been roped into attending these damm things since I was the single
doting uncle of the first of the next generation of Beavers.

The solution is simple, it only requires careful study of the program (for
something less than a week's wage you can usually buy a copy of the program as
much as a week prior to the day of torture).

Then provided that you have nerves of steel, precision timing, and a
willingness to subvert a junior member of the family, the Method is simple:

Using the program and a few questions to the child doing the dead you can
find out the items that the young one is actually taking part in - YOU MUST

Now to quote Baldric "I Have A Cunning Plan".

Once you have seen the young one (and if you are really lucky your child
will tread the boards early in the first half and then not in the limelight
till the finale) You must create a diversion. This is literally Child's Play.
you have the performers sibling in the audience with you and at a subtle
signal, have them create a fuss (I find a few whispered demands to go to the
toilet will do the trick) Sigh heavily and inform the mother that you will
take the by now upset child to the loo.

Once out of sight make a break for the nearest cafe/milk bar/pub and use the
fluids dispensed there to make the time pass pleasantly. Just remember to be
back to see the young star in the finale.

Three points I leave for the apprentice to solve

1) how do you get the non-performing child to co-operate (I find that there
is no need to threaten, they don't want to be there themselves and if you
offer a bribe they will generally put in a better performance than anyone on
the stage)

2) how do you explain your child's need to go to the loo for what may well
be the better part of a week. (I prefer a simple lie - Dysentery. Typhoid
and malaria are notifiable diseases and the black death does not fit the
mission profile)

3) by the time the young accomplice is old enough to come into the pub and
enjoy ara cleansing ale with you they are generally too old to need to be
escorted to the loo.

This worked for me all the time I was single and forced to attend the niece's
recitals, and appears to work now that my own youngest is now on the stage.

Further submissions needed. Gala Parents Costume Extravaganza looms dangerously near.

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