This morning I attended the school “Awards Assembly” – where groups of kids get marched up in front of the school to have a nervous breakdown in front of a microphone while mumbling pre-written words from a scrap of paper to several hundred parents, and the rest of their peers in the school hall. I wandered into the school wearing cut off jeans and a shirt – perhaps deliberately not looking very smart. After subscribing to the age old tactic of “following people that seem to know where they are going”, I arrived at the school hall – wandering along behind somebody that reminded me of a friend from the internet. I did a double-take, and so did she. Had this friend from the middle of the US actually been living three doors down the road from me all this time?
We all got seated in the hall, and were entertained by the resident school rock band, who played the same four bars of music two hundred and eighty five thousand six hundred and forty two times in a row. I think some people might have called it ambient music. I was ready to rip the strings off one of the electric guitars with my teeth and smash it through the amplifier after the two thousandth repetition.
The assembly was something of a non-event in the end. It’s been sitting in my Google Calendar for weeks – with all sorts of veiled threats attached to it. I entertained myself watching other parents file into the room – some of which I vaguely knew, and then laughed when a phone started ringing, and the head of year bellowed:
“PARENTS PHONES WILL BE CONFISCATED”