Jan called round today for a glass or two. there was a pack of gum on the desk, not my gum I hasten to add but gum left by a visiting Legionella tester (don't ask, long story).
Jan said: 'I bullied my kids, and in order to bamboozle them about drugs n stuff. I told them they could do anything but chew gum, gum was out of bounds, beyond the pale, gum was, let's face it, infra dig. do smack I said, do booze, smoke 80 Kapstan full strength a day I said. But do not do gum I said. My theory was that they would eschew the drugs of my choice and go for the one I abhorred. I believed that they would chew gum above any other vice to poo poo me.'
Did it work I asked Jan.
'No'. He said. 'One of my sons is an alcoholic, another a junkie and the third is dying of emphysemia.'
'At least'. I said. 'none of them died choking on chewing gum'.
'No'. He said, and then went on: 'But if a child is going to predecease a parent the child should have the good sense to get it over and done with quick. Parents spend most of their lives worrying about their children's ability to live unparented instead of enjoying drugs and stuff like that:.