February 12, 2014 by writehandman.com.au
Private school fees hurt. The schools are wonderful for the kids, but the fees hurt. Really hurt.
Andy Hornswood had been home from work for an hour. He’d had a shitty day.
He’d lost a client to his firm’s major competitor, got a dressing down from the Senior Partner, on the train a hobo had vomited next to him and hobo vomit had splashed on his duck-head umbrella. He finally arrived home to find Emily, his eldest, leaving for a party dressed in what appeared to him, to be her underwear. They yelled at each other for five minutes and Andy laid down the well-established law of the household with regard to clothing. Then Emily, dressed in what appeared to him, to be her underwear, turned and left for the party.
He sat down to eat his reheated dinner with his wife Suzie. She looked different, he wasn’t exactly sure why. But he knew he had to notice something.
Andy – “That looks great,” (with a smile and a quick point towards her head). He knew that way he was covered if it was a new hair colour, hair cut or a facial.
Suzie – “Thanks honey. How was your day?” Suzie patted his arm. A little bit too warmly.
Andy – “What’s up Suze?” After twenty-five years of marriage, overt affection immediately aroused suspicion.
Suzie – “School fees have arrived.” She crinkled up her nose.
Andy – “Bad?” His stomach dropped. His day was not improving.
Suzie – “Well… yep.” Another crinkle.
The arrival of the fees four times a year for Tom’s attendance at “Hornswood Influential Boys Grammar School”, was always a somber occasion.
Because Andy was late home, Tom was already on the X-Box, killing hundreds of what sounded like, innocent Russian villagers. Little Chloe was asleep, cradling her One Direction lunch box.
Andy – “How much Suzie?” He sipped his icy cold beer.
Suzie -“Seven thousand, nine hundred.”
Andy – “WHAT THE HELL?? SEVENTY NINE HUNDRED?? FOR ONE FREAKEN TERM.”
Suzie handed him the “Hornswood Influential Boys Grammar School” invoice. He started to read.
Andy – “A HUNDRED AND TEN BUCKS FOR A BOATER?? IS IT MADE OF FREAKEN HASHISH?? DOES IT TALK??” He read on.
“EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY FOR CAMP?? HE WAS ONLY GONE SIX BLOODY DAYS! THEY DIDN’T EVEN FEED HIM BY THE SOUNDS.”
“NINETY DOLLARS FOR THE FREAKEN SCHOOL PLAY?? NINETY BUCKS?? WAS RUSTY CROWE IN IT??”
Suzie tried to hide her smile. It wouldn’t help the situation.
Andy – “OLD BOYS UNION?? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?? LAST TIME I CHECKED HE’S NOT AN OLD BOY YET… BUILDING FUND?? THAT FREAKEN PLACE ALREADY HAS MORE BUILDINGS THAN CHATSWOOD… HOW CAN IT BE SEVENTY NINE HUNDRED?? THEY HAVE MORE FREAKEN HOLIDAYS THAN FLIGHT CENTRE!”
“AND WHAT THE HELL IS THE SCHOOL ASSOCIATION ANYWAY??”
Andy yelled towards the other room.
Andy – “TOM, GET OFF THE FREAKEN X-BOX AND STUDY!”
Tom yelled back – “I’VE DONE ALL MY HOMEWORK DAD. IT’S NOT MY FAULT HOW MUCH IT COSTS!”
Andy’s shoulders slumped. The day had broken him.
Andy – “My umbrella smells.”
Suzie – “That’s ok honey.” She put her arms around him. “Let’s go out.”
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