YOUR children are your greatest source of pride and shame. Modern society has left them weak, embarrassing and without these basic skills, writes father Martin Bishop.
You show a millennial a spot large enough to parallel park your Volkswagen Passat in and they’ll look at you blankly or whinge about the environment. When I learned to drive, I was able to pilot my Fiesta into any space, no matter how small it was or how drunk I was. This generation shouldn’t be allowed on the roads.
Complaining at a restaurant
My children say feeble things like ‘for God’s sake stop embarrassing us’ or ‘now you’re just being obnoxious’ whenever I calmly but firmly point out to a waiter the massive failings of their establishment, such as a missing butter knife. When will my kids understand that if you’re paying for ‘service’ in a modestly-priced roadside carvery you’re entitled to perfection?
Shaking hands properly
On his 18th birthday last year I gave my youngest, Nigel, a congratulatory handshake and frankly the experience left me cold. Instead of being firm and manly, Nigel’s dismal effort felt as if someone had slid a limp eel into my hand. A couple of years in the army would sort him out. Or he could just grip a bit more firmly next time.
Changing a tyre
Servicing a motor vehicle is one of mankind’s most fundamental skills, like hunting. I’m always furious with my children when they call the AA with their car problems instead of coming to me first. Sure, last time I changed a tyre on my car it resulted in a near-fatal blow-out on the M1, but that’s beside the point.
Unhygienically putting your fingers in your mouth and whistling so loudly it’ll deafen anyone within five metres is a great way to get someone’s attention. Unfortunately, young people can’t get to grips with it and look at me jealously whenever I do it in the park, on public transport, or in the local library.
Appreciating Phil Collins
This generation are all about instant gratification. This means that they can’t enjoy great art that requires effort on their part, and Phil Collins really makes his listeners work in that respect. It’s sad to think my children will never know the joy of No Jacket Required, or an all-day Genesis marathon.