Monday, September 25, 2006

Do not pass go!

Last week Andrew had his 15th birthday.

Little bastard's looking forward to learning to drive seven or so months from now but just between us I have grave doubts about the wisdom of putting him behind the controls of a ton of metal driven at speed.

The problem is that he's so vague about everything. I have to admit that sometimes I envy him his ability to ignore everything around him but that ability has its own dangers. All well and good now, when failing to notice something has, at worst, a stubbed toe or a banged elbow as the pay off.

I'm sure I need not elaborate on the possible consequences save to note that I think it extremely unlikely a judge would accept 'I didn't notice' as an adequate excuse to a charge of manslaughter.

As for how we get him out of this mode and into one in which he can survive in our world? I have no idea though I often play the bastard and grille him about what he has (and hasn't) noticed.

Andrews birthday was Tuesday last week but for one reason and another, the celebration was postponed until Thursday. We dined at Benihana[^], a not so good Japanese Tepanyaki restaurant and not my choice; for much the same money we could have dined at Sapporo[^], which is much the superior restaurant. Sonya however had promised Sapporo for his 16th birthday and one sometimes has to go with the flow.

So there we were, the three of us plus Morgan and Bill, his dad. Even without thinking about it (or perhaps Mom and Bill choreographed it so subtly we didn't notice) it ended up with Morgan and I as far apart as possible consistent with sitting at the same table. Suited us both!

Appetisers consumed it was time for some pressie giving. Various iPod accessories and iTunes gift cards plus $200 from Grandmother. The $200 was handed over as cash and, after an initial drool from the recipient, it was left on top of a pile of gift wrapping as Andrew tried to tear open the packaging on the iPod case we'd given him. Poor lad has much to learn about packaging; it was the hard plastic bubble type that needs heavy duty garden shears to cut open.

Not that he was about to let a little thing like that get in his way! Dad's pocket knife was pressed into inadequate service and a frantic sawing away at the plastic ensued. I saw my chance and in a moment the $200 had been snaffled and pocketed!

A couple of minutes later the floor show, in the form of the tepanyaki chef, started. So Andrew scooped up all the gifts and shoved em into one of those gift bags popular nowadays.

So we watched volcanos made out of onion rings and the spinning of an egg at high speed on a spatula. Big deal! :-) Followed by the consumption of steak and shrimp and fried rice and the whole nine yards. And Andrew didn't notice that he was $200 down!

Food consumed and the ritual singing of embarassing songs over the bill arrived. About $180 for the five of us. I reached into my pocket and said 'Andrew'll cover this' as I plunked his $200 down. With a panic stricken look he checked his gift bag; no cash to be seen! Bill clapped him on the shoulder and thanked him for buying dinner!

Yeah, we let him off :-) But maybe next time he won't take his eye off the cash!

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