The New Puritan

an old Puritan

I fear we have a New Puritan in our midst.

I went out last night – well it was either that or suffer hours of Euro-whatever-bloody-year-it-is-now fever.

I returned home after lights out, so saw nothing of the evening’s aftermath, receiving only a few incoherent attempts at pleasantries from Mike, as he drooped over his book.

I knew he’d had a few friends round to watch the match, and I gathered Ben had been allowed to stay up for the first half of it.

This morning, my son informed me that one of said friends, let’s call him Archibald –

“.. swore ten times. And Mummy, he drank three glasses of beer.”

“Oh,” I said, “he managed to pour the beer into a glass? Impressive.”

“But I knew the swear words already.”

“That’s all right then.”

I had to explain that football does strange things to a man, and Archibald was probably temporarily insane when he uttered these profanities.

“Why?” was his response, as I should have anticipated.

Not being a football fan myself, I found this one hard to answer. So I said, unusually for me,

“Ask your father.”

But what worries me is the shocked, self-righteous expression on his face when he told me –

“And Mummy, he drank three glasses of beer.”

He’s already berated Mike for drinking too much wine, and I fear I’m next.

School has indoctrinated them into the perils of Global Warming (or Global Warning as Hannah calls it) to the extent that I’m not allowed to leave the TV on standby even for a few minutes.

They conveniently forget their worries about carbon emissions if it’s raining when we leave the house. The merest suggestion of drizzle has them bleating to drive to school.

But a whiff of alcohol has them tut-tutting like a couple of humourless temperance campaigners from the early nineteenth century.

What would this pious pair of goody-goodies say if I told them how many empties there actually were in the recycling bag? It was a lot more than three.

There were also two forgotten bottles of frozen Peroni in the freezer, and the hot water had been switched off – presumably by Mike fumbling in semi-darkness to turn off the central heating before he staggered up to bed.

I half-expected to find a pile of puke in the corner of the sitting room – but no. Just a scattering of crisps crushed into the rug.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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3 Responses to The New Puritan

  1. Potty Mummy says:

    When they come staggering home drunk, aged 17 (we can only hope it’s that late), reeking of cigarettes and alcohol, you might want to show them this post…

  2. mid-lifer says:

    I know – it’s all so very pious. My daughter wouldn’t touch me (literally) for at least an evening once she found out that I used to smoke cigarettes.

    I know it will all change though, because my half-brother was just the same – used to lecture me at the age of five when I was a rebellious teen and smoking out in the garden. Now in his twenties, he’s finally admitted shamefaced that he smokes.

  3. Beta Mum says:

    potty – If the internet’s still up and running, they can seek out this post using the future equivalent of google… and laugh.

    mid-lifer – i retained a pious attitude to cigarettes well into my teens, and have never smoked. They’ll probably take it up when they’re 12 or something.

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